Sunday, 4 December 2016

Lookbook: How to style Anita, tan kolhapuri sandals

Hola!

Things have been completely cray with the full flown wedding season, the super-festive Christmas time, the shocking demonetization and what not. It's been a while since we did a lookbook post; so I thought why not do a feature with our Anita kolhapuri sandals for this time of the year. It's super-comfy, has a pretty ethnic vibe to it and most importantly, you can slip in and out of it with ease. I have been wearing 'Anita' for my friends' wedding functions- from mehendi to wedding (yep, I even wore it with a saree so I could dance in the baaraat with no care in the world).

So here are three ways you can style our tan and neon, handcrafted Kolhapuri sandals. Take a look!

Look 1: Wear them for a fun day out with a cute floral dress and funky, bright sunnies.

Look 2: Anita can be best worn this December with all those pretty kurtas and ethnic wear for weddings. Just add some bangles and pretty earrings, and you're all set. 


 Look 3: This is one of my favorites. Slip into Anita and pair it with an all white outfit to add some edge. Pair it with a beige or nude bag and bright lipstick to complete the look.


On a day to day basis I wear these to work everyday with a pair of jeans and light coloured tops and shirts. They go particularly well with a white shirt or kurta and a pair of denims.

Hope you liked this lookbook featuring our kolhapuri shoes. If you have any more suggestions, do share them with us! You can buy a pair of Anita here.

Shoe love, 
Dev B
Shoe Designer, Entrepreneur

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Stockists, we are looking for you.

Hi!

I'm so pleased to announce that the Devika Bharadwaj label is now looking for in-store, brick and mortar stockists.

Connect with us if you retail unique, handcrafted and indigenous fashion products in India. We're looking for multi designer stores and partners in the offline retail space, particularly in Mumbai, Delhi, Goa, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Pune and Bangalore.



Ours is one of the most popular shoe labels in the online fashion space and we're looking for more business opportunities in the brick and mortar format to reach out to more fashion and shoe lovers. If you too are looking for fresh, new labels and love our products, please write to us at query(at)devikabharadwaj.com. Also, see our contact page for more ways to talk to us.

Shoe love, 
Dev B
Shoe Designer, Entrepreneur

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Workout Wednesday: Yoga

Hola!

Hope you found our first post in the Workout Wednesday series on Stretching helpful. Next up is one form of exercise that I absolutely, personally love!

YOGA
Among tens and hundreds of benefits of Yoga, here are few to motivate you to get you downward dogging....
  • Builds flexibility, strength and good posture
  • Improves bone health
  • Increases blood flow and immunity
  • Keeps adrenal glands in good health
  • Improves focus
  • Keeps you happy and stress-free 
  • Helps relax, mentally and physically 
  • Increases inner strength and self esteem 
  • Helps fix digestive disorders 
  • Mind-body-soul connection 
Impressive, eh? The internet is filled with cool guides, videos and tutorials on practicing yoga at home. So if you need something that you can do as soon as you wake up, while still in your pyjamas... Yoga is it. So we've taken the liberty to help you with all the resources you're gonna need to get started. Not only are we listing links to cool guides and tutorials, we're listing 4 tried and tested asanas that you can do every day in just 15 minutes and change your life

4 asanas you gots to do every day! 

1. Pranayam: Anulom-vilom, kalabhati, bhastrika... whatever floats your snot boat, get to it. Breathing exercises are a must for your body, mind and soul. Recommended for beginners: Anulomvilom. 

Image Source: http://www.ndtv.com/sites/fitnesschallenge/detailsblog/5-yoga-poses-you-should-do-every-morning-783270 
2. Janu Sirsasana: The only forward bending, leg stretching asana you could need to get you all flexed up. 
Image Source: http://www.yogajournal.com/slideshow/10-yoga-poses-do-every-day/ 
3. Uttitha Trikona Asana: Great for the sides of the body and spine.
Image Source: http://www.yogajournal.com/slideshow/10-yoga-poses-do-every-day/ 
4. Viparita Karni: I personally love this pose and I bet you will too if you do this every day after work. It's so relaxing and reinvigorating.
Image Source: http://www.yogajournal.com/slideshow/10-yoga-poses-do-every-day/ 
Over and above these 4 simple asanas, you can check these sites to add to and improve your yoga practice:

  1. http://www.traditionalyoga.co.in/
  2. http://www.yogajournal.com/
  3. https://www.doyogawithme.com/ 
  4. http://yoga-india.net/ 
  5. http://www.yogapoint.com/ 
  6. http://yoga-india.net/ 


If you have any comments, feedback or asanas to share with us, please, please, please do You can even send in pictures or videos that we can share with our social media followers.

