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.
Could you tell us a little about yourself?
What’s the inspiration behind your work? What makes it unique?
Which shoe designers do you admire the most and why?
Which is your most treasured piece of work from your collection?
The coolest designing tip you have ever received?
Kanabis is a new idea, new product, new company but the dream and aspiration to start something on my own was old. It was growing with me since I was little..a little girl with big dreams. My mind used to churn out different business ideas- crazy, whacky ones for the most part. I would bounce them off with my brother and at one point I remember his reply was “your ‘new’ idea actually exists and it’s called Google”. We had a good laugh and I had to rest my case.
Ideas never stopped but recently when I stumbled on the idea of venturing into footwear, it made me stop to think and re-think. As I dug myself from head to heel into it, I was convinced that I found that something I was looking for. That something we now call Kanabis.