Fuelled by her urge to explore colors and patterns that others were hesitant about, Dhruvi Doshi Chitalia decided to take the leap into entrepreneurship by kick-starting her own boutique firm, Dhruvi Doshi Designs. Deriving her inspiration from all her travels across the world, she works with great passion to understand the needs of her clients and strives hard to make their vision come true. Be it customized stationery, personalized note cards, envelopes and liners, gift envelopes, wax stamping kits, gift tags, save the dates, invitations, or e-invites, Dhruvi Doshi Designs is a one-stop-shop for all bespoke stationery and luxury branding needs for your big day.
Pushing the envelope when it comes to innovation, the brand also offers individually tailored bespoke bridal planners that are perfect for the modern bride who takes the task of planning her wedding seriously.
Having worked with eminent brands such as Nerolac, Amazon, Yes Bank, and Sutlej, to name a few, Dhruvi Doshi Designs aims to explore the nuances of unexplored design aesthetics while creating exceptionally artistic work. In an interview, she says..
Where/How do you get your best ideas?
My best ideas strike me when I’m the most stressed! I thrive working under pressure, and my brain works the best then! Over the years I’ve also realised how the vibe of my workplace really affects my flow of thought as well as my creativity.
Working at my desk, with a lightly scented candle & ample sunlight is where I seek my inspiration.
What’s something they don’t teach you in University that you should probably know?
Dealing with several different vendors & servicing clients to the optimal! We are often taught team building & communication, but rarely are we ever taught how to talk to clients or vendors/suppliers who make the backbone of any business.
To add to it, there is very also little information or education about the Indian Wedding Industry, and everyone learns the skills on the job! It is an industry valued at close to 50 billion dollars, and no-one is educated to join the industry. There should be more schools that help people explore this.
First thing you do as soon as you wake up?
Check my Whatsapp & Mail. Most of my clients are free to respond post working hours as that’s when they are free! So the first thing I wake up and do is check their responses/feedback in order to align my team for the rest of the day.
What do you hope to see happen in the near future for small businesses in the country?
I hope to see them take centre stage! I really hope all small business owners are able to have enough savings for emergencies! If there’s one thing the pandemic has taught us is that – even a very profitable business can shut overnight due to lack of financial planning! I would also love to see small businesses network more, and create a community for themselves along with the existing players in the industry.
What was your biggest stroke of luck since the launch of your Dhruvi Doshi Designs?
My biggest stroke of luck would be the successful launch of our Bridal Planner. I decided to launch it as planner for Indian brides across the globe. When I was getting married I realised there’s nothing out there for me to document my journey until the wedding. Most of the planners available were White wedding centric – hence, I created this planner solely based on what I would have liked to have to stay organised as a bride. And voila! It’s now our bestseller product!
What do you typically read?/ Favourite book?
Bill Burnett & Dave Evan’s “Designing Your Life: Build a Life that Works for You”
This book is my all time favourite, it talks about how every design starts with a problem that a team of designers seek to solve – that’s what we call design thinking! If design thinking is responsible for innovations in technology & solving the worlds problems, then we should surely be able to use it to create a better life for ourselves irrespective of age, gender or circumstance! This book is a must read.
Best boss you had and what did you learn from them?
Best boss I had was my first boss in Advertising! She taught me what it takes to be a woman in business, and how to be taken seriously as a young woman in business. I learnt to speak for myself, and most importantly I learnt to be disciplined.
What question do you ask at interviews?
Among the several questions that I ask at interviews, my three two would be:
- Where do you seek inspiration?
- Are you okay with working under immense pressure & strict timelines?
- How do you work cross-functionally with other designers, animators, illustrators & copy writers?
One thing you learned about yourself?
I’ve learnt that I like a good work-life balance! I’ve realised in order to constantly be creative one must have a lot of different experiences to seek inspiration from! I cannot be creative unless I am at peace with myself. If I am in a foul zone, it will reflect in my design.
Hence, I always encourage my team to not just sit and finish the job at hand but to also spend some time for other hobbies & activities!
How do you keep your team motivated & engaged?
Honestly, it has been hard to do that with everyone working remotely! However, we arrange weekly review meetings! I always ask my team for their timelines and I never push them to finish a job before as I believe any creative process takes a certain amount of freedom for the best output. This helps me engage with them constantly and understand them more. With the relaxation of laws, I am hoping to see them more often.
How do you maintain work/life balance?
I make sure to spend ample time with my dog, Oliver! He’s a real stress buster. I usually also workout several times a week! Compartmentalising my work life from my personal life has also been a very rewarding practice as entrepreneurs, it’s easy to lose track of time and get carried away by the work load!
A childhood memory that shaped something you do in your business today?
Always watching my dad show up! It doesn’t matter if you’re having a bad day at work, or you don’t have the answers – you always show up! That’s something I religiously follow through with even today – and trust me that’s the mantra to maintaining great client & supplier relationships.
If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Dive in head first, you’ll learn everything you don’t know on the way! I see most kids being scared these days, they want to google everything they don’t know. Taking risks hardly seems like an option. However, if you trust yourself and just chase your dreams with dedication & consistency – you’ll make it!
“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
– Maya Angelou