Snippets from interview by Indian Women Institutional League (IWIL)
According to you, what are the top three essential skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
I think one needs to have the drive to create, make or build something. A lot of people have ideas- but proof lies in execution. It’s a ton of work moving from idea to action stage.
Second, is the ability to take risks in some capacity. Businesses do fail, but fear of failure should not deter you from taking that plunge if you truly believe in it.
Also resilience is important. Running a company, especially a startup is a moving and dynamic beast so one has to be quick in adapting to different and complex situations.
How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life? Has the family always been supportive?
I am fortunate to be born in a family of high achievers. My Dad and brother are workaholics with another level of brain power- wish I had that! And my mom has great sense of style. I bounce off our shoe designs off her for a sense check.
It’s been an exciting year juggling with the start up and the MBA concurrently but my family has been extremely supportive (and patient with my tantrums, ha!)
What are your views and opinions towards the ambiguous need to promote women entrepreneurship and women empowerment in India?
Strongly agree. Women have copious amount of skill and potential to be great entrepreneurs and leaders in any field. As a country we are seeing some amazing work being done by women and as they say this is just the beginning. A little encouragement can reap far greater rewards.
Full post here
Ever since she was a little girl, Devika Srimal knew she wanted to run her own business. When she was just seven years old, she wrote in a school essay that she would one day open a chain of stores called ‘Devika & Spencer’ (quite likely influenced by Marks & Spencer).
In her early twenties, she moved to the US to get her bachelor’s degree from the University of Warwick. After studying and working abroad, she returned to India last year – and struggled to find stylish shoes that weren’t made of leather. She realized that international brands were selling mainly leather, and there was a chunk of unbranded players selling non-leather shoes.
I bought a couple of pairs of funky printed canvas shoes from the US, but when I wore it all day in Delhi in peak summer, I felt hot because it was a closed shoe. And being short, I like my heels. All of that fed into my stream of thoughts – I liked canvas as a material, but I wanted to make it open toed or open-backed for the hot Indian climate and add heels,” Devika recalls.
The need to marry comfort with style in footwear that wasn’t made of leather eventually took shape as Kanabis, Devika’s entrepreneurial dream come true. Launched in April 2015, Kanabis is a non-leather, animal-friendly, comfortable and fashionable footwear brand for women.
Kanabis, anyone? ..Read the entire post here
Last Friday I was at the cinema catching a matinee show, much to everyone’s surprise. My friends sitting in their swanky corporate offices sent me those ‘so jealous of you’ texts and emojis. Gone are the days I need approvals from managers and all powers above to watch a movie or visit the dentist on a weekday!
There are indeed perks of being your own boss. One can take off from work when one wants. But is there really a time when start ups can switch off and take off?! Even weekends seem like an alien concept.
As we turn 8 months old, I look back and realize what a crazy ride it has been. All entrepreneurs go through the ‘what have I got myself into’ moment and sure I have felt that way too. There are stressful times when one momentarily wishes to trade for a comfy desk job and a fixed monthly pay cheque (sigh!). But the joy of building, branding, selling and scaling up the business well makes up for it. It’s a long road ahead with plenty of worry and the hidden joy in that worry. Our journey has just begun.
I opened the box; the brown box excited me with the surprise that waited inside. It had white pair of wedge heels covered with lace. A combination so pure, that I felt rejuvenated. I held the elegant pair in my hands, I was startled to notice the weight of this pair, it barely had any. I couldn’t resist any more from embracing my feet with them. I wrapped the straps around my ankle, they perfectly fit me. I stood up to pose to the photographer as it was the shoot day at Kanabis. The first step I took is still locked in my head. The cushion on the heels supported my sole, my feet felt light and if felt comfortable. I didn’t feel that I was wearing inches high heels. The pair complimented me and I posed. We clicked, we laughed and we enjoyed. The moment made me the Cinderella.
A pair of heels that could fill me with such emotions and at the same time did not tire my legs in the course of the shoot. Cinderella are the perfect solution to high heel problems, they are extremely comfortable and beautiful. They are called Cinderella for a reason.
Our classic flats “Daily Bytes” and “Must Haves” have quite a story of their own. They are perfect for office-wear or short walks, go well with jeans, shorts or salwars and the neutral colours make them the ‘any season, anywhere’ kind of footwear. Ladies, young or old, like them.
But liking the shoe isn’t enough. It’s the FIT that matters! We noticed that the foot had to struggle a little with the cross strap, which almost acted as an entry barrier for the foot to wiggle in. Hmm this was not cool. We could not sleep in peace when comfort is our ‘thing’!
We were back at the drawing board and on a mission to iron out this glitch. There were technical shoe discussions, sketches flying across the table as the ideas poured in and several iterations of repairs. We went from removing the cross straps to adding a velcro to adding elastic strips and all combinations of these options one can imagine.
After rounds of elimination due to fitting or aesthetic reasons, we finally decided to add tiny elastic strips to both ends of the strap that gave some extra room for the foot to easily glide in and maintained the original look of the shoe!
