The second story in our #BloggingAnecdotes campaign is about the making of Alankritaa. It highlights the journey of a young, dynamic entrepreneur and a Henna artist Rashi Aggarwal, who dared to dream and tread on the most unusual and non-conventional path. She dreamt and built a career of her love. A girl with a vivacious charm, her journey of realizing a true calling of the heart was no magic short cut. This is the story of a girl who was courageous and far-sighted in creating a niche market for premium bridal Mehandi service under the brand Alankritaa. And, it is a remarkable anecdote of an entrepreneur whose henna not only adorns the brides, but also many beautiful homes in the form of luxury Henna Candles.
Her tryst with Heena started at the tender age of 15. Her newest foray into the world of Heena led to a bridal assignment in the first year itself. Little did she know then, this will soon turn into an undying dream and passion of starting an exclusive henna studio.
Born and brought up in a society that has forever been setting parameters for everything right and wrong- no one thought a brand and that too, a premium brand can be established from a seasonal part-time activity of adorning the hands with Henna. This girl with an indomitable spirit, however, was born to make it big. She had a vision of corporatizing the unorganized market of Mehandi. And, it was in her stars to become a unique entrepreneur.
A girl with a vivacious charm, her journey of realizing a true calling of the heart was no magic short cut.
A Quest to Open a Heena Studio
From a boring corporate job to starting (and failing at) a youth magazine to enthusiastically managing the salon with her sister, Rashi dabbled in quite a few things before she took a final call. Her journey has not been easy and there were years of sorrow, pain, and struggle. With family and friends chiding, it was never easy to handle the societal flak. She recalls how her intention of making a career out of henna was a subject of mockery. Further, being a sibling to three sisters there was a constant pressure to settle down quickly into a marital life. The destiny, however, had bigger plans for her.
Those Initial Years and the making of Alankritaa
Rashi set up Alankritaa at Ludhiana, India in August 2012 by with the unconditional support and love of her three sisters. Not just customized heena application, but also logo designing, marketing, business tie-ups- she did everything with a great entrepreneurial spirit. In fact, she went through all the rounds like any other entrepreneur. Her perseverance, determination and hard work have, however, paid her in the long run. She went on to redefine the whole concept of bridal Mehandi. In fact, she introduced the concept-based personalized designs of bridal henna. The basis of her work is in several drafts that are made before the finalization of the concept and design of a bride’s Heena. Her Mehandi defines the individuality of a bride, her likes, dislikes, and personality- all in the form of an art. She not only believes in making a client happy on her big day but proud of herself, her beauty and identity.
Today, the brand has an international presence. There are international henna assignments. Further, she is into the exports of heena candles to the foreign markets. Heena candles are a different form of the exquisite art from the house. They make for great souvenirs for Mehandi ceremonies, wedding décor, home décor and festival gifting.
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“A recent trip to Turkey for the first international henna assignment has been a great experience. I embarked on my first international journey with excitement and nervousness at the same time. I still remember how I trembled with anxiety. However, it has been worth experiencing the happiness of Turks over my work” – Rashi
Alankritaa is in the process of launching personalized henna art inspired canvas. From unique intricate and delicate classic works to abstract pop art, this product range is quite exciting and expressive.
A girl with a vast persona, she is a proud designer of her own life. She has written a unique story for herself not letting anyone hold her pen. And, hers is a courageous story that deserves all the recognition for it has successfully embraced criticism and failure. In her words,
“My journey may not have been that long or it may not still be a rags-to-riches story, but for all the worth that it has been, it is special, for it is, my story!”