‘Impossible odds set the stage for amazing miracles’ – Jentezen Franklin
Savnit Arora Gurnani is the Founder of Dhaaga & Co, a multi-designer web store that features creations of some of the best chikankari and Mukaish designers of Lucknow. She was a visiting faculty at Pearl Academy, New Delhi and has formally been on fashion teams of Roposo and Femina. She is also a committee member of FICCI FLO – Lucknow chapter.
Starting from being a fashion stylist to opening her own brand, Savnit has come a long way. This online store features collections from 15 handpicked talented Chikankari designers from Lucknow and celebrates the heritage and culture of Awadh art through their exclusive chikankari work.
“When I left Delhi to move to Lucknow, my then colleagues said it’s a waste of my talent and experience. I had nominal expectations from my city in terms of my ambition but Lucknow’s art, culture and unexplored talent truly outperformed!” Savnit tells Dailyhunt.
Savnit had done her graduation in design and styling from Pearl Academy. Thereafter she worked on a number of creative projects and established her love for creative thinking. She worked in the fashion industry for three years and then moved to Lucknow. She had this notion that Lucknow is still in its growing stage when it comes to fashion and there are better opportunities in places like Mumbai and Delhi. Nevertheless she was aware of the rich culture and heritage which presides in this place and the craft of Chikankari is famous here. Having this idea, she thought of promoting the cultural richness of Lucknow in her own way and hence started with her brand Dhaaga & Co. She successfully assembled 15 fashion designers who were up for this challenge to showcase the beauty of Lucknow as a community.
Dhaaga & Co. is all about beautiful Chikankari and Kamdaani (also commonly called Mukaish and Badla) work in different designer outfits. Their range of collection starts from Classic White Chikankari Anarkalis, Premium Designer Sarees in Pure Georgettes and Chiffons, Organza suit sets, luxury Lehengas to everyday chikankari Kurtas and Designer Kurtis. Apart from the ethnic indian styles, they have also added contemporary styles like co-ord sets, chikankari tops and jacket and much more. The vibrancy of all their outfits as well as some modern designs on it adds a contemporary charm to them. They are promoting the Indian handicrafts in their own aesthetic way. They not only keep the heritage of Indian culture alive but also support local artisans and their craftsmanship.
The quality, variety and craftsmanship is what they focus on primarily. All of Dhaaga & Co’s products are authentic chikankari and each collection has a unique voice in terms of style and taste. The variety of fabrics used ranges from handloom Jamdani, Mulmul, Chanderi to Chiffon, Georgette, Organza, Linen, Tussar and many more. It is noteworthy how the company promotes their work along with encouraging and helping artisans and craftsmen to create more to keep their legacy intact.
“The biggest danger to success isn’t failure, it’s doubt! Don’t let fear and thoughts leave you incapacitated from the thought of trying. Because there really is only one certainty in entrepreneurship: Without action, an idea is nothing.” adds Savnit
During their initial days Dhaaga & Co. had to face their own set of struggles. Public has patronized Chikankari ensembles for years now and has strong allegiances to the brands that procure the same for them. For Dhaaga & Co. one of the major challenges was to secure a loyal client base. The pandemic didn’t help them either. Though COVID-19 has pushed back some of the plans that were in the pipeline, there’s no stopping Savnit. She says she is looking to expand the retail presence of Dhaaga & Co. in the near future. Overcoming all this they have today reached a place where they are renowned for their work and people love buying their products. Dhaaga has made associations with the biggest names in influencer industry like international blogger Masoom Minawala and Kompal Matta Kapoor , the draping diva, Dolly Jain, Television heartthrob Divyanka Tripathi, to name a few. A fruitful experience overall.