Shoe love, 
Dev B
Shoe Designer, Entrepreneur

Monday, 8 August 2016

We are hiring!

Hola!

We're growing fashion startup, helping shoe lovers put step after step forward in style. We retail handcrafted, designer shoes for women online and via pop-up events. We're looking for enthusiastic individuals who want to be involved in a startup, age no bar. You don't have to know everything or be a know-it-all in what you apply for, as long as you are eager to figure it out and get things done. 


Vacancies

Social Media Manager 
- Intern
- Commitment- 1-2 hours a day
- Knowledge of Photoshop/any design software must
- Good writing skills
- Up to speed with social media trends and buzz
- Minimum commitment of 6 weeks

Content Writer 
- Intern
- Commitment- 1-2 hours a day
- Good writing skills and command over English
- Previous blogging experience a plus
- Interested in fashion and have basic awareness about fashion industry
- Minimum commitment of 6 weeks

B2B sales and Business Development
- Freelancer/ Intern
- Incentive-based
- Previous experience a must
- Good communication and sales skills
- Minimum commitment of 6 weeks

Public Relations 
- Freelancer/ Intern
- Incentive-based
- Previous experience a plus
- Good communication and sales skills
- Minimum commitment of 6 weeks

Where will you work from? 
Whether you get work done in your pj's in bed, or while sippin' coffee at Starbucks, it's totally your call! Our office is located in Wadala, so we're looking for Mumbai based folks who can drop in by the HQ once in a while for catching up'. 

Sounds cool? Here's how you can apply...
First off, we'd love to know more about you- not the CV version of you. But, you. So write to us with a wee bit about yourself in brief (no fluff needed) along with your CV (we do need to know what you have done and where you can take us). That's all. 

Write to us at query@devikabharadwaj(dot)com with the job title in the subject line. If you'd like to be associated with us in any other way than mentioned above, feel free to tell us about it. Also, don't forget to share this with someone you think may be interested. College students, retirees and in-betweeners are welcome to apply. 

Can't wait to hear from you guys!

Shoe love, 
Dev B
Shoe Designer, Entrepreneur

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Workout Wednesday: Stretching

Hola!

I've loved wearing high heels for as long as I can remember. I'm no Wonder Women, so my feet do get tired of dancing and jumping in them after a couple hours. Even so, I've more or less been comfortable and comparatively less achy when wearing high heels, and I've realized that that's because of all the dancing and sports I've done growing up. Sounds randomly weird? Well, it's not.

All that exercise has made my legs much stronger than what they probably would have been without. This in turn helps me be on my feet (or toes) for a fair bit of time. Given all the recent push to exercise, sports and dancing as a lifestyle for women I thought why not share some easy tips for our shoe lovers so they can have a stronger, healthier body and some motivation to do so.

So here comes a something new from the Devika Bharadwaj HQ for you. Say hello to: 

#WorkoutWednesday

The idea is that every Wednesday, we're going to share with you some tips, exercises, asanas, information or anything under the sun to help you move your body. Literally. So as a first, starting with something fairly easy but important, we've got Stretching for you!


There are plenty of guides, tutorials and videos out there focusing on stretches for various age groups and body types. A 5 minute google hunt will lead you to something that suits your body. I've listed a few simple stretches that I've learned over dance and yoga lessons.
(Please note: reader discretion is advised before practicing any of our suggestions.)

  1. For quad muscles
    Stand next to a wall sideways. Lift the outer leg backwards, getting your foot to your butt, and hole it there with your hands. You can take support of the wall with the hand that's close to it. Or if you feel confident enough, you can raise the opposite hand upwards to give a nice full body stretch.  Repeat with the other leg, and don't forget to breathe!
  2. For inner thighs 
    Again, stand sideways next to a wall. Taking support of the wall that's inwards, slowly lift the opposite leg sideways & outward and then bring it back. Repeat a 3-5 times (as comfortable to you) and then repeat with the other leg.
  3. Uttanasana
    This is one of my favorite yoga asanas and stretching exercises. Simply stand with the feet together, then from the hips, get your torso forward, towards your legs. Place your hands on your feet (or drop them wherever comfortable; no stress). After a few seconds, come back up lifting your upper body from your hips again. Note: keep your knees slightly bent and not locked to avoid injury. 

Just doing these for 10 minutes a day will also help unwind and relax your body. Stretching does have a lot of benefits, such as:

  • This one’s a given: it increases your flexibility.
  • Improves posture
  • Strengthens muscles
  • It helps relieve tension from your body & mind. Bid adieu to stress!

