Namrata Shroff – Bag Designer and Creator | Owner of Bagstock Designs
Bluebell / Jasmine / Ruby / Rose / Plumeria … you wonder what these are?! Well, scratch your head no more. These are names of Designer Purses designed and created by the very charming Namrata Shroff. The owner of Bagstock Designs, a name to reckon with in the bag designing and crafting world – she has followers all over the world … women from all over the world who wait for every pattern that she designs and creates. Women and crafters all over the world who test her patterns, make tons of her bags and literally get recognised for their bags and creations – all credited to our sassy Boss Girl here.
Her story may read easy and light and probably come across as oh, is that it?! But just park this thought and mull over it a bit… over 6000 facebook followers of crafters and bag makers from all over the world who like her designs and almost close to 10000 pattern testers all over the world, over 3000 crafters and bag makers on instagram and her own customer base who just can’t get over her bags… it is not an easy task and no mean feat. Trust me 🙂
- So it all started with quilting, Namrata?
Yes Madhavi. Actually.
I was always inclined towards art & craft /DIY things. Even though I belong to a small town away from developed cities, my parents always encouraged my madness for art and craft. They never stopped me from trying new things and learning new skills.
After the birth of my baby in 2012, family life and child care definitely was on the top priorities of my life. And though everything looked great and was as great as it looked, but somewhere in the mind I always had a feeling of something that was missing. It was during those times that one fine day I encountered with quilting. I bought a very basic Singer sewing machine and made a few quilts. It was only while quilting that I also explored bag making and since then I am hooked on to sewing bags.
2. How did you get to Bag Making or designing Bags?
In my opinion there are very few people who are lucky to live their passion as profession and I am one of them. I always wanted to pursue something that I love. I learnt numerous skills like glass painting, one stroke painting, quilting, cooking to name a few. But for some or the other reason, I couldn’t stick to any one of those. After a long soul search for what I wanted to do the most, I tried sewing hand bags. I made some basic bags and that really turned out well. I started loving the whole experience of shaping a piece of fabric in to a beautiful bag. I tried new things in bag making and it worked wonders, and that’s where my head and heart both said, “This is it”.
I went one step ahead and in August 2016 I published my first sewing pattern, till now I have published 8 patterns and the next one is in the testing phase.
3. Who are your biggest inspirations and what keeps you going in this highly competitive crafting field?
There are little gems all around us that can hold glimmers of inspiration, there is so much to learn from everyone, Madhavi. My favourite pattern designers who are also my inspiration are Alicia Miller of Swoon patterns and Sara Lawson of sew sweetness.
Everyday there are little nuggets of positivity that keep me going. They come in all forms… like people admiring my work, receiving appreciation from some established names in the fraternity and above all my own satisfaction of shaping a piece of fabric in to a beautiful bag.
4. How does it all work out at home?
Well, I am grateful to God for that. I have a wonderful husband who is not just supportive but extremely encouraging and takes pride in what I do. That is the biggest achievement and gift, I must say that it all makes it worthwhile.
It is not easy, managing home and work. It is never easy for anyone. But when you prioritise your passion, you learn to take everything in your stride and go with the flow, all the while, keeping your eyes and mind focussed on the bigger picture, on what you set out to do in the first place.
5. You are a self starter. An Entrepreneur and you have done very well for yourself. What would you say to all who are reading this and anyone who wishes to be an Entrepreneur?
Listen to your heart. All your dreams can come true if you have the courage to pursue them. Just put your head down and work. Surround yourself with people who genuinely feel for you, believe in you and wish you well. You need that kind of positivity. It is not easy being an entrepreneur specially in the world of social media. While it is social media that has helped me to reach out to so many able and passionate crafters all over the world, but the cyber space can be delusional, critical and make you lose focus. You have to remember that finally it is your work that will speak for itself. If your work is not good, no amount of promotion will help.
Give it a shot. Whether you are a designer, a crafter, a creator…just start. That’s all you need.