Jigna S. Shah, Founder & CEO – REVE’
REVE is one of the top high-end clothing brands in the state of Gujarat, India. Having graduated from the prestigious NIFT (National Institute of Fashion Technology) today, Jigna has her own flagship stores in upmarket localities of Ahmedabad and Mumbai.
Being one of the 100 Womennovators of India in 2018, Jigna Shah is a great role model to women and a highly accredited designer who has not only worked on national ground, but also taken Gujarat on the international map. Nationally & globally feted for her various achievements, she is also the Chairperson in All Ladies League (ALL), world’s largest all-inclusive international women’s chamber and a movement for the welfare, wealth, and wellbeing of all. She has several notable achievements, some of which include the Global Award as one of the “50 Most Influential Global Youth Leaders” by World Federation, and the prestigious “Udgam Women’s Achievers Award” in the Business Category for 2014.
Here she provides some insights into her journey, passion and beliefs in conversation with AsiaBizToday. Copy edited by Sekkappan Seval.
Your Career, Journey & Passion?
REVE’ Fashions is the only brand in high-end Western wear specially designed for Indian structures by using rich Indian textiles and hand embroideries. It has been frequented by popular Bollywood, Tollywood Stars, Politicians, Business Tycoons, most Elites & High-end professionals of India in the last 20 years.
I am from a highly educated family background who emphasize on excellence in academics. With advice from my father, I finished my Masters in Commerce and took up a position in a reputed university as a professor in Economics. However, after the sudden death of my father, I did not find any reason to continue my career in teaching, as I was not enjoying it after all.
I wanted to soar the heights of recognition, popularity, name, fame and wanted to grow everyday with new experiences, meet interesting people and travel the globe. I then decided to take up Fashion Designing as it was something that I was passionate about since young.
When and how did you set up your current business? Can you tell us briefly about the activities that you undertake?
I started from humble grounds, operating from a small room in my house. After a few years of diligent work, I joined NIFT to allow me to learn the technicalities of the field. Later on, I continued working from home and took on small orders from a close set of clients, I made enough money to buy a small studio! That then led me to start my own retail flagship store in the most posh area of city.
I mainly undertake in activities such as working on projects like Ahimsa silk (Non-Violence silk), giving training and employment to rural artisans, contributing to the sustainability of various NGOs like a blind girls school, other than my main profession of manufacturing.
Trigger and motivation to get into this?
I believe that learning is a constant process, and we need to move forward everyday. A main trigger would be to live an interesting life by meeting people from all walks of life. I am motivated to be in the fashion industry which is ever evolving and growing, by enhancing my personality and building international connections.
Experiences running this business?
My experiences range from funny, happy, sad, courage, to understanding the people I cater to and their psychology. In short, business is 24/7 mentally stimulating job, where our mind is constantly busy with challenges, growth and so on. Nothing in business is pre-decided or able to be carried out with a textbook guide. It is very dynamic and sporadic.
Important factors that keep you going?
Respect from my customers and their positive feedback is one main factor. I believe that the creative field keeps you alive for new creations, and will not be possible without the love and support from my clients. Also, seeing the satisfaction on the faces of my women labour force when they realise they are empowered enough to support their families really gives me an energy boost to keep going.
Faced any obstacles? Do you think, you have faced any specific challenges because of being a woman?
The first and foremost challenge was to manage funds to cope up with the growing scale of demand and production! However, the term ‘challenge’ is an ongoing process in business.
Labour, product improvisations, innovations, client satisfaction, staff retaining and so on are all the challenges to face on a day to day basis! Being a woman, my biggest challenge was to handle factory male labour. As a female boss, I was not taken seriously unless I resorted to measures such as raising my voice and losing my temper. I suffered heavy losses in my factory due to the agitation of labour which took me 5 years to recover.
Usually find inspiration from?
My biggest source of inspiration is Mother Nature! I enjoy trekking in the Himalayas or take a peaceful vacation at serene places to re-energize my energy and creativity. Meeting strong, inspiring personalities is also my source of inspiration.
Proudest Moment so far?
Receiving the Global Award as “One of the Top 50 Most Influential Global Youth Leaders”!
How do you define Success?
I feel success is a legacy of intangible wealth in the form of knowledge, experiences, education and so on, which you can leave behind for your next generation to follow!
Advice do you have for other aspiring Entrepreneurs especially women?
Follow your heart to chase your dreams! Woman, you are not the weaker gender, you are the power house! Go, conquer the world and leave your mark behind through the work that you do!