Titli

Titli, bringing skilled craftswomen for handmade creations | WEBO Power

Titli, a brand symbolizing freedom and a boundless spirit, brings together obscure craftsmen and their skills through distinct product lines like handmade accessories and apparel items. Having started very recently, the store is located within a café in the campus she is currently studying in. Inspired from the famous story of the struggle of a butterfly and the property of cause and effect drawn from a lotus flower, the logo is a butterfly which is just ready to fly. The brand is for women who have struggled and grown in their lives, women who are proud of who they are, those who love to adorn themselves with handmade products and are motivated to make a difference in the world.

This is the story of Astha Gupta, a young girl from Delhi, who had never imagined how following her inherent fascination for shoes would direct her to the doors of a life changing moment in Bombay and she would end up creating her brand Titli at a campus in Kerala.

Astha completed her bachelors from Delhi University and interned with a shoe design company before she moved to IIM Khozikode for her higher studies. In her pursuit to do something differently in life, she tried connecting with people from the Shoe Manufacturing Industry to get associated with their companies while still pursuing her studies. As are the demands of higher studies, she would only be allowed to work after completing her education which meant 2 years from that point. She kept on searching for opportunities and the entire first year passed. She had no work opportunity to herself till she finally moved to Bombay for 2 months to intern with ITC as a part of the course curriculum.

“I got my courage from Buddhism, and I shared the whole Titli experience as a victory in a Buddhist meeting,” says nostalgic Astha on being asked how she started Titli. Her story is similar to the saying, “life connects dots.” Her fascination for a beautiful pair of shoes made her walk through the by lanes of Mumbai where a small store selling export surplus caught her attention. Overwhelmed with the beauty and quality of the apparels and accessories in that store, Astha took the parent organisation’s address and went to meet the people there. She had no idea why she was going there, but her conviction made her go to this women’s cooperative society where she found that the entire produce was made by these craftswomen and was exported to international markets. Her urgency of start something of her own had found a direction in this meeting. A two hour discussion with the organisation head and she left that place with her first carton of products that she wanted to sell in the domestic market. She now knew that she wanted to create a brand to take the produce from women in different parts of the country to the customers. This thought became her tag line later and she precisely puts is as “Their Dreams. Your Realities. Titli brings to you the art of those who colour their creations with their dreams. We bring them closer to your real life.”

Titli, bringing skilled craftswomen for handmade creations | WEBO Power

In the meanwhile, the two month internship got over and she joined her college. She says, “Getting the products was just the first step, the real challenges now were budget constraints, selling among the same set of customers (my batch-mates and juniors were the only customers for the initial phase) brand creation and fixing prices, packaging and labels.”

After a month of planning, calculations and sleepless nights, Titli was launched on a shelf space in the campus café. The lack of support and access to fancy materials in that place did not de-motivate her persistence. The products were displayed on painted stones and the apparels hung from wrought iron basket that she had now turned into a colorful ribbon nest for Titli. She says, “When you want to do something, a place like a junkyard can become your resource pool. Just don’t give up and don’t complaint. Match your odds and you will find a way.”

She found her biggest support in her friends’ network and entrepreneurs she met and contacted. According to her, “Entrepreneurs are open minded people and ready to help. It was under their guidance and mentoring that I never felt alone and Titli has been possible.”

Juggling between her new venture and her studies, all her free time goes in the growth plans for Titli. She believes in evolving with time and taking way. On being asked about her plans for the next 3 years, she smiles and says, ”You never know, Titli may take a different shape.”

Engrossed in her story, she is already late for her class, she hurries up and ends the conversation, “It is the people, who set boundaries and limitations very quickly, but life does not confine within these boundaries. There are no limitations. If you have the right intention, the courage and the will power to follow your dream, everything will fall into place.”

We wish you and Titli All the Best!!

Posted By: Sakshi Aggarwal
Posted On: October 12, 2012

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One Comment on “Titli”

  1. This is a great article Team WEBO.. I am so happy and inspired.

    October 15, 2012 at 9:34 am Reply

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