I hope you like our #WorkoutWednesday idea. If you have any comments, feedback or suggestions to share with us, please, please, please do so! You can even send in pictures or videos that we can share with our social media followers.

Shoe love, 
Dev B
Shoe Designer, Entrepreneur


Monday, 11 July 2016

How to effortlessly maintain your shoes during monsoon


Being a Bombay girl through and through, I love the monsoon. I love adrak wali chai, the hot snacks, the cool wind and the green landscape. I love everything about this weather!

Well… almost. I do hate the muddy roads, the increase in traffic and I particularly hate what happens to a lot of my stuff due to the insane spike in humidity levels.

I’ve met many shoe lovers during exhibitions who fret about buying leather shoes out of fear of maintaining them this season, and I’ve met people who really just don’t bother taking care of their shoes. 
Whether you fall in either of these categories or another one altogether, here are a few ‘hacks’ for you so you can walk through this weather in ease. 


  1. Get the crap out of your shoes.  
    Don’t let damp mud remain on your shoes after use. I know this can seem cumbersome (and eeky), especially if you spend a bit of time walking outdoors. However, particularly during monsoon, it is important to get the goo out before it hardens and attracts moss or fungal growth on the shoes. Just rub your shoes well on the door mat and wipe them clean. Easy peasy.
    Extra tip: Clean the pair using a damp cloth and NOT a wet one.

  2. It's time for a dry spell.  
    Your shoes love dry spells! It is a good practice to switch between shoes every day in this weather and letting each pair dry before you wear it again. Not only would it maintain the quality of the material, but also keep your shoes great looking for a longer period of time. Allowing your shoes to dry under the fan is the best way to air them out.

  3. Stuff ‘em with some gossip.  
    Once completely dry, stuff your shoes with some newspaper (or the paper that comes stuffed in your Devika Bharadwaj shoe box) to help them retain the shape. For all the men out there, if you've invested in a shoe tree, you're awesome! But if you haven't, fret not. Newspapers work as a great substitute.
    Careful though! If your shoes have a lighter insole or lining and they haven't dried well, avoid using newspaper, as it could lead to ink stains from the paper.  
Sure, you've invested in a good, quality pair of shoes; but these small tricks increase their 'rack-life' by leaps and bounds. I hope these tips help you maintaining your shoes longer.
Got some more? Tell me now in the comments below! 

Shoe love, 
Dev B
Shoe Designer, Entrepreneur

Friday, 6 May 2016

Musings: From sketch to shoe

Hola! 

After over a year of hard work on launching and working on the label, I decided to take a much needed break and go touring this April. I travelled right from north-east India all the way to Western Europe. Away from mobile network most of the time, I got to do what I hope I would: a fresh perspective and loads of energy to plan the next tasks.

The first thing I did after a month-long vacation, 13 hours-long flight and less than 4 hours of sleep was to head to office the next morning... That's how excited I was to get back to work! Times like these you realize you truly like what you do. After handling a laundry list of emails, calls, this and that, I got to the most fun bit of designing: sketching. Of course, we have loads coming up for you, and the planning for the next collection is already in the works. Since I can't share much on that just yet, I thought I'd share a bit more about the working of our previous collections. 

Each collection takes anywhere between 2-3 months from designing to production stage. A lot of steps are involved, such as: mood-boarding, designing, sketching, sampling, testing for fit, sourcing, until the final production begins. Many samples never make it to the final production; they get rejected due to sizing, colour-issues or I just don't think they seem right with the rest of the collection. I also test the samples for fit and comfort myself, so for some samples, I've had them remade as many as five times until I got the desired fit. 

Here's a glimpse of some of the 'before' and 'after' pictures (at least whatever I could find) to show you the evolution. Enjoy!


The final sketch for Rianna, from our Autumn-Winter 2015 collection.

I wasn't very happy with the way this shade of tan and purple turned out for Anita, from our Spring-Summer '16 collection. So the sample was revised to a brighter, happier colour that it boasts of now (right). 

Choosing the right buckle for Liza took weeks! We sourced buckles from all sorts of places, and even sampled this diamond-encrusted, round one you see on the left. It lacked a certain relaxed, chic look I wanted with Liza. So we hunted a bit more and finally found this square, antique-finish one. 

I hope you enjoyed this post and got a glimpse of the shoe designing process from inception to completion. In other news, we're coordinating a give-away of a pair from the SS-'16 collection with Nidhi Kunder, and it starts today! Follow both of us on Instagram to know more and participate. We also have a Flat Rs. 100/- discount going on until 8th May, Sunday on account of Mother's Day. Seriously, our moms are so much more into fashion than us, that we owe it to them to move over sweet treats, mugs and flowers. Take them e-shopping on our store and gift them a pair of DB's! Use the code 'MOM2016' on checkout to avail this offer.

