She was brave then, she is brave even now. Rama Rrebbapragada, the founder of Studio Rama, is an example of being an empowered woman who took the authority and responsibility of her life and her loved ones. Being a designer, Rama has always believed in being simple yet elegant. Anyone can be uniquely stylish and stand out in the crowd.
With this vision, she started “SRISHTIE by Rama Rrebbapragada” which is now popularly known as Studio Rama.
When we started taking her interview, we had no idea that her story is such an inspiration for all the women out there, fighting to make their own identities. Listening to her telling her story of fighting against society norms, of taking responsibility, of being the leader of her own life, and finally, of making it beautiful and dignified, was nothing less than immense motivation. Read Along to feel INSPIRED!
Here is the full interview of Rama Rrebbapragada:
Tell us about your brand?
I believe a lot in sustainable clothing, in handlooms, and mostly Khadis and Matkas because the product has to benefit the weavers. So the base fabric is 100 % handloom. We have weavers who do the Ikkat in Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana. A lot of Mangalgiri comes from Vijayawada. A lot of Matkas and Tasar comes from Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal. We also use a lot of Chanderi and Maheswari. So most of our biggest products are handwoven. For sarees, we mostly do party wears but when it comes to customization, it is a mixed design of western and Indian. The USP of my products is that they are very subtle and subdued kind of clothing.
“They are for a woman who has a mind of her own, who understands her own style, who wants to wear them and look presentable and let her capability speak for herself, not just the clothes.”
Most of my clients are empowered women. Some are running businesses, some are doctors, lawyers, teachers. They are also handling their household at the same time. They are secured about their places in the society.
“Mere clients zyadatar khudke paise khud kamate hai. They are in business or doing jobs, They don’t spend their husband’s excess money.”
When and how did you start your journey with Studio Rama?
About 20 years back, I was actually in a bad marriage and had two children. I took the decision of separation and to bring up my kids on my own. I was a young mother then, and my father asked me to take a job where I can come back home by the time my sons come back from school. So, the obvious options were either to be a teacher or doing something on my own, and I had a passion for designing since a very young age.
Before my marriage, I had taken a loan from my dad to design for the US clients with the help of a friend, and it was a huge hit. So I knew that this is the field I could really do well in. I was a good communicator and had sources as well. So, I immediately took the decision to start something on my own.
I sold all my golds and started with a small tailoring business first. That’s how I learned what is the backbone of my business.
Which is why no tailor can fool me today. Slowly I started learning more and more and my business started increasing.
I even got help from people and got a PMR Yojana money to put into my business. God has been kind to me.
Slowly, the demand for in-house products started increasing and the transformation from a small tailoring shop to a boutique named ‘Srishtie’, and then to ‘Studio Rama’ happened. It’s not that I am totally out there, but I will get there eventually!
“Right now, I take care of my parents and my sons as well. I am in a very happy space.”
How is Studio Rama better than its competitors? How does it solve its clients’ problems in a better way?
There are a lot of things that you can do as a designer. It’s not only about making people look good, it should be making people present themselves in a completely new light as well.
Understanding their background, which colours will suit them, or which design will not, these aspects are important. I sit with my clients, I talk to them, and I gather information on what they really want. I give them clothes in which they feel confident and come back to me with a positive feedback. interacting with the clients, understanding their needs, knowing their daily routine and lifestyle, and also having a conversation in-depth about their lives are the USPs of Studio Rama.
What message from Studio Rama do you wish to share through this interview?
There are many ways of marketing, but ways like Lakme Fashion Week takes a much bigger deal in terms of money and sources. Though we cannot reach that level right now, I want to share Studio Rama’s journey and vision with the audience. Who doesn’t want more clients? Even I want to have more and more clients within a short period of time!
But through this interview, if I can deliver my products, the way of working, and inspire even one girl, I will be happy.
“You never know how do you inspire someone even without realizing. I would definitely want to inspire people and make them confident and independent.”