If any of you have stepped foot into the 3 storied Ekaya store in Defence Colony and gotten lost in the stunning banarasi weaves there- join the club. We recently had a WMG shoot there, and got talking to Palak- the soul behind the brand. Apart from the fact that she has super amazing hair , she got talking about starting Ekaya . This is her story.
How Ekaya Started…
“I had just finished my undergrad in 2012 and had come home for a break before I would go back to England and look for a job in the finance sector. While I was in India, dad and I would talk about opening a retail store in Delhi, where we’d be able to promote Indian crafts / weaves in our own way and take the textiles of Benares to a global level. Back then, the textile market was heavily dominated by what the consumers demanded, often forcing us (my family business) to create textiles that weren’t particularly what we would’ve created if given a choice. My family is full of creative people and because of such a scenario our creativity was always curbed. Ekaya thus began as an outlet to showcase our creativity as well as the numerous other things Benares had to offer. We then decided to take forward our dream of creating such a place and my dad asked me to join him in this venture and I jumped on board. From then on my journey with the brand began. I moved to Delhi for it and from then on, I haven’t looked back. Ekaya now is present in three cities and we have an online presence as well as a new sub brand that I launched this month (Ekaya Thaan).
8 am – I wake up around 8 in the morning and head to the gym. After I get back home, I spend some time planning the day ahead while eating breakfast and getting ready for work. I honestly do not apply too much makeup. It is only when I go out. On an everyday basis, it ends up being just a touch of blush to brighten my face a little.
11 am – I head to work around 11. First, I take a round of all the three floors to check what’s going on where. After that I hold my scheduled meetings to take stock of everything , plan for the meetings ahead and brainstorm for my new projects etc. I am a little old school so I usually use a note pad and of-course the calendar app on the phone to keep me updated on my meetings etc.
I would describe my work style as casual chic. I wear things that I am comfortable in and makes me feel good. I don’t stick to a particular kind of look- It all depends on what I’m feeling that day – could sometimes be very formal or very Indian or just very casual. I like stuff at Sustain, Good Earth for ethnics and for westerns I usually end up picking up stuff from small boutiques here and there. I am not too crazy about wearing stuff from the more talked about brands as you end up seeing the whole town wearing the same things !
4 pm – The only one thing which turned Ekaya or my new baby, Ekaya Thaan from an idea to reality is that I never stopped dreaming and that I stuck to my vision. There were many people who I met along the way who advised me against the idea or told me to change the way I did things but somehow my gut told me to continue doing the things I was doing and believe in my dream and here I am. I truly believe that if your belief in something is very strong and you truly want your dream to come true, it will. I truly put all my faith in Ekaya and one thing led to another. As unbelievable as it sounds, I love what I do and I love when challenges are thrown at me or when I am told I can’t do something. It is then I truly I feel that I am working or using my brain. Yes, when I began working at the age of 21, it was very hard for a young girl like me to start a brand and work with people much older to me but it was a wonderful experience now that I look back at it. It taught me so much and if anything, it made me stronger.
To aspiring women entrepreneurs, I’d like to say – Believe in yourself and you can achieve anything you dream of. We as women are capable of so much more than we can ever think of. Once we decide that we want something, nothing can stop us because of our resilience and grit.
8 pm – I wind up my day at work by around 8 and head back home to spend time with myself and unwind. I am very particular about my skin so I do end up taking care of it a lot. Using the right face wash, the right cream or cleaning my face thoroughly using a hot towel before sleeping are some of the things I do to take care of it.”
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