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


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: 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

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