Meet the 54 12 months previous entrepreneur about making style inexpensive
Shreya Patel, the founder and creative director of RAAS, exemplifies this quote from Debbie Millers. At the age of 51, when most people are planning their retirement, Shreya ventured into the realm of professional fashion design and founded the hugely successful fashion label RAAS.
Through RAAS, Shreya is redefining ethnic Indian fashion and striving to give women the confidence and grace to take on the world. The label focuses on unique designs and bold patterns that make strong statements. Self-expression is at the core of RAAS and the brand enables women to experience positive and breathtaking changes that make them appear at their best.
Interestingly, Shreya mentions this when she entered the Indian clothing USA 2016 was with the intention to relax and have some good time with the family. After working as a financial planning and analysis manager in India for several years, she looked forward to a peaceful retirement. Little did she expect that this move would lead her to rediscover her passion for design and then open the doors to a new business venture.
Even during her full-time career, Shreya took great pleasure in designing festive outfits for her daughter in her spare time. This creative phase paved the way for her milestone decision to launch her South Asian fashion e-commerce business.
Even so, Shreya mentions that given her conservative family background, this decision was not an easy one. She believes it is the unwavering support from her husband and children that has allowed her to step out of her comfort zone and explore a new career.
This is how she registered her company in 2016. In the beginning, the brand focused on curating artisanal outfits from India and selling them in the USA. However, Shreya had a bigger vision and a desire to appeal to a larger audience. This prompted them to go online to increase the reach and visibility of the brand.
A website and social media were essential for RAAS to grow. Although it would be easy to delegate website design and social media marketing, Shreya decided to tackle this challenging task herself. Her technical expertise in creating EMRs for small hospitals proved useful to this endeavor at the time.
Still, she had to brush up on her basics, take various courses and do a lot of research. And all of her hard work paid off when the website she designed became a huge success. Since launch, the website has been a huge hit with growing revenue and glowing reviews. To this day, Shreya oversees the SEO and technical aspects of the website.
As the business grew, Shreya was consumed by the sustainable and ethical aspects of her band. It had limited control over the independent manufacturers who supplied its products. It was then that she decided to investigate the idea of making her designs in-house. However, this meant that she needed to expand her knowledge of fashion design.
Determined to learn from the best, she enrolled in the prestigious Parsons School of Design. Studying with her peers who were half her age did not deter her and in due course acquired a professional qualification in the field of design. In a very short time, RAAS had set up its own production unit.
Now most of the production takes place in-house in their production unit. RAAS also happens to be a women-centric organization with most of the staff members being women. The brand remains true to Shreya’s underlying goal of sustainability and affordable fashion. With a commitment to minimal waste, every piece of fabric and ornament is used effectively and efficiently. Even the smallest details, from the fabric for new designs to the packaging and shipping, are handled with sustainability in mind, without compromising on quality.
Today RAAS is established in India and the USA. While taking inspiration from traditional design techniques and ethnic styles, the brand continues to advocate innovative fashion concepts that are stylish and unique. Every RAAS outfit is a convincing example of fabrics and decorations of the highest quality, unique design and incomparable beauty. Whether for a birthday soiree, a wedding or a festival – RAAS aims to provide women with the best contemporary Indian dresses that match their exuberant personalities.
As RAAS impressed and conquered new heights with exciting collections in lush colors in every season, Shreya’s vision continued to grow. In her tireless endeavor to make sustainable, high-quality designer fashion accessible and affordable, she has also launched a new label “TANISI” that focuses on western casuals. Check Tanisi dresses For this passionate, talented, and creative entrepreneur, the possibilities are endless because she firmly believes that she has so much more to do.
Published on March 6, 2021