Interview: Meet Dhruva Patel, Who Has Been Designing Handbags Since She Was Twelve

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Dhruva Patel
Dhruva Patel
Dhruva Patel

She designed her first bag at the tender age of 12, with felts and beads! And it’s safe to say she hasn’t stopped ever since. An NIFT, Chennai graduate, Dhruva Patel always had a passion for designing products. And she soon found her forte designing bright-colored arm candies (read bags and handbags) for her own label, “dhruva”. 

Like they say, “You can never be too rich, too thin, or have too many handbags”. Dhruva epitomizes this with her label. Bright reds, oranges, greens and blues, Dhruva sure knows how to create the quintessential statement piecesWe caught up with Dhruva to know more about her label and her entrepreneurial journey as a fashion accessory designer.

What is your brand all about and what do you sell?
My brand, “dhruva” is all about fashion and lifestyle accessories. I started with a range of leather handbags & accessories as of now and will hopefully venture into footwear and other lifestyle products soon. Creation of handbags has always been my passion. I like to design a bag that makes you feel special in every way! 

The brand is very self expressive; colour, concept and a technique come together to create a piece which could be treasured for ages to come. Each design is created with great passion from a hand drawn sketch to a handbag wrapped in leather with tons of emotions attached to have and to hold close to your heart.

When and how did “dhruva” start out? How long did you play with the idea before you started out?
dhruva, started out as a fully fledged label in 2011 but I had played around with the idea since 2008 when I graduated from NIFT.

What was the one major challenge you overcame since you started out?
Well the challenges are never ending; it’s an ongoing process. But the biggest challenge was taking the decision of starting the label itself.

First bag by dhruva
First bag by dhruva

What was dhruva’s first product and what is the story behind it?
Actually the product that got me started on building my label was a chain wallet which I made for myself as I could not find anything like it in the market.

What was the one thing that pushed you to start selling online? 
Being online with dhruva is easy for my customers, since they can look at my products and the relevant details at no cost of travelling to the store. Yet they have the added advantage of exchanging the product if they don’t like it. With the online store, we can let our customers checkout our range and shop, from the comforts of their home or office.

Apart from your online store, what are some of your other point of sales?
We retail through a lot of multi-designer stores across the country, like Ffolio Bangalore, Nautanky Ahmedabad, Sobo Mumbai and Studio Saks Chennai. And internationally through ODEL in Sri Lanka.

What is the one activity that has worked best for you in online marketing? Any marketing tips for entrepreneurs and artists?
Well I’m not someone who could give anyone advice on the marketing bit. But even then I would say social networking sites have the advantage of reaching huge audiences which can be leveraged to your brand’s advantage, if captured cleverly.

How do you define success?
I would say success is not a destination; it’s the process that is involved that makes you feel special in what you do.

dhruva Bestsellers
dhruva Bestsellers

Keeping the same levels of enthusiasm everyday is not easy. What keeps you inspired and motivated every day?
You always need to look at things from a third person’s point of view and think that every day will bring something special for you. Believing in yourself is the most important of all.

What are some of the decisions that have worked best for you?
The decision, as mentioned earlier, to start of my own label would be my best. And the other choice of going on with it despite of failures.

What is the one big mistake that you made as an entrepreneur?
Not listening to your own inner voice & conscience. All what you need to know is within yourself.

What has been your proudest moment as an entrepreneur?
Making my customers happy.

If you could give one piece of advice to would-be entrepreneurs, what would it be?
Follow your own instincts and anything that you take up, do it passionately.

Where all can our readers connect with you?
You can reach me on my websiteFacebook, Twitter and my online store.

You can find Dhruva’s store and many other such unique stores on Zepo. Have a brand of your own that you would like to tell us about? Comment below or write in to us at story@mumbaimag.com.

Post By Guest Blogger, Tanya Rao (2 Posts)

Tanya Rao works at Zepo.in and is passionate about new businesses and online shopping. Here she shares stories of some interesting people and businesses she encounters.

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Guest Blogger, Tanya Rao

Guest Blogger, Tanya Rao
Tanya Rao works at Zepo.in and is passionate about new businesses and online shopping. Here she shares stories of some interesting people and businesses she encounters.