Today we’d like to introduce you to Simran Rihal.
Simran, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I am quite fascinated by the transformative power of accessories especially the handbag! You can wear the simplest outfit but throw on a conversation-worthy handbag, and instantly you have a more interesting look!
About two years ago I found myself looking for evening clutch options for the numerous social occasions Houston has to offer. I found my options limited, especially ones that would fit my smartphone. I researched the market and could not believe that the bigger brands were not thinking of the socialista’s attachment to her smartphone.
I knew there were other victims like me out there when I scrolled through friends’ Facebook photos and saw them posing awkwardly while they precariously gripped their evening clutch with a smartphone on the outside! I knew there was a problem to solve. The fact that I could create something beautiful in the process was icing on the cake.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Smooth road? Anything but! It took me 18 months to get my line from conception to fruition. The biggest lesson I have learned during the journey is that failure is my friend! I encountered numerous hurdles along the way. A particular one is memorable. It was the day I got my first samples.
For 6 agonizing months, I had sketched, edited and finalized designs, sourced materials and researched factories for production. Finally, I had this magical box of goodies that was going to be the reward for all my hard work. I paused as I opened the box, telling myself I should just savour this moment. I opened the box and found the clasp on every single clutch was broken. To top it off, each sample was poorly made and really quite ugly. Simply put, I felt defeated.
There were tons of other roadblocks along the way but in this process one can choose to stay defeated or one can learn from every hurdle. I chose the latter.
When I got over the initial shock and disappointment, I told myself “Well, now you know this didn’t work and you are actually better equipped with that knowledge to go down a different path”.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
I approach design with a balance between beauty and function. For me, beauty has to have a purpose. I don’t know why I am the way I am, but it is truly a part of my makeup. So, I design evening clutches that dress up your look but also fit your phone and other essentials.
I am really proud of how unique my product is. From the eco-friendly Icelandic leather to the custom frames the factory created for my line, It was important to me that the product stands apart from others. What would be the point of me creating something that was already out there? After all, the whole idea of fashion is expressing your uniqueness.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Let go of the idea of trying to create something that is perfect. It is probably not going to happen! There was so much hand-wringing with every step of the creative process. I agonized over the most minute detail for so long it was holding me back. When I was designing I felt incredibly vulnerable. What would my product say about me? All my insecurities would come rushing to the surface when I thought that. I felt I would be judged for everything that had the potential of being imperfect.
But my mind went back to the concept of wabi-sabi that my Fashion Sketching professor had spoken about. It is basically about the acceptance of imperfection. I actually remember exhaling, just letting go of all that was weighing on me down. I just wish I had done it sooner.
- My clutches retail from $625 – $795
- Address: 3118 Noble Lakes Ln. Houston, TX 77082
- Website: simranrihal.com
- Phone: 713.305.7450
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @simranrihalcollection
- Facebook: @simranrihalcollection
- Twitter: @simranrihal
Kris D. Photography