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Weaving an Empowering Environment for Women

Anjali Sharma

She has been there, seen all, and done that!

Now it is time, Anjali Sharma, thought to give back to the society, and create an empowering ecosystem for women.

A successful businesswoman, an accomplished designer and one who taught Design and Fashion to successive batches at the prestigious National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Anjali Sharma is associated with women from the structurally disadvantaged background and gives them a chance to work.

The brand she built – French Curve – reflects her personality – bold, brave, successful and creatively stimulating.

A Fauji bacha (offspring of a soldier) who lived in different parts of the country, Anjali does not let time blend in with any environs, whether it is the officious Delhi or salubrious and enterprise-inspiring, young and bubbly startup capital of India – Bengaluru.

For 32 years Anjali has been in the business of garments with experience in three verticals – export segment, as a NIFT faculty, and as an Entrepreneur.

A pass out of the third batch of NIFT, Delhi, Anjali had a successful career in the corporate world. She broke away once the children were born and balanced life and work. Entrepreneurship came thereafter. But it is the teacher in her, having taught at the NIFT for over a decade and a half, that has goaded her to adorn the mentorship role.

She brings to her mentees, an amalgamation of all her varied experience and experiences in the world and business of textiles, garments and fashion. The women and young girls who she is taking under her wings, so to speak, are from clusters of villages from around towns and cities across India – to help them experience financial independence with the inherent skills they are born with – Sewing and Knitting. With her understanding of the domestic and global market, her tremendous reach in terms of her network of countless of her students placed across in influential fashion and garment industry globally, and her expertise in ergonomic design, make Anjali the perfect person to create the entire process – from concept to a product that spells success.

Clothing a newborn with love and care, with fabrics that are soft and safe, is something that every mother longs for. Tapping into what could be a surefire success formula – from a marketing and sales perspective – Anjali has come up with a Celebratory design line for infants, aptly named CHHOTABACCHA.

What began as a concept in January 2019, with test-running it as a pilot project, CHHOTABACCHA has notched up early successes.

“Demand for this niche product is so much (from the desired quarters) that the project promises to be very exciting,” Anjali told Tricity Scoop. A centralized Design and R&D team that Anjali heads will be looking to train women on the work processes and quality aspects needed for product standardization. Later, the branding, sales and marketing of the product will be done by experts in the field that Anjali has roped in.

The common thread that binds all the hard-core co-founders, finance, digital and strategy professionals at CHHOTABACCHA is – their strong desire to give back to the society.

Anup Pai, the angel investor of this project believes in decentralizing the economy and production and creating a circular ecosystem. “It is the commonality of goodness and selflessness in doing what we are doing that guarantees success,” says Raj Narayan, a digital media expert and narrative setter who helps businesses grow.

Anjali, and team CHHOTABACCHA are trying to fulfil a huge gap that exists in infant clothing with respect to natural and conscious products that are also responsible.

Mentored by the Cherie Blair Foundation, Anjali had worked with the Govt of India on USTAAD, a cluster development project in Kashmir to lead the design team to save and restore the dying art of TILLA – a type of hand embroidery in the district of Ganderbal beyond Srinagar, Kashmir.

Now, for CHHOTABACCHA too, she would adopt the cluster development way.

It will be a sustainable line of Indian Celebration wear for ages 0-2, and a venture that is inspired by fading Indian traditions.

Waste control, minimal carbon footprint, using natural fabric and dyeing, grassroots work ethics and empowering women are the base standards we work with, Anjali said.

As a team, individuals and as professionals, we are determined to actively incubate and work towards providing stability, growth and life-changing opportunities to rural women and artisans.

“Within a limited period, during the post lockdown period so far, we are proud to be associated with Okhai, Our Better Planet, The Better India and Amazon. Our business is associated with Truetone, Organic Notes and Goonj, both NGOs,” she said.

“Our meaningful tie-ups start with e-Samudaay wherein we get to measure the impact of our venture firsthand, and we are happy at the progress so far,” Anjali added.

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