From playing dress up as little girls to realising a childhood dream of making chic, fashionable clothing, Nina's is a story is how dreams can come true when women come together and give each other a leg up.
Their family was sceptical because both of them had no experience in managing a business and also because motherhood took up most of their time.
When sisters Vedika Fitkariwala and Nina Agarwala wanted to become entrepreneurs a few years ago, their family was sceptical of their ambitions, particularly because both of them had no experience in managing a business and also because motherhood took up most of their time. But as fate had it, they met Suman Kedia—who was no novice to the world of business—and together they proved their biggest critics wrong when they fulfilled a childhood dream to start a successful clothing brand called Nina's.
Suman became an entrepreneur 15 years ago when her little boy was just five months old, after a failed family business threatened financial stability. She rose to the occasion and that was the beginning of a clothing business that blossomed in the years to come. Business did so well, in fact, she even built her house with her hard-won earnings.
But as with any business that has its ups and downs, Suman had trouble keeping up with the latest trends in the market and with increased competition, the business was not looking as current as it once was. She shut shop, but longed to get back to a business she was so passionate about.
Years after closing her store, she connected with Vedika and Nina, who shared her passion for clothing. And with Suman's expertise in the end-to-end textile market and Vedika and Nina's passion for design, they launched Nina's. And today, their success is one that many of the country's showrooms are testimony to.
Starting small, they were selling as few as 20-30 pieces a month to begin with. But business really took off, and their designs and dresses were sought after. Before they knew it, they were selling hundreds of outfits a month.
From designing, purchasing, tailoring to supplying to leading stores in Delhi, Kolkata and Hyderabad, this trio runs Nina's with utmost ease in spite of living in three different cities.
Working mom woes
But being a working mother is no easy feat. As Suman says, "Being a working mother is tough. There is no time limit, it's not a 10am-5pm job. While people come in whenever they like to buy clothes, we also have to looking into manufacturing and production. And managing labour is the toughest job of all—their off day is supposed to be just Monday, but they end up not showing up to work on Saturday and Sunday too."
Being a working mother is tough. There is no time limit, it's not a 10am-5pm job. Suman Kedia
But despite these challenges, business is better than it has ever been. Work is on to open an exclusive retail outlet and to take part in the Amazon Fashion Week next year in Delhi and Mumbai.
The men behind their women
Behind every successful woman, we hope there is a man standing behind her and pushing her to reach her highest potential. Thankfully, in this case, this is true. Nina lives in Siliguri in West Bengal and travels often on business, leaving her 7-year-old son in the care of her husband, who has always been a hands-on father. She says, "My in-laws too are very supportive and automatically, there is balance in life."
For those interested, Nina's fashionable clothing can be found in stores in Delhi like Gyaans, Calcutta's Aura, Hyderabad's Oorja and Elahe, and Ahmedabad's Kaash.