Thursday, July 29, 2010

Dreams Never Burn Out By Fire Flames

RECAP: Harshita Lohia is an amazing artist who has created masterpieces of clothing made out of silk. But the road to success was never without tribulations.

You need to understand that though being talented and industrious in all of her hobbies, Harshita’s success was truly created by her perseverance and strong belief in herself.

During our interview, Harshita continued to amaze me in how many times and through many tribulations she got through with flying colors. Here’s an excerpt of the interview where you could learn more about this powerful woman.
CelebrateWoman (CW) What got you started on the path of developing

Harshita Lohia (Harshita) You need to know that I have two major lines in my silk design: one is dedicated to the tea, the other has the delicate floral theme as its leitmotif.

I come from a family of organic tea producers. Naturally, I wanted to incorporate tea motifs into what I do professionally. That’s why tea cups, tea pots, tea leaves, and textured printing play the dominant role in my creations.

My love for travel, ancient and modern architecture, and my cultural background of my native India prompted me to develop my floral line of silks. This line could be described as delicate flowers with architectural impressions inside petals. I love doing something that’s out of ordinary. It is truly who I am when I create unique patterns in seasonal colors that reflect my personal experiences of what I’ve done and what I’ve seen.

CW What was your life before you started this company ... and after ...?

Harshita From as far as I remember myself, I always wanted to have my own business. At school, I always participated in craft shows bringing my own creations that included scarves, bags, pieces of clothing, and even paintings. I held my first personal exhibition in Chitrakoot Art Gallery in Kolkata when I was 15-years-old. I loved painting and wanted to pursue it further on.

I got my Masters in Digital Printing from Philadelphia University. And that’s when I truly started to think of creating my personal business.

Now that I am submerged in my own company, there’s no free moment in my life. I always work on new colors and patterns for each season. My designs are of limited numbers which make them collectibles.

Coming up with something new required a lot of quiet, thinking time, and time of inspiration. I plan my travels to different places and countries to find inspiration for my future designs. That keeps me busy.

CW Who are those remarkable people that influenced your creative, professional, and personal life that lead you to starting and sustaining this company?

Harshita My both parents and my husband, who is an active manager of my business, always supported my ideas and actions.

My dad who travels the world with his tea business, once brought me some paints that I could use for my silk creations. That allowed me to move forward with my what I wanted to do for my personal business.

My husband has been so pro-active and encouraging, teaching me marketing and customer focus. In the beginning, he forced me to go to museums in Londong, Paris, visit Art Galleries to get my own ideas the world’s treasury of masterpieces. I am so thankful to him for doing that. Now, I cannot live without submerging myself into cultural achievements of all sorts.

My grandmother taught me how to be graceful and musical, and creative. Thanks to her, I always play music in the background while I am creating something.

CW Has your involvement with Harshita Designs products and company changed your self-image, and your relationships with family, friends, romantic involvement?

Harshita Yes, my involvement with my company has changed my life. Being busy all the time, I still make time for socializing and networking.

For example, I open my house for crafts shows when a lot of people can come over and see what I do, how I do some things while I create a design. Also, they try on various clothes that I created right in that same house.

I did become more confident in myself as I started seeing people liking my designs and asking for more. That is the most inspiring thing I can ever get!

Having a business also allowed me to contribute to the multiple charities in my area. My favorite are those that involve women and kids. During the year, I usually donate to ten-twelve charities. My last two raised money for little cancer patients and eye-glasses for kids.

CW If you had to do it all over again, would you? And why?

Harshita Yes, I would do it because my passion is so great for what I do. This is the love of my life. My sole sings when I create my designs.

I was fortunate to have supportive husband and parents. Again, I am so thankful to them.

After I graduated from the University and was looking for a job, all my creative portfolio with all of my research of nine years, sketches, paintings was destroyed in a house fire. I was so devastated to be left with nothing to show and present myself to a future employer that I was at a loss what to do. Nobody would hire me without seeing my work. And all of that work was wiped out in one day.

I had to pick myself up and start all over again. Only this time, I became my own employer. It took me some time to get organized, but now I am reaping off results of that hard work.

CW Is there anything that was a surprise to you that you did not expect on your way creating Harshita Designs?

Harshita I was caught by surprise at the speed my business grew. Now, Harshita Designs can be found in over 80 stores and museums nation-wide. Plus, tea-rooms are really interested in my tea pot designs and sell my silks to their customers.

By growing so fast, I want to make sure that the product is never compromised. We use high-end dyes in India and sew garments in New York.

CW How do you see Harshita Designs will effect your life in the future?

Harshita It will keep me very busy, as I am focusing on new designs and new product lines all the time.

I continue to draw and create new things. Would never like to see my silk creations go out of style. That’s why I’m on the creative move all the time.

CW What is the #1 Thing you would like your customers to know about your products?

Harshita That it is unique and hand-made. No mass production for each item.

CW If we talked to All of your family and friends – imagine them in one room at the same time – what would you tell them about what you do? – What would they tell Me about your involvement with your company?

Harshita They would tell you that I love my creative work and have a lot of passion and creativity for what I do.

I came to this country at seventeen. Though my family was conservative, the blessings of my grandparents got me here. All that my maternal grandmother taught me to do (painting, sewing, dancing) got me started working on my career. My father’s side always pushed me to do what I intended to do. That was a great balance I always admired from my grandparents.

CW What keeps you going day after day?

Harshita Passion. I exhibit all the time. For my inspiration, I travel. My last year’s Spring collection was inspired by my trip to Bermuda. My Fall collection happened from my ideas I got by traveling to Spain.

During my travel I just absorb and be.

A lot of colors come from my culture. But I like to blend East and West. So far, I have over 100 designs in clothing and scarves.

CW How do you celebrate: your achievements; mistakes and miscalculations; and even failures?

Harshita I take constructive criticism very well. It helps me growing. I want to resolve mistakes and have a quick resolution, when such mishaps happen.

CW After a long day, when you close your eyes and reflect on the day, just before you go to sleep, what goes through your heart and mind?

Harshita I am very pleased and satisfied with any day. I feel peace, calm, enjoyment, pleasure. It is so empowering to feel that I can do it all.
This woman never stop going and growing and creating her inspirational designs that keep bringing joy and happiness to so many women. Check Harshita’s products in this post: Can Silk Canvas Speak?

PS: If you have any questions to Harshita Lohia, please leave them in the comments below. She will definitely read and answer them.
PPS: If you know a woman-entrepreneur who has created healthy product(s), please let me know, so we could spread the word about her and her contribution to this planet.

Disclosure: I only write about products I believe in personally. I am not compensated for my opinions. 

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