Shoe love, 
Dev B
Shoe Designer, Entrepreneur

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Why are handmade shoes so popular?

Hello, folks!

Ever since I've learnt how to make shoes and launched the label, a lot of friends and relatives ask me what's so special about handcrafted shoes, among many other queries about the art of shoe making. People find handmade shoes really expensive, and no doubt they are. However, that's because they offer a lot more than run-of-the-mill footwear. Here's a list of a few reasons I think why. 

  1. All Devika Bharadwaj shoes are handcrafted in Mumbai, India.
    Quality:- Unlike off-the-rack shoes which are more often than not made of faux leather and other synthetic materials, handmade shoes are made using good quality leather. As a material for shoes, leather is superior to everything else as it is a natural material that lets the feet breathe. In coastal areas such as Mumbai, Goa, etc., it even helps absorb moisture.
  2. Construction
    Handmade shoes are constructed using techniques that are more often than not passed on from generation to generation. Over and above, the shoes are made entirely of leather, instead of just being used in the lining or upper.
  3. Intuitive
    Last, but by no means least, shoe makers have an instinct about what looks good and what doesn't, what works and what doesn't. They put  the designer's vision to intelligent application with an intuitive ability that no machine (yet) has. Consider this: would you rather wear shoes from a China-based company that manufacturers 1,00,000 shoes a day, or an artist that carefully makes about 20-30 a day? 
Invest in a good pair of shoes. It will last longer, look better and provide you with the comfort and taste of luxury that we all seek. 


Shoe love, 
Dev B
Shoe Designer, Entrepreneur

Monday, 21 March 2016

Lookbook: How to style powder blue, Nina sandals

Hello!

A lot is happening in the Devika Bharadwaj HQ this month... Summer is here, exhibition season is over and we're now on so many eCommerce market places in addition to our own online store (Amazon, Flipkart and Violetstreet). It's been a while since I did a lookbook post, so I thought why not do one with one of our hot-selling pieces from the Spring-Summer 2015 collection?

Today's post features Nina- one of my personal favourites from the collection. Its powder blue colour is perfect for the summer and can be paired with so many things to perk up an outfit. Here are three ways you can style Nina.

Look 1:
Summers are no time for sporting tight skinny jeans. For casual days out, wear loose denim capris or boyfriend jeans (which are always so cool to wear) with a funky graphic tee. Add our pair of Nina's and some huge sunglasses to look comfy + glam.
By the way, did you know Nina, just like all our shoes are handmade in Mumbai?


Look 2:
Shirt dresses are really in right now and there's no other colour that can rock the summer than white. Pair Nina with a nice white shirt dress. Add some nice earrings and a tote bag for that perfect day out with your girlfriends.
Look 3:
Another way to beat the heat while looking uber stylish at the same time is to sport a cool summery maxi dress. Prints that work any summer are florals, stripes and even aztec. Choose summer colours like powder blue, yellow, white, pink etc.




Hope these looks inspire you to get your summer wardrobe sorted for the season. Got any better ideas to style these shoes? Drop your suggestions in the comments below.

To get a pair of Nina right now, visit: http://www.devikabharadwaj.com/Spring-Summer--16/Nina-id-2039242.html. If you're looking for more options in powder blue, check out Era from Spring Summer '15 collection. Happy shoe shopping!

Shoe love, 
Dev B
Shoe Designer, Entrepreneur



Tuesday, 8 March 2016

3 things you should know when starting a new venture

Happy Women's Day!

Hope you're making the most of our 'flat Rs. 200/- off' sale that ends tomorrow, March 9th!

On this day dedicated to celebrating women, I've been quite introspective (all thanks to zillion inspiring posts on social media) about how these past 9 months of running my own business has been. While, truth be told, there a lot of issues I've faced as a woman entrepreneur in a male-dominated industry, there are many things in general that I think we all face in the start-up world. 
So this women's day, in the spirit of equality, I'd like to share some roadblocks I faced on my entrepreneurial journey with all of you, Venusians and Martians alike.

"Turns out those finance lessons I thought I'd never need were the most vital ones. Damn." 

I've never had to make much sense of finances, taxes or government rules or regulations in the pre-biz era, so I had to learn all of it the hard way... and there's still a seemingly long way to go. Ensure you have concepts, costs, estimates, laws and all that jazz all clear in your head to the extent possible. Being 100% prepared in business in impossible, but getting close enough is what can make the difference. 

"So, tell me where you see yourself 5 years from now?"

