TheGlitz ‘Super Woman’ Ruchika Mehta, Founder, Dahlia

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Ruchika Mehta, Founder, Dahlia

Ruchika Mehta, founder of Dahlia, creates contemporary designs redefining traditional Indian handwoven fabrics, promoting slow fashion and capsule wardrobes, and combining trendy and stylish outfits.

Ruchika comes from a traditional business family. Her mother encouraged her artistic talent from a young age, which led to her exploring several creative outlets and developing her appreciation for artisanal work. Although her mother had preferred that she pursue fashion design, she ultimately enrolled in a degree in jewellery creation. Even though the new effort offered up new possibilities, unjustifiable setbacks caused by cultural conventions and regional restrictions prevented a long-term career in the field.

Driven by action, Ruchika Mehta embarked on a lucrative career in media marketing that lasted for more than 10 years. Her supportive husband encouraged her to consider pursuing further education. While IIM was the vision, life had other plans. Her long-repressed desire to design clothing came to life when she launched her own label. Thus, at 35, she embarked on her fashion odyssey, accompanied by her 5-year-old son and a cheerful spouse. She signed up for a postgraduate fashion design course at Pearl Academy.

Ruchika’s journey through the academy was marked by dedication, passion, and a deep appreciation for handwoven textiles. She participated in an exchange programme and attended fashion classes at Domus Academy in Milan, showcasing her determination to reshape Indian fashion through the lens of handcrafted excellence, which, in a nutshell, is what defines Ruchika Mehta’s success. TheGlitz has more…

Ruchika Mehta with her collection
Ruchika Mehta with her collection

Your journey has had many momentous milestones. Could you tell us about the life-changing milestones that have molded you into what you are today?

Certainly! There have been several pivotal moments in my journey that have significantly shaped who I am today.

Artistic upbringing: From a young age, I demonstrated a keen artistic flair, which my mother nurtured. Her encouragement allowed me to explore various creative avenues, instilling in me a deep appreciation for artisanal work.

Career shift from media marketing to fashion: Despite initially pursuing a successful career in media marketing for over a decade, I always harboured a passion for fashion design. As a small kid, I decided to pursue further education in this field, marking a significant shift in my career trajectory.

Enrollment in Pearl Academy: At the age of 35, I took the leap to enrol in Pearl Academy for a PG course in Fashion Design. This decision marked the beginning of my fashion odyssey and was accompanied by countless sacrifices, including sleepless nights and relentless hard work.

Discovery of passion for handwoven textiles: During my time at Pearl Academy, I developed a profound appreciation for handwoven textiles, which ignited a new passion within me. This newfound love for traditional Indian weaves ultimately became the cornerstone of my brand, Dahlia.

Global perspective from Domus Academy: Participating in an exchange programme at Domus Academy in Milan provided me with a valuable global perspective on fashion. This experience broadened my horizons and reinforced my commitment to reshaping Indian fashion through the lens of handcrafted excellence. Each of these milestones has played a crucial role in shaping my journey and has contributed to my identity as a designer committed to creating contemporary yet timeless pieces rooted in Indian craftsmanship.

Ruchika Mehta with Prateek Mehta
Ruchika Mehta with Prateek Mehta

What are the setbacks you have faced? How did you tackle these setbacks or challenges? And what lesson have you learned from it?

One setback I faced was the geographical limitations in pursuing my passion for jewellery design. Despite completing a course in jewellery design, the job market prospects were predominantly beyond Delhi, which clashed with societal norms and ended that career path. To tackle this setback, I chose to pivot and explore opportunities in media marketing, which eventually led to a successful decade-long career in the industry.

Another setback I encountered was the challenge of balancing family responsibilities with my aspirations to start my own fashion label. With a young son and the demands of family life, pursuing further education and launching a brand seemed daunting. However, I decided to take the leap and enrol in a PG course in fashion design at Pearl Academy. Tackling this challenge required careful time management, sacrifice, and determination to pursue my dreams while fulfilling my family obligations.

From these setbacks, I learned the importance of adaptability and perseverance. Life may not always go according to plan, but it’s essential to remain flexible and resilient in the face of obstacles. By embracing change and staying committed to my goals, and of course with the unrelenting support of my family, I was able to overcome these challenges and continue on my journey towards creating Dahlia, my vision for reshaping Indian fashion through handcrafted excellence.

When you look back, what are the three qualities in you that have helped you become what you are today?

Looking back, I believe there are three qualities that have been instrumental in shaping me into who I am today:

Persistence: Throughout my journey, I encountered numerous challenges and setbacks, but I never allowed myself to be deterred. Instead, I persevered through the tough times, staying focused on my goals and pushing forward despite the obstacles in my path.

Determination: I’ve always had a clear vision of what I wanted to achieve, and I’ve been unwavering in my pursuit of those goals. Whether it was pursuing further education, starting my own fashion label, or advocating for slow fashion and handcrafted excellence, I remained determined to make my dreams a reality.

Commitment: From my early days exploring creative avenues to my successful career in media marketing, I’ve always been deeply committed to whatever I set my mind to. This commitment extends to my work with Dahlia, where I’m dedicated to creating contemporary designs that showcase the beauty of traditional Indian weaves and promote sustainable fashion practices.

Who are the people who have been the wind behind your wings?

The pillars behind my success are my mother, husband, and son. From an early age, my mother nurtured my artistic talents, urging me to explore various creative paths. Although she initially wished I pursued fashion design, she backed my different choices. My husband has consistently supported my journey, believing in my dreams and pushing me to further my education and launch my own fashion label. Lastly, my son has been my wellspring of inspiration, urging me onward even in the toughest times. Their steadfast support and belief have profoundly influenced my path, helping me surmount challenges.

It would be remiss of me not to acknowledge my dad, who, though not overt in his support, instilled in me the fortitude to navigate this journey. He provided the fundamentals that underpin my perseverance, a never-say-die attitude, and the confidence to believe in myself. Quietly standing by, he let me learn from my mistakes and silently conveyed that it’s okay, encouraging me to move forward.

Ruchika with her son
Ruchika with her son

Lastly, if there was a quote to define you, what would it be?

Persistence, determination, and an unwavering commitment to reshaping Indian fashion through the lens of handcrafted excellence.” This encapsulates my journey and the values that drive me in my work every day.

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