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Angad Creations: Crafting Excellence Through Kashmiri Embroidery!

It is always inspiring for budding entrepreneurs to know about the real-life heroes who were able to carve out their paths and achieve excellence in their endeavours. However, one of the success stories hidden under wraps is of Angad Creations, who did not take long to solicit adoration and accolades due to their perpetual persistence and dedication. With its unique business model, Angad Creations has not only recorded enormous success but also inspired others, despite the immense challenges of running a business. Their dedicated team persevered and innovated new products incessantly to match the distinct and niche requirements of the new-age customers.

Angad Creations: The Brand

The pioneer in Kashmiri embroidered apparel and accessories since 1992, Angad Creations was started by Jaspreet Singh Bahri with a vision to establish the magnificence of exceptional and versatile Kashmiri handwork in every single home across the nation. The passionate and dedicated team of Angad Creations always succeeded in expanding their wings of creativity and ingenuity to add more marvels to the wide range of Kashmiri embroideries they offer. As a result, their apparels, handicraft, and fashion accessories are always in line with the trending norms and vogue.

Woven into a wide range of intricate Kashmiri embroideries, Angad Creations offers products such as Shawls, Wraps, Dresses, Sarees, Indian Ethnic Suits, Kurtas, Tunics, Jackets and Coats, Capes and Ponchos, Dupattas, Running Length Fabrics, Nehru Jackets, Men’s Kurta Pyjamas, Kaftan Kurtas, Phirans, and Bottom Wear. Besides a plethora of stately apparel, they also offer accessories and lifestyle products such as stellar Potli Bags, Rugs, Cushion Covers, and Bed Covers.  

With unceasing effort in developing something distinct from the heritage embroideries, the designers look forward to creating a new fusion to leave the viewers amazed. While the elite ensembles feature traditional works like Kalamkari, Kani, Sozni, Zari, and more, like Space Dye, Ombre, and Reversible, which are more contemporary. Papier Mache, Jamawars, and Tilla embroidery are some of the most revered pieces of their product line.

Kashmiri embroidery is a rich artwork and Angad Creations wishes to preserve the divinity of the work. Their artisans are adept at weaving fine patterns demonstrating different forms of embroidery to cater to the varied demands of the consumers. The use of the finest threads and high-quality material results in the utmost elegance. The fashion apparels offered at the Angad Creations store are a true reflection of the beauteous Kashmiri landscape and paradise. These handcrafted and machine embroideries never fail to appeal to the audience. Exquisite needlework involves complicated threadwork and a single long stitch, aiming to make the design stand out.

Angad Creations garments have been embellished with a range of intricate embroideries over the years. It may interest you to know more about the different embroideries that have made the Kashmiri apparel stellar and cherished. Sozni Embroidery, one of the most sophisticated forms of needlework, needs precision and skill to make the garment look magnificent and delicate. This embroidery is considered unique due to the inspirational motifs and floral blooms. Aari embroidery, which started spreading its roots somewhere in the 12th century, is another portrayal of glory and splendor. This specialty work needs fine and concentric rings of chain stitch. Also known as Kashida, this embroidery uses vivid colours and floral designs.

Tilla, one of the most exquisite types of Kashmiri embroidery, uses silver, golden, and copper metallic threads to ornate ethnic wear. People looking for embellished patterns and attractive designs can order bespoke Angad Creations apparel and accessories online.

The Journey

Jaspreet Singh Bahri had an exciting journey, from witnessing the people’s extreme admiration and love for Kashmiri art to experiencing the hardships of establishing Angad creations as a ‘brand’ he had dreamt of. However, being in the industry for more than three decades now, the destiny and continual efforts to attain transcendence gave Angad Creations the place it rightfully deserves!

Mr. Bahri initially started his academic journey with an engineering course but had to return home soon due to missing crucial documents. His quest for traveling got him into a secluded, in a remote village of Kashmir. His inclination to artisanship made him curious about Kashmiri embroidery, which was prevalent in the village. He observed that the Kashmiri artisans had a knack for developing exclusive art forms with unparalleled attention and patience. Looking at the fascinating artistry, he couldn’t stop himself from spending days understanding more about Kashmiri craftsmanship and an array of embroideries performed by skilled and dexterous patents. This is how an aspiring engineer became a designer and a famous Pashmina manufacturer.

The Challenges

It seems as if the Kashmir handicraft has a spiritual bond with nature and surrounding beauty. Innumerable artisans want to grow their art form within the most favorable and artistic landscape of Kashmir. But the fact that the valley’s beauty, cultural heritage, and workmanship needs peace and stability to flourish and expand cannot be undermined. 

