How ‘boss lady’ Navyasri Mandava built a profitable fashion empire.

How ‘boss lady’ Navyasri Mandava built a profitable fashion empire.

Let us hazard a guess here. You are probably at work sitting behind your desk, secretly nurturing dreams trending on the fashion of one day having your own business. The entrepreneurship force is strong in you, but you are probably afraid to take the path less trod upon. If that is indeed true, this write-up shall serve as an epiphany.

Navyasri Mandava

This is the story of fashion entrepreneur Navyasri mandava. Despite having a successful career as a fashion stylist in a short period, she still decided to plunge into the risky, uncertain realm of Entrepreneurship. With dreams of bringing Haute Couture into the lives of Indians oblivious to high fashion, she runs her venture called Style up with SRUSHTI.

Our visit to her Banjara hills store charmed us. It is truly alluring and feels wonderful to be the motivation behind her store design. Over a cup of coffee, she told to Sangram about her amazing journey from starting out as a young fashion stylist to being an Innovator in the fashion and clothing industry. What surprised us the most was her passion to constantly learn about all things new pertaining to her business, whether it was about changing fashion trends in the world or the dynamic Digital media and marketing phenomenon. Here’s a summary of our conversation with Navyasri.

Give us a brief introduction about who you are?

I consider myself to be a fashion entrepreneur. I have studied every aspect of fashion in India. I have also studied design, forecasting, retail, and the business side of fashion. I am currently exploring Social Media and its power of advertising/marketing for business. I believe in educating myself by learning something new.

What do you consider yourself to be? Stylist, Designer, Merchandiser?

I would say all of the above, as I have done it all, i.e. Styling, Buying, Planning and Merchandising.

What is your current job title and how long have you had this role?

My title is a big mix of things! I do all the styling services myself, manage customer service, marketing, sales, admin… But to sum it up, if I gave myself a title it would be “Director/Stylist”.

How do you source your clothes?

I have worked in the fashion industry long enough to have a vast network of contacts. I find out about their portfolio, and urge them to provide clothes that I like at reasonable discounts. I also follow brands from around the world and source directly from them when required.

How do you price your products?

I price them based on my perception of my clients and what their likes and dislikes are. There are certain clothes, colors, and fashion styles that are very popular in the market, and thus these factors loosely affect my pricing strategy. I have to make my clients aware of high fashion brands and their reputation in the global market to actually create demand. Then, it is easier for them to accept the actual value of the clothes.

What do you value more? Business Experience or Education & Learning?

I feel that they both go hand in hand. I have worked as a costume designer. I was pretty established and successful, with several people working under me. I still decided to leave all that away to study the business side of fashion. While I was in school, I use to give styling tips to my friends and in the educational competition world, I left my passion and later realized. Styling is my passion so, I had to prove myself all over again.

What advice would you like to give out to fellow Entrepreneurs who are just starting out?

The most important advice would be to follow one’s passions with sheer tenacity. It is also important to not lose focus and get jaded by the process. People often tend to get confused which gets them off track from realizing their venture’s true potential. It was my focus that helped me to identify who my target market was, and that helped me get my business in the right shape. Thus, I would also credit Brand Clarity as an equally important factor. Lastly, always look to cater to your demographic. Look and hear closely to what your clients and customers have to say, and understand their needs and wants closely. It will surely get you far.

Apart from the Style up with SRUSHTI where do your interests/passions lie?

I love food. Whenever I find the time, I would like to cook or try out something new to eat. I have an equally strong love for travelling. It helps me to keep in touch with fashion trends, and also explore different cultures and meet new people to expand my horizons. This led to me developing a passion for learning new languages.

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