We had a tête-à-tête with Akanksha Redhu, the celebrated Fashion and Lifestyle blogger of AkankshaRedhu.com, her blog being voted as the top most trend blogs in India according to The Economic Times. She is a proud owner of accessories and handbags label Cirare. The Cirare creations are reflective of her individuality – her bohemian spirit, love for travel and beaches find an expression through the clutches and totes and scarves. She secretly harbours the desire to be a Marine Biologist or Sea Diving instructor.
The Cirare products are available at stores in Khan Market and Hauz Khas in New Delhi and at Sacha’s Shop in Goa. The products are also available online at Etsy.com and Pernia Pop Up Shop, and they also deliver outside India.
You were already an avid and established blogger. How did the inception of Cirare come about? I was creatively tied-up and frustrated because when you work for another label, you obviously do not have the creative freedom that you’d have if you are your own boss. That is why I started with Cirare, just to celebrate my creative freedom and passion for creating things not bound by any rules. My love for travel is reflected in my products and prints.
Being an artist and entrepreneur simultaneously can get quite knotty. How do you maintain the delicate balance? It’s tough but it has to be done! When I’m at my studio working on new graphics or designs, I automatically zone out from everything else. I get so caught up with making new stuff that the other issues don’t bother me at that time. It’s only when I tune out of that ‘creating new graphics’ zone that I start to think about other aspects of the business like promotion, overheads and finances.
The prints and the use of natural material is quite definitive of your brand Cirare. How important and commercially viable is it to use environmentally friendly raw materials? It is as important as you set it out to be. There are plenty of big labels that are very successful even without being eco-friendly and flouting rules and regulations, so there is only your own interest and conscience that you must satisfy. It’s very much commercially viable. Sure, there’s a bit more market research and sourcing you might have to do but once the process is identified and steps fixed, it becomes a cycle.
What are your future plans for Cirare. Are you considering adding on to more accessories besides totes, clutches and scarves? I do fantasise about introducing more categories of products but I know I must be realistic for the moment, careful to take on what I can manage myself. The most important thing, for me, is that I love and enjoy it!
Social media is imperative to business today. Which is/ are your preferred platforms and how has it affected your business? Preferred platforms are Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. These have really helped me know my customers and understand them better. There is nothing better than a direct dialogue with your customer and social media helps in building that for me.
And some quick questions…..
If you were at a casino and won a jackpot, how would you spend it? I would make a year long cruise plan where I’d travel as much as the winning amount would allow.
Who is your fashion inspiration and why? I don’t really look towards anyone as a ’fashion’ inspiration. It’s about expressing yourself and being comfortable in it. You need to find what works for you.
Favourite shopping destinations? The local malls for labels, Dilli Haat for handicrafts and ASOS for instant trend shopping
The first thing you notice about someone’s outfit? How comfortable and confident they look wearing it.
A fashion rule you think is almost sinful to break? Rules aren’t always meant to be followed. I think it’s great to break fashion rules. It’s not healthy to take fashion so seriously. If you are comfortable with wearing a huge fashion mistake then that’s the biggest boost you can give to yourself and your image.
Favourite fashion basics you can’t do without? A crisp white shirt, black overcoat, a perfectly fitted blazer and well fitted denims. And pearls.
This interview was taken by Kavya Karla, a Branding and Corporate Communications professional with expertise in the Lifestyle space. A language enthusiast currently in love with Español, Kavya Kalra brings on the table something that could be called an intriguing motley.