Celebrating 6 Months of Designer Shala
Updated: Oct 9
Hey there. It’s me again, your Designer Didi AKA Shivangi! And yes, you’re reading this today on a very, very special occasion, a definite milestone for me. Let me first start by sending out ounces of gratitude for you all, whether you are a student, a workshop/challenge attendee, or simply a fellow subscriber. Your presence in any way counts and I consider that as a big contribution to this day.
When I started conceptualising Designer Shala long before it took concrete form, I was certain of one thing. Actually, quite a few, and here they are: 1. I wanted to break the many misconceptions around fashion. 2. I wanted to educate and guide fashion aspirants and young kids in the right direction. 3. I wanted to break the barricades and make fashion education accessible to all. 4. With that, I also wanted to make it more affordable for everyone out there. 5. Lastly, I wanted to inspire people across the world and form a warm community that made fashion an inviting, accessible, and successful career option for aspirants. That was the aspiration I began with back then and today, six months into it, I can proudly say that yes, it is going exactly as per my vision. And again, I have you all to thank for it and for laying your trust in me and my academy. So, before we go further ahead, I’d love to take this opportunity to talk about the Shivangi long before Designer Shala came into being.
From the Hills of India to the Streets of New York When I say to my students and my online community that you REALLY CAN do it, no matter what, I really mean it. I can say that with conviction because I could do it too. I come from the remote hills of North East India, and I practically chased my fashion dreams from Assam to Mumbai and then all the way to New York. When I knew and was absolutely certain of my direction in fashion, I headed to Mumbai to study at NIFT, India’s top fashion school. After I graduated from there with three awards to my name, I headed to enhance my skills further in New York City. I studied at FIT New York, the world’s number one fashion school. There, I also managed to bag the Summa Cum Laude award and the Dean’s list of honour. After I got my formal education in fashion, I went ahead to up my business game and hone my skills at IIM Ahmedabad with their unique Creative and Cultural Business program. All in all, I fought dauntlessly every day of my life to pursue my dreams and now, I do the same to make sure that my designer kids leave no stone unturned in chasing theirs.
For the Newbies, This is What Designer Shala Is Fashion Design has gone beyond the yardsticks of age, gender, and location. But, when it comes to its education in India, there still seem to be some gaps left. That’s where DesignerShala comes into play. In 2020, with the pandemic eating away at creators all around me, I felt the burning need for a platform that would democratise design education in India. So, when I started this platform in November that year, my primary goal was to revolutionise fashion design schooling in India. Here, I teach hundreds of students to make them industry-ready with my courses and training. Not to mention, the challenges that I keep launching, all of them designed to encourage, inspire and teach something. My primary goal is to create a platform for design enthusiasts from across the globe to come and find their tribe beyond the barriers of geographical locations. Breaking the shackles of inaccessibility and affordability, DesignerShala offers multiple self-paced, fashion and design courses with its four founding principles - play, pause, practise, perform. Accommodating these principles in the training of design students has helped them to maximise their creative potential through organised dedication towards fashion design. From courses suited for aspiring fashion illustrators like Concept to Creation to courses on portfolio development like Portfolio Design, we are consciously choosing inclusivity as one of our core beliefs. Growing up, I had to struggle so much to find relevant information about a career in fashion. I had no one to guide me. I know I felt really passionately for the cause. I continue to do so and that reflects through my passion project: DesignerShala. This academy helps me reach out to any person in any remote part of the world who wants to become a designer. It allows me to share my learnings from the best colleges in the country and the world with them. Logistics, money or time is no more a constraint. They can learn from the best, in their own time, without the need of spending ₹50L on their learning! Whether you are a beginner or someone who is well-adept with the basics of fashion or design, all our courses encourage participation for all. With thousands of design lovers all over the world joining our social media community, we even churn out regular content to educate the young and the older alike. And, that, my friend, is all that Designer Shala is about. And, here we are today!
What we have been silently doing for the last 6 months 🌻 We’ve launched 4 courses that have helped design aspirants and students get closer to their dreams of a career in fashion.
🌻 We’ve launched a design career blog on DesignerShala ensuring design aspirants can find answers to their most asked questions and don’t have to hunt for them anymore.
🌻 We’ve grown from a one-woman show to a beautiful team of 4 empathetic, super sweet and super driven humans!
🌻 We’ve hosted our first ever fashion summer camp ensuring 100s of students from across the country spend their summers productively!
🌻We’ve grown from zero to 1000s of design aspirants across the country and helped them start their journeys in fashion through our FREE challenges! With over four batches of design students taught and helped, I have also been running a YouTube channel for the last 4 years. Yes, this is way before Designer Shala! With that platform and community, I’ve helped 70k+ design students from all over the world understand design as a career. Designer Shala is just a more solid extension of that community and aspiration. Currently, with just four months in the business and no solid marketing, my student base is close to 4 figures already. What I love most about my job at Designer Shala? Well, my students fondly call me ‘Designer Didi’, referring to me as one of their own sisters and that’s the trust, respect and love I’ve always wanted to build. So, today, I continue nurturing my students into independent, thoughtful leaders, and innovators. Let me also tell you this. A lot more is coming, a lot of many courses, workshops, challenges, and growth is scheduled for the time ahead. Hint: A fashion business course coming to you by Fall 2021! So, this was all about me, my journey as a designer, as an entrepreneur, and Designer Shala’s journey, which has already seen over 6 months of magic happen! And, guess what? That magic will continue to happen and fashion careers will continue to thrive in different capacities. Once again, thank you for supporting me and supporting your own aspirations in fashion. Here’s to more learning, meeting your very own tribe, and reaching the sky like no other! With Love, Shivangi aka Designer Didi