A minor tweak comes as a second life to these shoes. It gives flexibility, a sturdy grip and the look is as slick as before!
Can you spot the difference between the original and renewed one?
Monsoon is here with the blissful rain, but also with the sticky humidity. ‘Airy Fairy‘ and ‘Pretty in Pink‘ are the perfect comfort providers in this humid weather. They are an ideal combination of chic and sophistication. Pair these up with a floral dress or a knee length skater skirt with a crop top. Heads will definitely turn around in admiration.
All in one footwear, if you have plans of buying only one pair this monsoon then cash it on Miss-Mesh Tan_Pink_Black_Turquoise. You can adorn your outfit with these pairs at any occasion of the day and night. They are comfortable yet stylish. The various colours offered add up to the style quotient. In short, they are a must have.
3. Cool Riders
This is the season for espadrilles; they are an apt extension to the bohemian style. The lace and mesh combination adds up to the elegance of the shoes. This season they must enter your collection before it’s too late. Pair them up with boyfriend jeans and a loosely fitted top, a maxi or a short dress
Strap you feet and wear those heels. In the latest colours of the season, bright and bold, these strappy heels give a you the fashionista look. A look we all dress up for. These can be carried in the day on a lunch date or in the night at the club. They will enhance the look and the body posture to perfection.
Florals are in and they are here to stay. Florals add an extra elements to the whole look making it look modish yet natural. These closed toe pumps in wedge heel compliment the monsoon and should be a must buy of the season.
Shoes are a girl’s first love. As much as chocolates, bags and jewellery. No shame in having many first loves, right? Speaking of shoes, I have been amused a number of times by my friends’ shoe escapades. My neighbour has 150 pairs of shoes- its not a closet, it’s a ‘shoe-room’ and I’ve seen her cry for them. The grief of the heel wearing off has that effect on few.
One of my friends has a sister and both girls and their mother have the same shoe size. Triples her shoe collection- that’s good maths! But they also occasionally break into shoe wars. Moments I thank my stars I have a brother and never have to share stuff.
My former colleague once woke up at an unearthly hour and took a day off from work to queue early at the Jimmy Choo sample sale. Sure we noticed the spring in her walk the next day. To end this note, I’ll confess that as a little girl I used to prance around in my mothers’ stilettos and fantasize the day I would fit into them. Things those pretty pairs can make you do! Have you got any crazy shoe stories to share?
Ladies, are you confused which shoes to order? Like them ALL but need to try the fit, colour, size and set your heart on the perfect one?
We don’t have our own store (yet) but until then we can bring our store to your door!
Easy-Peasy Three Step Process-
1. Browse through our website and choose all the shoes you want to try
2. Whatsapp us at +91 9871732976 with your list of shoe styles and sizes and provide a date, time and address for delivery
3. We will bring your selected styles to you. You can try and buy what looks and feels best and return the rest. It’s thaaaat simple!
Barely any! Flat fee of Rs. 500 for delivery and service, that will be waived if you buy 3 pairs or more. So you could pool in orders from a bunch of your friends/family and do a Group Booking. We are calling it a Kanabis Shoe Party!
- Applicable in South Delhi ONLY for now- (areas covered- GK, South Extension, Green Park, Saket, New Friends Colony, Defence Colony and the likes)
- Prices of the products will be fixed and consistent with the website. No bargaining on that end, please : )
- Offer valid- all of August 2015
I don’t intend to make a case for or against leather. It’s a personal choice and I respect that. As an animal lover and PETA volunteer, I gave up leather few years ago. Watches, belts, bags were easy to replace but finding animal friendly shoes was a struggle. It was hard enough to find the perfect fit, given my embarrassingly small and narrow feet and to top that with my veggie constraint- shoe shopping became a mission! Non-leather ones either lacked style (very boring, very classic) or the odd few such as Stella McCartney were outside my budget.
When we started Kanabis, it was a no brainer that all our products would be 100% vegetarian. Style, comfort and quality were of course priority and if we can play with funky fabrics on our shoes, are we really missing leather?!
Entrepreneurship is like a Bollywood song and dance about falling in love with passion, obsession and all the craziness of the world. Sounds super cheesy -yes but truth to be told it has all those telling signs. When you eat, talk, sleep, dream that new business you have got your hands on, it becomes your one and only. As a first time entrepreneur, I started with a core business idea, lots of great advise from my mentors, and a diary (can’t function sans one!). Life had taken a 180 from finance to fashion, from corporates to entrepreneurship, from steady salary to shoestring budgets! I was suddenly wearing 10 different hats and worrying about 100 different things. Luckily, I had a good start because I found great people to work with. I’ll never know how our designer Anshul works all night on those gorgeous designs and still rocks up for a 9am- on the dot. Our intern Niharika (under no pressure at all!) comes to work right after finishing exams- isn’t that dedication?! And special shout out for Naina for adding the visual magic to our shoes with her ace photography.
Each day is different. I feel the highs and lows like never before. There is a dance of joy at receiving new samples and frustration at the slow pace of administrative hurdles. Well what’s life without some fun and drama..so we keep it exciting at Kanabis.