All those inept interview questions kinda, sorta make sense in the business perspective. It's important to have a goal and stick to it. Entering such a new area of work, I faced as many opportunities as challenges, and they aren't any easier, my friend! There are a lot of things you could do, there are a lot of places your business could be, but don't fall into the 'jack of all trades, master on none' hole. It's important to figure out a USP, a key proposition, and do things that match it. 

"I'm going to retire and live off my savings... What I'll do the second day, I have no idea."  

If you're a young entrepreneur, chances are you don't have a lot of money saved up either. The first year of business will have as many unprecedented costs, as the number of hair on your head (and even with that stress-induced bald patch, it's quite a lot. Trust me). It's not only important to maintain clear accounts of your business, but also ensure you have savings or a second income for your personal expenses. 
I ran out of a large chunk of savings from my previous work a couple of months into the business, and all the revenue from the business had to be invested back into growing the venture. Sometimes saving money is tougher than earning it. But work hard at it until you are safely earning enough to fund, both, your personal as well as business goals.  

There's been a lot of struggle in a lot of areas of running the business, but it has all been absolutely enriching and rewarding. The learning curve in a start-up is fantastic

Are you working in a start-up or running one? Do share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section with me! 

Shoe love, 
Dev B
Shoe Designer, Entrepreneur


Saturday, 5 March 2016

Events: Cafe Luxsto Trunkshow, Bandra

Hola!
Hope you made it to Cafe Luxsto Trunkshow yesterday. This was actually our last pop-up for the season. We'll be back with the next one in a couple of months. I thought I'd share a few photos and updates for all those who couldn't make it.
The event took place at Mozaic, Turner Road, Bandra which has a nice vintage bungalow vibe to it. We exhibited our entire collection with some of the coolest upcoming designers and labels not just from Mumbai, but from Delhi and Hyderabad as well. There were also many cool food, wine and coffee brands that were offering free samples and tastings.
Some of our shoes were on sale yesterday. However, don't worry if you think you missed it! We're definitely going to celebrate Women's Day in a cool way together! Stay tuned for more on that via our social media pages.
Until then, enjoy the photos from the Trunk-show!


The Mozaic Bungalow: old, charming and full of artsy vibe, we had this spot right at the door.

Around sunset, when the beautiful lights turn on... 

One of our best-selling shoes from the Spring Summer 2015 collection- Alyra. Only two pairs of these left.
Have to admire this shoe-lovers pretty feet though. 

Our collection display... 

I wore Zooey from the Autumn-Winter 2015 collection for most part of the day. When I had to do some heavy-lifting and packing, I switched to my most-loved, most popular and most trusted pair: Banjaara. 

The 'Before' Shot of our exhibit space 

Mozaic, Bandra

Cafe Luxsto Trunkshow

Shoe love, 
Dev B
Shoe Designer, Cordwainer

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Why women love wearing high heels

For as long as I can remember, magazines, advertisements, movies, sitcoms, blogs have all talked about the love women have for shoes. While some think it borders on crazy, body-threatening, wallet-looting fervour, many would agree that it gives a woman a grand, diva-like feeling that may be similar only to finding the perfect fitted jeans or a new haircut.


Posture: It's all in the spine
This one isn't a pickle. High heels change the posture of a woman's body making us feel taller, stronger and more in control with others. A lot's been written about the mind-body connection. Just how some power postures make us feel great, wearing good shoes makes us feel grand.
Height: The higher the heel, the closer to heaven
This phrase comes particularly close to truth, because high heels make us feel more powerful and taller. I hate the comparison between sexes, but we tend to use these tools of additional height to stand tall and influential around men. 

Desire: "High heels are pleasure with pain" 
Since the invention of the high heel, many dates have been scored because heels are sexy. But more than that, a good looking pair of high heel shoes itself becomes an item of desire by women all over the world. 
Desire and lust have also been advertised when we talk about heels; whether a woman has it for her shoes, or a man for a woman in those shoes. 
Confidence: Keep your heels, head and standards high
They say that good hair and a nice pair of shoes is all you need to set a good impression. Shoes are definitely one accessory that a lot of women can dare to be experimental and expressive with, particularly over clothes. Plus it's a cheaper way to experiment with in your wardrobe.
Shoes can transform any dull outfit and give women a fell- good feeling and confidence.
Whether we admit it or not, at some point most women have found themselves lusting over a pair of high heels, and cutting out of their savings for that pair of shoe 'they really need right now'. 

Have you ever felt all this when you wear a pair of high heels? Tell me your thoughts and experiences on your affair with shoes! 

Shoe love, 
Dev B
Shoe Designer, Cordwainer