What’s in a name? Why Shaku?
It’s my name! Or rather, my nickname I had growing up in India.
It’s a family affair; how important is it for you to involve your children?
This brand is all about me and that includes my children, which is as crucial as my brand. If I make anything or am inspired by my family, I make sure to include them. Shaku is my story and my family are an integral part.
Did you teach them to sew too?
Yes, I did try to teach them, because in life you never know when you need to sew something for yourself, especially basic stitches are most important for everyone.
What does a day in the life of Shakera look like?
Every day I balance the needs of my family and home life, with the demands of my work. This often involves morning Indian tea rounds for each of my children, and then working on my designing in between. During the day, if I’m not rushing to the office (or my laptop!) for meetings, I am at home working on my designs or developing new ideas. My evenings are family time, and we like to have dinner together and then some rest before the new day.
Sustainability drives your brand, tell me why?
Sustainability is essential for any brand; we practise this for example by how we repurpose dead stock and give it a second chance. This is because I (Shakera), the founder, come from India where it is common to use every last bit of fabric and make sure nothing goes to waste, in this way we use every piece of fabric and remake them into a beautiful product. Shaku follows this idea if you have material to recreate fantastic stuff, my upcycled collections are testament to that.
Your candles are divine…queen of the night is my pick, they are made in the U.K. too, which is your favourite?
I love all three but the rose scent in particular. It reminds me of the Indian rose petals I grew up with and how they smelt so beautiful and were so pure that I could eat them.
Although I’m terrible at sewing (as you know), I find it very therapeutic – do you think more of us should take up sewing as a hobby as it’s a life skill after all.
I found sewing is a very relaxing therapy too. When I sew, I forget any tensions or problems. I sew and forget about my surrounding. This hobby is a good one; you can sew and you don’t need unique spaces.
Who or what inspires you?
First I’m inspired by colours and their subtleties, then there’s flowers and their delicate beauty. Really, it’s the beauty of nature that inspires me.
Your scarves are also incredibly beautiful & you also sell hair accessories. What’s next for Shakera in terms of products?
Shaku has lots of product in the pipeline! We recently launched a beautiful collection of home accessories, with printed and embroidered cotton velvet, to knitted merino wool blankets. I am always keeping an eye out for new product ideas and even now, we are experimenting with scarf caps.
Your pop up shop is on the Brompton rd, any plans for a more permanent shop?
We’ve set up pop ups in a few places to see people’s reaction to Shaku, as we’ve found people don’t know about our brand. At the moment, we want to get our brand name out, so people will be excited to know who we are. Then once we are more established, we will hopefully open our permanent shop!