Monday, May 2, 2016

Put your best foot forward with "Pastels & Pop"! (Featured Shop)

New Style Alert People! The Bengaluru based, "Pastels and Pop"(P&P) is the new rage in designer handcrafted juttis. The Chhabra sisters have successfully given the old-style Punjabi juttis, a new modern avatar. The modern juttis not only complement traditional Indian attire, but also western outfits. In an array of stunning designs and colors, the footware has options for every occasion - be it the everyday casual look or the occasional dress up. We sat down with Akanksha Chhabra (one of the two co-founders of P&P) to discuss about their brand and inspirational entrepreneurial journey so far. 
TECD: Hello and welcome to TECD Akanksha! Delighted to have the opportunity to connect with you. Let’s start by asking you, the thought behind the name “Pastels and Pop”?

Akanksha : “Thank you Sruthi for showcasing Pastels and Pop on TECD. 

Our products speak the language of color. While we make Juttis in POP colors like a bright pink or a lush red, we also play around with earthy/pastel colors like lemon yellow, pista green and soft peaches. Pastels represent the essence of traditional handcrafted Juttis, and, by having added a pop factor to them, we are redesigning Juttis for the modern woman. So the name is an attempt to express these amalgams.”
TECD :Tell us more about the duo that is the heart and soul of Pastels and Pop? 

Akanksha: “We are two sisters, Akanksha Chhabra and Aarti Chhabra, who are the co founders of Pastels & Pop. I, Akanksha, am an ex-software professional with a Bachelors’ Degree in Engineering. But my lifelong passion of designing lured me into this industry. I have always had this dream of starting my own enterprise, and now my dream has come true.

My younger sister Aarti, pursuing Bachelors in Business Management, is in her final year. Creativity runs through her blood and finds its way into her hands, which is why she’s amazing at sketching and art. Our mutual interest in clothing and accessories led us on the path to Pastels & Pop.”
TECD: Let's rewind to the time that Pastels and Pop came into being? 

Akanksha : “My sister and I have a never ending love affair with the Indian Jutti. Our initial years were spent in the heart of Punjab, and we always adored the Juttis our mother used to buy.

In December 2014, my sister Neha, was about to get married. It was the first wedding in our family, so we were naturally very excited about the preparations. As everyone knows, the Big Indian Wedding is all about grandeur with the clothes being a huge part of that. Naturally inclined towards designing and dressmaking right from childhood, the three of us then created and designed all our outfits from scratch, and brought our sister’s dream wedding outfit to life.

When we received innumerable compliments throughout the wedding for our clothes and shoes, that’s when it hit us! First, we absolutely loved the designing process, and, second, there’s a huge, vacant market in Bangalore and other South Indian cities for quality designer ethnic wear which is also affordable. We went about doing our research and in July 2015, Pastels & Pop debuted with its first ever Jutti collection!”
TECD: What according to you is the USP of Pastels and Pop? 

Akanksha: “Our major USP is that our collection is, and always will be, versatile! We cater to the palettes of ladies of a wide age group; some of our Juttis provoke elegance, while some can get downright funky, so that you can have a pair of P&P Juttis for any occasion!

Apart from that, we also like to believe that we are one of those companies who actually believe that customer is king. We take customer reviews very seriously, and ensure to always maintain a high level of customer satisfaction.”
TECD: How would you describe your ideal Pastels and Pop woman ?

Akanksha: “The ideal Pastels & Pop woman is any woman. We like to believe that each and every woman is born beautiful. Every lady is a Cinderella, looking for her pair of glass slippers. There doesn't always have to be a Prince Charming for you to feel special; we at P&P would love to make your fairytale come true!”
TECD: Tell us more about your creative process in bringing a pair of juttis into existence?

Akanksha: “At Pastels & Pop, special care is taken to make sure that the finest detail of each Jutti is perfect.
The designs that we introduce are not accidental or arbitrary. A lot of thought goes into the type of prints and elements that we choose, embroidery techniques we employ, and the base colors that we use, so that they intersect with the taste of the modern woman.”
TECD: Your most memorable experience w.r.t. Pastels and Pop?

Akanksha : “Our first order, a Bride ordered our juttis for her wedding functions and after the wedding she left us a beautiful email in which she told us about how much she loved wearing our juttis and how comfortable they were! Not to mention the number of compliments she got! It always feels amazing when clients take time to click pictures in our juttis and send them to us with lots of love and appreciation. And the biggest compliment for us is, when they order with us again :)”
TECD: What has been your success mantra as small business owner? 

Akanksha: “Just believe in yourself and your idea. Pay attention to detail. Customer service is the biggest aspect for any company, so make sure you keep your customer's happy by providing them with the best product and best support.”
TECD: What’s next on the cards for Pastels and Pop?

Akanksha: “We have received love and appreciation from not only our India based clientele but also international clients. While we have handled individual international orders offline until now, we plan to go international very soon, by expanding our reach into the world market, ensuring that all our customers around the world have a hassle free buying experience.”
When it comes to footware haven, Pastels & Pop it is as you don't have to choose between style or comfort! The floral and printed ones pair well with jeans, shorts and dresses. While the embellished ones go beautifully with salwars, chudidars, sarees and lehengas. To stay abreast of their latest summer collection SS16 that launches this June, connect with P&P via their FB page and Instagram. This collection is going to showcase juttis that are perfect for a bright summer. Be it a day at the office, a day out with friends, or even a wedding! The summer collection has pairs that range from monochrome, floral to embellished beauties in an array of colors. To get yours today, click here. They are also available online at Ikkivi, Pernia's Pop up Shop and The Wedding Brigade.

Thank you Akansha for taking the time to connect with us! We wish you and Aarti all the very best in your entrepreneurial journey!

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