Textiles and embroidery have been the most significant source of income for many people in Kashmir. Angad Creations is associated with many artisans who create extraordinary weaving and embroidery patterns despite their hardships. However, the challenges faced by the artisans today in Kashmir are too many. The ornate art of Kashmir, including wonderful Kani weaving, Sozni embroidery, papier-mâché painting, etc., needs a steady focus cultivated in the free environment of peace, support, and beauty. 

Generations of families have been working together in this industry, but it remained difficult to organize the sector due to the rising conflict and instability. The artisans were known to struggle for basic amenities and infrastructural facilities such as shelter, water, electricity, and medication. While the Kashmiri people kept craving a warmer and more supportive way of life, the people continually faced the ill effects of strikes and curfews. It was difficult for them to move around freely and connect with each other.

However, it is commendable that the Kashmiri artisans have been exhibiting remarkable resilience amidst the instability in the region for decades. If ever there is peace in the region again, imagine the heights we would all witness!

With offline stores and units in tier 2 city, Angad Creations has been facing challenges in gathering ample resources, professionalism, and reach. However, the company is thankful to its artisans who have been curating the art adroitly and excelling in their craft. While the company provides them with a platform to continue crafting exquisite textiles, they hope to build a thriving future for themselves.

The Opportunities

It has been ages since handicrafts have been the backbone of Jammu & Kashmir’s economy. Hence, the demand for Kashmiri art has only been soaring. The exemplary beauty of the handcrafted apparel, a range of statement products, trending accessories to meet the contemporary needs of the fashionistas, etc., has kept this industry growing and achieving newer heights. Angad Creations aims to tap the opportunities by making their offerings enter into new regions, increase awareness, enhance brand reach, and recreate the traditional stitches of fall in line with the modish fashion norms. They also aim towards conscious consumption and constant aspiration for the co-existence of beautiful handmade and machine-made product lines.

Angad Creations aims to preserve this traditional art form, age-old heritage and culture, adroitness and proficiency, and a long history and lifestyle. More than 2 lacs artisans depend on handicrafts for their livelihood in Kashmir. Therefore, there is a huge potential in this sector and the scope of generating more employment opportunities once the market is expanded and the demand is heightened. Since the handicraft sector is labour-intensive, the sector is responsible for contributing to huge employment generation. It is also important to note that handicrafts allow the country to earn more than Rs.1700 crores as foreign exchange annually, according to the Directorate of Handicrafts, Government of Jammu and Kashmir, 2020.

The products of Kashmir can bloom with more awareness towards the Kashmir brand, more modernized designs, adoption of new technologies and market intelligence analysis, better infrastructure, institutional framework, functional utility, high-quality craftsmanship, and more.

Plans Ahead

Besides continual efforts to create brilliance in its offerings, Angad Creations plans to augment its reach and visibility. The company plans to open more stores in different parts of the country. They are also rigorous in their expansion plans so that the brand can travel internationally and offer their products worldwide. They look forward to curating fabrics with exquisite designs and classical ornamentation that can exude a taste of royalty. The company wants to offer statement pieces that become a ‘sight to behold’.

Angad Creations have been focusing to build a more expansive team, housing the experts who can pull off innovative and classic embroideries. They incessantly look for artisans who have experience, precision, patience, and dedication to withstand the complexity of the work and deliver authentic Kashmiri embroidered clothing as well.

Understanding that variety is the spice of life, Angad Creations have also been working on a sub-brand that can offer a different variety to people and match their unique requirements. This strategy will help consumers obtain more options and allow the brand to open up a new horizon to excel!

Words of Wisdom

Angad Creations offers advice to all budding entrepreneurs to do their research well in their area before entering the market. They need to identify every single loophole, jot down a plan to negate those, and go creative on the way. New business people must devise a thoughtful business strategy and follow best practices based on their financial and profitability goals. Determining cost, margins, pricing of products, and the ways to improve efficiency and maximize returns need to be pondered upon.

To ensure victory and accomplishment, they must become aware of the ecosystem, involve themselves with the expert designers in their fields, incessantly polish their craft by allowing the mentors to intervene, and always try to bring the requisite skill for the craft. Field trips, discussions with advisors, and obtaining theoretical and practical learnings to create new designs, new ideas, and new color palettes based on customer demand are also significant. Remember that self-pedagogy and following passion can make it big!

Monika Wasserman