They began desgining and selling hair accessories under their own label The Ribbon Factory (TRF) when they were still in college.
Who would have even thought that Blair’s hair accessories from the popular teen TV series – ‘Gossip Girl’ could inspire two young girls 18 and 19 years old to take up a career in Hair Accessories? Shruti Kumar, now 23 & Shruti Savla, 22 are self taught hair accessory designers. They began making handcrafted hair accessories while they were in college way back in 2009.
“It all began as a hobby and it continues be so, only much bigger. I used to watch Gossip Girl, and really loved Blair’s hair accessories. So when I went looking for hair bands in Mumbai, we found out that they were unreasonably expensive. On seeing the hair bands we knew we could design something better, something different, and we did. One thing led to the other and the rest is history.
Adds Shruti Kumar, “I have been teaching and organizing art workshops since I was a teenager. I always had this love for handcrafting things. Shruti Savla on the other hand has always had a brilliant sense of style so the two of us usually put our heads together and end up designing a variety of accessories.”
Hair accessories include ornamental hair bands and hairpins, embellished hair bands, flowers and floral hairpins, flower clips, leaf bobby pins, bow brooches, colourful satin hair bands, rosette hair bands etc.
Their biggest accomplishment so far is that even though they are just two they have catered to about 5000 clients mainly through exhibitions held at various venues in Mumbai.
What are the skills needed to be a hair accessory designer? “An open mind, a deft hand and the ability to endure cuts, burns and other random injuries. We show off our battle scars every time we meet. Oh you got burned by fevikwik? I got burned by the glue gun,” says Kumar jokingly.
What is the money like? “We make enough to be able to eat delicious food, buy good books and travel. The simple life,” they assert. The duo work from their living room with a messy table, a closet overflowing with supplies and a lazy cat who likes to snooze surrounded by all the ribbons. The core team is just the two with friends and family helping out when in need of more hands.
So what’s next? “A store would be ideal but there’s time for that. Until then we’ll try to reach as many people as possible through our online portal www.theribbonfactory.in Our products are available for purchase at Marry Me – the Store at Candies in Bandra,” Let’s go check out a few of our favourite things!
– Babita Balan