Interview: Sayesha Sachdev, Founder of SY:SH | The Design House


 

Founder of SY:SH | The Design House, Sayesha Sachdev started her journey in fashion long before studying Fashion Communication and Promotion and specializing in Art Direction from CSM London, she first launched her experimental capsule collection SCHIER. Sayesha, who holds the helm at SY:SH-The Design House, comes with a remarkable resume of achievements. SY:SH is a growing brand and has collaborated with renowned artists from around the world to incorporate hints of diversity in their ensembles.
 
Founder of SY:SH | The Design House, Sayesha Sachdev
All of 21, she has worked with enviable names like Dolce & Gabbana, Lanvin Paris, Alexander McQueen, London Fashion Week, Jyoti Sachdev Iyer, Harper’s Bazaar to name a few. Her label, SY:SH stays true to its ethos of stylish sustainability by targeting the niche and exclusive luxury market, each design is produced in limited numbers at their workshops in North and East India ensuring that quality is given utmost importance and is ethically made.
 
An avid reader and traveler, Sayesha has travelled across India experiencing various traditional art forms such as block printing and weaving. Constantly innovating she has introduced natural dyes such as indigo, tea, coffee, spices, vegetables and flowers thus making the dyeing process 100% natural.
 
Assertive and pragmatic, Sayesha has a wild mind with a disciplined eye!
 
In an exclusive email interaction with The Motiverge; Sayesha Sachdev, Founder of SY:SH | The Design House tells more about the venture and future plans.
 
Excerpts:
 
1. Please give details about SY:SH-The Design House. When did you decide to take the entrepreneurial plunge?

Established in 2015, SY:SH is a growing brand and has collaborated with renowned artists from around the world to incorporate hints of diversity in their ensembles. SY:SH The Design House is organic in its purest form, showing you that you can feel closer to nature without feeling farther away from civilization and in fact the two could co-exist. The brand consciously uses undyed, chemical free, organic fabrics, handmade to perfection by select artisans from across India. Each garment is treated with respect, cut and stitched to perfection. She incorporates textiles like banana fiber, industrial waste, hemp and organic cotton to play with depth, texture and comfort.
 
I was always the young rebel, I hated the rigorous education system & as far back as I can remember I always pictured myself as a young successful entrepreneur indulging myself in creatively stimulating projects. When time came in 10th grade to decide what I was going to do as far as my education was concerned I decided to take the path less walked on and combined work with education. I researched for hours on sustainable fashion, luxury, travel and lifestyle and how I could contribute positively to such a large and intensive industry.
 
Eventually, I started working with various designers, spent hours in factories to understand labor & how to communicate and deal with vendors, sourcing, the works. I engrossed myself in the process as soon as I possibly could. After my stint in London at Central Saint Martins & working side by side with some of the industry’s best; Dolce & Gabbana, Alexander McQueen, Lanvin to name a few, I came back to India to start from scratch and help develop the artistry & dying traditional arts & handicrafts. My driving force through it all was my ambition, perseverance & believing that failure was just an experience to learn from.
 
2.       What was the biggest turning point in your life that changed your mind to become an entrepreneur?

Fighting mental health issues like anxiety & depression from a very young age, recovery & relapse has almost become an everyday part of my life. However, one morning in August 2012 I decided that my ability to succeed, my passion & my ambition are far stronger than any illness. I was raised to believe that an empty mind is a devil’s workshop and so I pushed myself to be as productive as possible, the more productive & occupied I was the happier I started becoming. Being raised by a single mother who pushed herself to give me every luxury I could’ve asked for was definitely my driving force to become an entrepreneur, to stand on my own two feet and to work hard and persevere every day. 
 
3.       According to you, what fashion is all about?

Fashion is luxury & glamour by facade and although we may show you the best of the industry, we are the second most polluting industry after oil. Fashion according to me should be comfort, luxury & sustainability. To give back, to appreciate, to revive. Real fashion is slow & ethical in my opinion. 
4.       How has been your journey so far? How big is your team?

My journey so far has been fun, full of adventure & experiences. Constant learning has pushed me to work harder and build my niche luxury clientele. As far as my team is concerned, as an artist it is important for my content to be constantly innovative and creative. I hire people on a contract bases or as consultants for my team on a project bases, it’s smart for growing business as it helps economically whilst it also helps keep my vision on the right track but also inspires me creatively. As I grow however, I do plan on expanding my team. 
 
5.       What are the challenges faced in your journey as an entrepreneur?

As if being an entrepreneur wasn’t hard enough already, being a young woman entrepreneur is even harder. For starters, people don’t take you seriously initially but the satisfaction you get when someone finally does appreciate your work and ideas is unexplainable. We are subjected to the mockery of this system. Monetarily we are automatically expected to be ‘more affordable’ than men doing the same amount of work if not less. It’s been a difficult process even with labor as it is difficult speaking to someone who is probably above the age of 40 and you’re 21 trying to get work done. Initially they feel they can walk all over you but once you make your mark the respect you receive is definitely worth the time & effort it took you to get there. 
 
6.       What are your plans for the brand in the future?

To grow globally, we have already started to pursue the international market as far as SY:SH is concerned. It is important to educate and promote sustainable and ethical fashion to a larger audience. We want to compete with fast fashion in terms of design whilst staying true to our ethos of stylish sustainability.  
 
7.       What keeps you going?

Growing up and watching my mom work nearly 14 to 16 hours a day without a frown on her face, the strength, perseverance she has had and the success I have seen her achieve over the past two decades transcends into my business beliefs. I have set certain goals for myself and achieving them is what keeps me going. The process of working towards it keeps my mind occupied and productive and that sense of happiness is my utmost motivation.
 

8.       Would you like to give some tips for success as a fashion entrepreneur?

No work is too small or too big. Failure is not the end but a learning experience. Perseverance and hard work will transcend into accomplishments, it is important to have confidence in yourself and surround yourself with positive energy that motivates you to push through tough times, study the market, do your research and take risks.

 

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