This entry was posted on Monday, September 26th, 2022 at 8:47:41 am and is filed under Precious Platinum. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
Shivangi and Akash’s Platinum Love Story
Precious Platinum - Sep 26, 2022
Shivangi Rastogi, a fashion designer, and Akash Arora, a restauranteur first met via mutual friends. Shivangi shares, “We met almost eleven years ago through mutual friends during an outing. We struck up a conversation but that was it. However, a couple of years down the line, we reconnected after Akash messaged me on social media. As we started chatting regularly, we realized that there was something special brewing between us. Our core values were the same and we effortlessly tuned into each other’s frequencies. Interpreting each other’s emotions came naturally to us.”
After the couple got hitched, Shivangi made the decision to move to Bareilly where Akash was based. Needless to say, it was a big shift as she stayed in Noida, a bustling, metropolitan city where she operated her denim apparel business. Shivangi shares, “I’ve always been a nomad at heart as I’ve traveled extensively across India due to my parents’ profession. And while I’m highly adaptable and was happy to make the move to Akash’s hometown, my business did not thrive the way I wanted it to. Being a purely denim-based brand, it did not find much of a target audience in Bareilly and I was crestfallen since building a flourishing brand of my own had always been my vision. This is when Akash understood the unsaid turmoil that I was feeling.
Being a sharp businessman, he encouraged me to pivot my business and take a dive into designing ethnic wear keeping the tastes of the local consumer base in mind. Having designed western wear most of my career I was highly skeptical at first and the fear of failure kept me from taking the leap. On expressing my fears to Akash, he promptly said, ‘Shivangi, you are a creative at heart, and isn’t the spirit of creativity all about experimenting? Even if you fail, you’ll have learned a new skill. Plus, you’re not alone and whenever you need any help, I’ll do whatever it takes!’ Reassured and inspired, I took up an apprenticeship under the wings of an experienced designer from whom I learned the ropes of creating ethnic wear. Slowly and steadily during the course of those 9 months, I realized that I actually loved this new category I was working in and Akash through his encouragement had opened up a whole new world of possibilities for me. Following the completion of my apprenticeship, I found my own signature style and even hosted a 2-day exhibition of my new designs where Akash was there every minute helping me out with logistics and managing the event.
In retrospect, it dawned on me that had it not been for Akash, I wouldn’t have plucked up the courage to experiment or expand my business. I’m an overthinker by nature and tend to stick to the safer side of things. But he gently nudged me out of my comfort zone which, in turn, honed my business as well as design skills. From putting me in touch with influencers from his network, working late into the night with me to chalk up a comprehensive business plan, conducting research on new trends while juggling his own budding business to rigorously marketing my exhibition through his contacts – he did it all! It’s such a gift to have a partner who despite hailing from a completely different industry not only takes an active interest in your ambitions but also accompanies you at every step of the way to ensure you achieve your dream.”
Similarly, Shivangi, in her own way, spurred Akash to step out of his comfort zone and pursue a path that he truly loves. Akash shares, “Hailing from a family that has been in the construction business for generations, my way ahead was etched out for me in my formative years. Being an ardent foodie, I’d always nourished a dream of owning my own chain of restaurants. And, after a lot of thought, I plucked up the courage to take the leap into entrepreneurship – a step that no one in my family had taken before! While a large part of me was elated, a small part of me was also apprehensive. My plans to open my own restaurant took me from Bareilly to Delhi – close to where Shivangi was based at the time. Being an entrepreneur herself, who has built a brand from scratch, Shivangi showed me ways in which I could win over prospective investors and get the word out about my plans. But as fate would have it, my plans did not work out, and returned to Bareilly. Yes, I was crestfallen and did harbor some doubts after my failed attempt in Delhi but Shivangi urged me to look at the silver lining – that this was my home turf where I understood the people’s tastes perfectly. And maybe, my failure in Noida had led me to the right place after all! And, the gamble paid off as I opened my second ‘Chaat Boutique’ outlet in Kanpur a couple of months ago.”
Reflecting on their bond, the duo shares, “Our curiosity to explore uncharted territories leads us to grow but, at times, it also results in pangs of doubt about the unknown. During these crucial moments, our love is our anchor. When one of us stumbles, the other is always there to lend a helping hand and get the focus back on track. Our dreams are not individualistic. Instead, they are shared, cherished, and achieved as a team. We walk this journey towards our dreams together, hand in hand, regardless of the curveballs that life throws at us.”
Navigating through the ebbs and flows of life and chasing their dreams together, Shivangi and Akash’s love has been their anchor through thick and thin. Standing the test of time Platinum Love Bands remain unchanged for a lifetime, just like Shivangi and Akash’s rare love.
Photographer: Infinite Memories