“I had a dream. A beautiful one and I believed in it and I dived in.” — Sashi Vangapalli

Having grown up in a society where everyone believed that the life of a woman is all about getting married, having kids and staying confined in the four walls, I chose to take the road less travelled.

I was not born with a silver spoon; my parents faced their share of challenges to raise us, but they ensured that we get a proper education and become financially independent. Holding a degree in IT, the fashion industry seemed totally far-fetched, but I soon realized that I wasn’t cut for a 9 to 5 job and I won’t play it safe out of fear or pressure.

As they say, if you have a passion for learning, you never cease to grow. I totally believe in that saying. Five years back, I would have never thought that I would reach this far, but today when I look back, I am able to connect the dots that led me to where I am today. I have had my professional setbacks but the only thing that kept me going was my passion towards exploring the fashion industry and my undeterred spirit to make it big in the fashion world. And now there’s no turning back.

I feel proud when I see the women today working hard towards achieving their dreams, exploring uncharted territories and not following the conventions but their hearts. One of the best examples of the women who dared to go beyond is Priyanka Chopra. I truly admire her for the dedication she has towards her work. These are the women who I aspire to design for — the women who dare to dream and break the barriers.

I am often asked how do I define beauty. For me, the real beauty is about being confident, it is about your charisma, your character — about what you actually are. Clothing and makeup are just a part; the essence always lies within you, deep beneath the skin.

With a vision to leave a positive impact in the world, I have always believed in challenging the status quo and not be defined by the standards set by society. I am here to do my bit and will contribute my part. Being a strong advocate of women empowerment, I have always believed that if women are supported and encouraged, there are endless possibilities for them and they can define themselves the way they want. This is what I envision. It is not going to be an easy path, but this is what my dream is. This is what I am here for.