Shweta Shivkumar - Founder of WhySoBlue

Tell us a bit about yourself
Hi! I’m Shweta and I’m the co-founder of a conscious clothing label “ WhySoBlue”

Did you always know you wanted to  start something of your own?
No, I didn't always knows I wanted to do something of my own, I actually worked a couple of jobs before I became an entrepreneur . I realised I didn't enjoy working for somebody else or doing a job that didn't bring me joy. So, I thought I should do something on my own and since I always had an inclination towards styling and fashion and fabric, I thought why not give it a chance and…here we are!
What’s the story behind the name “WhySoBlue”
Story behind “WhySoBlue” …I get this very often and its basically like an idiom which means why so sad and that’s exactly what WhySoBlue embodies. It basically means, to be happy, to be joyful, and to not be sad and to live life to the fullest and that’s something that each outfit or each garment that’s made in WhySoBlue kind of embodies and represents- Happiness.

What was the idea behind the brand? How did you come up with it?
The idea behind the brand, so, I started WhySoBlue with my mother about 7 years ago and at the point we wanted to create something that was fun, vibrant, colourful but at the same time something very inclusive in terms of styling. We wanted to make it with fabrics that were printed, interesting cottons. Something that let people celebrate their uniqueness and kind of go with the flow. And I think keeping that in mind we started WhySoBlue and I think where we want to be but we could go much further.

What inspired you to be a part of the fashion world?
What inspired me to be in the fashion world, honestly, I think my inspiration comes from my mother. She’s been somebody who loves fabric, stitching, designing. I think it is in her blood. Growing up, my mother and I would go shopping for fabrics every week and we were kind of crazy about it, we would bond over it, we would design fabrics. We would just get up and be like “There’s an exhibition in town! Do you want to go? Do you want to check the fabrics out! And that would really excite us! I think, I didn't realize that I had an inclination in that space till I quit and had some clarity. So, I think somewhere in the back of my mind, I love the joy that it brought me and that’s what inspired me to start something in the clothing space, in the fashion space with my mom.
Has being a co-founder duo changed your mother-daughter relationship?
Rewinding back to how WhySoBlue started, I worked for a couple of years before I started WhySoBlue and my father had passed away at the time and the situation at home was not what it used to be, and there was a lot of unresolved emotions and a lot of unresolved things that had to that, kind of became abrupt for us. So we realised that, that incident, my father’s death did kind of make us drift apart. Which was not very us, which was not very us, we were very close and that missing piece, which was my Dad, after he passed away, we realised we were drifting apart. It was not something we planned consciously, it just started happening. But when WhySoBlue came in the picture, and I decided, I want to do something in the fashion space in the clothing space and I want to co-found, I want to make it with you, because you’re the only person who knows fabric, production, the behind the scenes of everything, my mom was thrilled. I think when we started working together, I feel like we came closer, we came back to where we were and that’s an amazing feeling. I mean, it kind of empowered both us. More than anything, I feel like, at 50 or 49, she started working for the first time in her life, which is saying something, i mean, she has never worked in her life, she was always a scholar through college and school but she never found the need to work. So when this opportunity came to her and we didn't have any means to do anything else. I just quit the job, we put everything, every saving went into the business and we thought “Hey! Lets just give it a shot” and then seeing her having this natural entrepreneurial instinct, its amazing and I think that it has brought a new dimension, a new dynamic relationship. I think it’s made us stronger, we talk to each other everyday, we meet each other everyday. So I think we’re always chewing each other’s brains but it’s nice. I love it. I love the fact that we can come to work together, we get our dog to work. I think, its a very unique space to be and I really am grateful that we are where we are.

What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
My most satisfying moment in business, to be honest, has to be, actually there are multiple, I couldn't really choose just one. I love when any customer just comes to me or my team and says you know what, this outfit gave me confidence, this outfit made my day, it really brought me joy, something that held value to them. I think that really moves me, and I feel like I’ve done some good and that really makes me happy. I remember this one customer of mine, she orders from us a lot, she’s almost like a friend to us now. She ordered something for her mom, her mom was in the wheelchair and she said she wants to get something customised for her, something that her mother enjoys and feels comfortable in and I was kind of taken aback. I’ve never done something like that. I was just wondering what if I don't meet the brief of if I don't make her as happy as I made her with her outfit but when the outfit reached her and her mom wore it, she sent us pictures of her mom in WhySoBlue in her wheelchair and you should’ve seen the smile and the joy and she wrote to us saying my mom’s never felt more confident or happier in any other dress and it fit like a dream and its so comfortable for her to move around and that truly made my day. I was like that makes me so happy and so proud of what we do at WhySoBlue. Such a moment. That one incident made me very happy.

How do you unwind?
Oh, its a long list. So, I am a dancer I’m a belly dancer, I’m a Latin dancer. So, I try and catch up and go to socials and catch up with dancing whenever I can, but its very rare lately. Apart from that, I’m a sucker for thriller horror movies and that’s something my Sundays are spent doing. I also like painting, when I have some time, I’m learning watercolours now so when I’m in the mood when I just want to be by myself, put on some music, and by with my dog and just do nothing else. That’s my Sunday. Psycho thriller flicks, with some painting and maybe some going out, maybe some dinner and drinks. I also love hosting people, I love hosting parties. So I think, I just like moving around, I don't like being stagnant. I love reading books as well. I feel like I have two sides to my personality, a part of me likes to do these chill indoor activities and a part of me loves to meet people and host people. So I think I have this dual personality and I try to balance them out.

How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style, is exactly what I just said. My personal style is whatever I feel like when I get out of bed, to be very honest. Most likely you’ll see me in these baggy shirts and comfy shapeless outfits, I love them. I feel like they’re underrated. I feel like you could do so much with a really simple not-so-conventional looking dress. I feel like accessories can add so much more, I love that. But at the same time, also like, dressing up, getting my girly side on, wear the heels and the whole deal. But more often than not, I am in my sneakers and a very very baggy dress. That’s like my go to. I love baggy shirt dresses and  my sneakers and that’s usually my look, with some really, choicest of jewellery.

How do you resonate with Teejh?
I think Teejh and I resonate for this reason, I feel like Teejh has a big spectrum of offering in terms of jewellery styles there is your really dainty, delicate pieces, and then there’s your really bold numbers and bold jhumkas and bold chokers. I feel like when you wear something baggy and basic , jewellery really adds that much needed jazz to uplift an outfit. Like I have, right now, paired two chokers and made it look like one hue thing and I’ve worn a really nice ghungroo ring. I love when it makes that noise. So I like that I can wear something basic and accentuate and elevate the look with some fun junky jewellery. At the same time, if I were doing something very girly, very minimal, very feminine,  I would probably pick some daintier pieces like some really good studs or something very playful to lift and add on to the look. In that manner, my personal style and Teejh’s jewellery really have a lot in common.

What does the future look like for Shweta?
I am not much of a planner which is, I know , ironic for an entrepreneur but I do not like planning a lot. I think with whatever experiences I’ve had in the past, I feel like planning and then things not working out, I’ve seen it and I feel like because of that experience I am someone who is always on my toes, I’m ready to pivot whenever I want to and I keep myself on my toes at all given times. Having said that, I am travelling, for my birthday next month. I’m very excited and also nervous because this is the first  time I’m taking a break from work. It’s gonna be a long vacation, It’s gonna be a true blue break. I don't have much happening, work wise a ton happening. But currently Shweta is interested in unwinding, relaxing and having a fabulous birthday next month! 

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