If you can visualize it, you can make it happen.
Sipping her favorite Starbucks coffee ‘Nina Lekhi’ the owner and creator of the renowned global bag brand Baggit recalled her journey of passion and determination to make fashion bags a style statement for the urban women of India. Today Baggit has over 75+ stores spread across the country embarking the growth of fashion bags. The brand also reaches people through 450+ stores of Lifestyle and Pantaloons.
Baggit offers well thought range of products to suit the interests of the modern women, and to add glamour and confidence to herself. Nina’s goal is to be accessible to every Indian woman and to make them believe that fashion is not just a choice but a right as a woman, as an individual.
The BizZing team got a chance to meet Nina for a chat to discuss her entrepreneurial journey. Here is a crux of the interview
When did you realize that creation of fashion bags was your calling?
As a child I was always inclined to art and creativity. Though I never knew that this would be my career and convert as a passion. Though this happened by mere luck.
I was teacher’s favorite in school and always scored good grades but when I was admitted to a fine arts college, things weren’t the same. The excitement of a college life was so overwhelming, I hardly attended my classes. The result? I could not get through my first semester exams. This failure that I was unused to, took a toll on me. I was devastated.
During this time, I started stitching bags at home because art did the magic that nothing else did to me. It gave me a sense of freedom and I felt connected to the world again through colorsand creativity.
And I was lucky that people started buying my bags and liked what I made. This gave me a boast. That moment I decided this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. And that’s when the journey of Baggit started. My work will always remain my first priority and first love.
What were the different strategies you used to build such a strong market reach?”
Slow and steady, wins the race.
The most important aspect of running a successful business is to love your work and be passionate about the your goals. I cannot express my love for bags in words. My team always strives to make the best designs for the extraordinary women who are our customers. If you have the valor and passion to make things happen, believe me there is no one stopping you. Your passion will do the talking for your products.
My aim was to expand my business and reach millions of people. I never created a plan of action or a checklist to reach my goal. Just kept looking at my goals and worked towards it dedicatedly. I worked towards bringing the best quality products at affordable prices for my women of India.
There is no rest or break when you want to make your dreams come true. Choose the right and happy path for your passion and believe the power of the universe.
How is India as a market for fashion?
Unfortunately we Indians believe fashion is a luxury and not what normal people can have. Fashion is a right and each one can flaunt their own style without any restrictions. Nevertheless, fashion has the power to transform you as a person. It gives you an essence of freedom and the valor to stand out from the crowd.
The dilution in the fashion industry has refrained to let the Indian designers grow. Chinese products still eat up a large chunk of our industry. We have to make firm steps and raise the bar for the Make in India project. Each one has to break the stereotype of buying China products because it hampers the economy and employment of our country. We have to be sensitive and start thinking about the welfare of the country.
How do you overcome obstacles and problems in business and daily life?
One can never have a hassle-free journey towards success. You have to face challenges and problems because there is no other way. The most important aspect to tackle challenges is a calm mind and a passionate soul. You have to train your mind to be calm at all difficulties thrown at you. After 25 years of my industry experience I still feel the need to mediate and practice yoga to keep myself calm and work with determination.
There is always more room for perspiration and inspiration.
There is no substitute to hard work. If you have the power to dream, you can make it come true. When I started our first store Atria, I fought with problems every single day. Juggling amongst a nuclear family, small baby and work was a challenging task but if you love what you do, there is no stopping. Believe in the principles and values you set for your business. This will take you a long way. Never do things that you feel are not right.Be passionate and love what you do in the right way!
What would you advise the upcoming fashion entrepreneurs?
I’ll say this again and again – the key to a getting the best to the industry is to enjoy and love what you do, otherwise, it won’t work.
Even today I get up at 5 A.M and listen to inspirational talks and design bags. It is very important to keep yourself and your colleagues in the inspired state. I strongly believe in yoga and meditation because it helps you build patience and calmness. If you shout you will attract the same kind of people around you that is the law of attraction. Thus, keep cleaning your inner self and it will help you build your brand. Believe in your experience and doors will keep opening for you
Nina Lekhi’s spectacular journey is yet another example of how determination and a goal-oriented approach are the key to building an empire. And not to miss, a calm mind that gives you the power to break down road blocks.