Sapna Sampath’s online store Theertha Designer Studio has clicked with customers

Sapna Sampath is keyed into the style maxims of the city. The software engineer-turned-designer runs Theertha Designer Studio, an online venture that customises saris, dress material and polymer jewellery. It’s only been four months or so since Sapna got her Facebook page up and running and already it has become a hit with fashionistas everywhere, garnering more than 3, 800 likes.

“I’m quite taken back by the response, to be honest. I only started it on a lark, at the behest of some of my friends and relatives, who like my designs. Now I’ve got customers from places as far as Canada and Singapore. And most of it has been through word of mouth publicity, my customers themselves letting their friends and relatives know about Theertha,” says Sapna, her voice ringing with pride.

The 30-year-old seems to have always had an eye for design. “I used to style clothes for my friends and relatives and also design costumes for fashion shows and dances while in college (Rajas College of Engineering, Thuckalay). I knew my future lay in design and not in programming,” she explains.

Then, around a year ago, for a wedding, Sapna designed theme-based saris in beige and black for herself and her mother and a matching half-sari for her sister. “I started getting requests for similar designs and it just rolled from there,” says Sapna. She lives in Nalanchira, with her husband, Sujith Chandran, and four-year-old son, Saurav.

“I specialise in unusual colour combinations, going by instinct to mix and match various materials and hues,” she adds. All her designs, be it casual wear or party wear, are bold yet subtly elegant, and one-of-a-kind. There’s a golden brown jute silk mixed with cherry red border, a soft linen jute in blue with a flowery brocade, an ocean blue net Kota with a brocade border, a tussar with a velvet border, a crinkle crepe sari with a semi-brocade blouse…

“These days, everyone wants to wear a unique piece. As such, I have several rolls of material on hand, sourced from Bombay and Bangalore, plus borders and trimmings, with which I can customise according to customer tastes and themes,” she says. Sapna also puts up photos of her latest designs, on the FB page, which customers can order online.

To add another dash of style to her designs, Sapna is also into making and customising polymer clay jewellery. She is one of the few people in the city who make this new fashion fad. “Most of my customers who buy saris also ask for matching accessories. I taught myself to make polymer clay jewellery from the internet, through trial and error. As a moulding material, polymer clay has much more of a smoother finish than terracotta clay and can be moulded into a variety of shapes and are also more lightweight. I make jhumkas, bangles, earrings, necklaces and studs,” says Sapna.

The entrepreneur is now all set to expand, and launch a full-fledged online store at the end of the month. “I don’t look upon it as business as such, but a passion,” says Sapna. Check out Sapna’s FB page or contact: 9447716191