Bhumika: an exporter of sustainable hand-block fashion

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Bhumika, an exporter of Sustainable hand-block printed fashion, a motivational speaker and a serial entrepreneur is the proud owner of the clothing line “Deswal Sourcing Solutions.” The company still serves a sizable international customer base that is dispersed across the USA, UK, and Philippines. 

Even Hollywood has noticed how popular Deswal’s made clothing is. She designs apparel that is worn by famous people like Penelope Kardashian, Sara Jessica Parker, Kyle Richards, and Oprah Winfrey. 

Her professional life has been filled with experiences and showcases her victory over the impossibility. Deswal Sourcing Solutions, which was founded in 2016 with just five employees, currently employs a large staff and produces the highest-quality bespoke goods for retailers. 

Aditi Gupta from Women shine got into a conversation with her, & this is what she had to say: 

WS:  What was your story of becoming a woman entrepreneur (please talk about your past work experiences, and career growth journey)?

BD: I graduated from NIFT Delhi. I was very much inclined to textile, fabric cutting, measuring tape etc. I used to steal my mother’s sewing machine and sew old clothes and make them size. I also worked as a faculty in Pearl Fashion Institute, Bangladesh when my husband was placed there. Side by side I used to work solely at a very small level. When we came back to India, I started selling stuff from home in 2012 with a Facebook page. It was mainly for kids. I also sold stuff in exhibitions and during the evenings, I used to display the clothes made by me in our nearby park & I felt really happy doing that. 

When my husband’s job was again transferred to Bangladesh, I decided to stay back and utilize my energies towards my passion. It was challenging for me to manage our finances, with 2 kids alone. I also picked up a daycare job at Shri Ram School, but it never made me happy. I gave myself a break and thought about what I wanted to do. 

I again started my business & selling stuff from home. I exported leather patches. Later on, I rented a place with 5 employees in 2016. There were a lot of mistakes made, and there were challenging situations to manage work & family, but I kept going without any excuse. My work grew so fast because of my dedication. We also expanded to a new commercial place to set up the factory as the team grew. I worked the whole day, & even during the night to ensure timely deliveries of my packages. 

In 6 years, we are at 12 Cr turnover. My clothes have been worn by Kim Kardashian’s kids, Oprah Winfrey etc. We have also received orders from the UK military combat jackets as well as from NSG.

WS:  How Much Do You Love What You Do, And Why Is That Important To You As An Entrepreneur/Executive? Can you share your long-term vision for your business? 

BD: After working for so many years, as a woman, I realise how much my life has changed after being independent. Earlier I used to take permission & get criticised, but now I get so much respect from them. This makes me so proud. I love to help people who genuinely wish to work without giving any excuses. It is not easy, but I had to take a call and it worked for me. My kids have supported  

me completely now that they have grown up. My husband also left his well-paid job for my business & it fills me with happiness & joy. 

I am working with Looms of Ladakh, which is an ethical, herder-artisan-led brand that brings cutting-edge design to heritage crafts. This helped me with upskilling traditional artisans who came here to learn from me. And also in providing sustainable solutions to preserve our cultural legacies. 

WS: Who Are Some Of The People Who Have Had The Most Influence On Your Career Path?

BD: My father. I never realised this till the time I started my own business. Whenever I had to make payments or make important decisions, I always got flashbacks of him. He always had a rule of giving payments to all his vendors before bringing any money home. He used to make proper lists of all the dues and clear them off immediately. I also have the same habit, and this has led to everyone knowing that I am a reliable partner. All my workers have always helped me and I have also helped them back. Whatever I am earning, I am earning because of my workers, and I am always available for them. I have learned all this from my dad. He never left anything unattended and the same is for me. 

After marriage, my mother-in-law has been an inspiration. She is a role model to everyone. When I got married, she was working as a nurse, but 4 years ago, she completed her PhD. All these years she has taken care of her household, worked, taught and studied for herself.

WS:  What Is The Biggest Mistake That You Have Made In Your Career?

BD: Well, I would say, there were a lot of mistakes but I like to call them learning. Whenever I did something wrong, there was a lesson that I learnt from it. There have been thousands of learnings during my journey.

WS: According to you, what is the scope of the handcraft garment business in India and how will it shape in post covid times?

BD: The scope is immense. Or even if it is not, I find it is our responsibility to take it forward. Since hand-block prints and handcrafted garments are our Indian cultural heritage and a form of art. This is why I am very passionate about this. Me, as a woman entrepreneur, I would like to grow and expand it all across the world and dedicate my whole time to it, until my energies and body allow me to.

WS:  What Keeps You Motivated Every Day?

BD: Every day, I want to do more. I always look forward to things that have to be done. 8:30 AM, I start my work, and I think whatever things that I am doing have so much creativity in it that it keeps me alive. I get my kick from the positive feedback that I receive from my buyers. It is always something that I love to come back to. My work is now imbibed in me and it automatically happens. 

WS:  What Advice Would You Give To An Aspiring Female Entrepreneur Just Starting? 

BD: Just follow your passion and do not be afraid of anything. No work is small or big. Whatever we have learnt, we have learnt from here, after our birth, so don’t be afraid of any judgement. Try your 100%, and put everything into your passion. Trust me, you won’t ever regret it.

By Aditi Gupta

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