Life Story

Life Story: Varuna Anand, a successful textile designer

Jammu: Varuna Anand a qualified textile designer and very passionate about designing.  She designed sarees and later home furnishings, which were exported to Europe.

She got married Praveen in 2002 and moved to his hometown in Jammu, she adopted the state and its traditions as her own. After the marriage, she took a sabbatical from work for nine years to raise her two daughters.

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But entrepreneurship runs in Varuna’s genes. Her grandfather was a well-known businessman from Amritsar, and she has vivid memories of a childhood listening to glorious tales of his textile business.

She was raised in Delhi and pursued textile designing as a career after completing a three-year diploma from New Delhi Polytechnic.

As a textile designer, she spent many years learning and designing home textiles and sarees for the likes of House of Fraser, John Lewis, Galleries Lafayette Printemps, Laura Ashley, Tommy Hilfiger, and Satya Paul.

An entrepreneur by fate Fate dealt a hard blow when Praveen passed away in 2012.

“The Splendor of Kashmir was a dream project of my late husband Praveen. He had insisted on starting this for me in 2011 as he was very keen to promote craft from the state as he felt it would benefit people. Also, he had immense faith that I had the ability to market these shawls and take them to the genuine lovers of this art. I don’t think I ever thought of restarting with a career as an entrepreneur, but after his demise, I knew I had to try sincerely and wholeheartedly to take this dream project of his forward,” she says.

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Varuna’s only association with shawls until then was that like any other Punjabi household, her mum too had put away Kashmiri shawls for her trousseau.

She invested around Rs 15 lakh and plunged into the business in 2012, offering a comprehensive range of curated shawls.

 “We like to use classic patterns that have been passed down through centuries to keep the essence of these shawls alive. Our inputs are in terms of colour combinations and designing the less expensive shawls we promote as gifts. For the Classic Jamavar shawls, we use traditional patterns with a test of colour keeping the current market trends in mind,” she adds.

Its Ethereal & Classic collection, also fondly termed the Heirloom Collection, is endorsed and curated by Sara Abdullah Pilot. This is a collection of exclusive Kani shawls and extensively hand-embroidered Jamavar shawls. Keeping up with the market trends, the company is also promoting Kalamkari shawls, which are hand-painted and then hand-embroidered.

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The Dispatch Staff

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