Welcome to our very first #Intervue, where we feature self-made retail entrepreneurs who are in the business of selling thoughtful and beautiful products. Through this series, we hope to share entrepreneurial stories and journeys that are inspiring and relatable, while showcasing diverse brands from across the globe. Our focus, as always, is on the small-medium enterprise and the small-medium entrepreneur.
Today’s #Intervue is with Sruti Ashok is the owner of INAI. INAI is a leather accessories brand from Chennai, India that has a global vision and aesthetic. INAI creates beautiful leather goods by upcycling unused/discarded leather that Sruti sources from all over the world.
How did it all begin for you?
I was working as a graphic designer in Mumbai, but after a few
What were the initial challenges you faced during the process of manufacturing? How has your journey been so far?
I am not formally trained in Leather/Accessory Design, so there was a learning curve and to date, there still is. Understanding the material, the process of making a piece from start to finish, minor detailing and so on has been a challenge but one that I truly enjoy as I learn. I’ve also learned to understand how to craft pieces using the leather scraps we collect in the best way and waste management. The credit goes to my skilled artisans and most importantly, towards my Master Craftsman, Ilayaraja who’s a genius at his craft and is always there to assist me when creating new pieces, it’s been a fun and exciting journey so far.
My Grandmother is my role model. She’s always been my inspiration because she’s selfless. She has dedicated her life to social service, and she’s always supported handicrafts and weavers.
What has been your most memorable milestone?
I don’t think there is a single milestone as such, but
The one thing I hate about being an entrepreneur? Accounts, probably.
You obviously multitask a lot. What are your favourite productivity tools and work apps?
I’m not much of a tech wiz and I’m a bit old school in that sense. I stick to the basics really –
Adobe CC for all my editing, making new creatives, packaging etc.
Pushbullet to transfer files from my laptop to my phone instantly
Todoist – for making lists/tasks to complete.
My favourite part of the day is the morning, I prefer getting a bright and early start!
Have you ever had a customer come up to you and give you feedback which made you go What! Why didn’t I think of this before?
There’s been no singular moment so far, but I’m always keen to get feedback and hear what our customers have to say. We developed a recent piece with the help from a customer and
And that brings us to the end of our very first #Intervue! Do check out
Also, If you know someone who is deserving of an #intervue, feel free to shoot us an email at hello[at]vue45[dot]com!