From acting in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Black at the age of nine, horseback riding, to launching her very own fashion accessory brand as a teenager, 19-year-old Ayesha Kapur has carved a fashionable niche for herself.
Growing up as a little girl surrounded by creativity and stylish people can be infectious. And that is exactly what happened to the charming and effervescent teenager, Ayesha Kapur, who grew up in Auroville, Puducherry.
Accessories caught her fancy and she decided to make it her business. Her father, owner of accessory brand Hidesign, and her mother encouraged and supported her. This resulted in the launch of her own label Ayesha Accessories, which designs and retails fun and quirky items like fashion jewellery, hairbands, hairclips, watches, sunglasses, laptop bags and more.
The label is a rage with youngsters. Here is a sneak peek into what made Ayesha Kapur the savvy entrepreneur she is today.
You are an inspiration to teenagers. Who is your biggest inspiration and what is the driving force behind your success story?
I’ve been lucky enough to meet a wide range of people over the years. I grew up in an international community with people from all over the world, I started travelling across India for equestrian tournaments at the age of five, working in films at the age of nine, running a company during my teens, and went on to study abroad a few years later. I don’t think that any one person can be solely responsible for inspiring me. I am inspired by all the people I meet and all the experiences that I go through. While riding, horses have inspired me to be determined and helped build deep relationships with people and animals. Starting a fashion company has inspired me to be observant while leaving home and going to boarding school helped me to be independent. In short, inspiration can be gained from people everywhere.
What is your fashion mantra and why?
My fashion mantra is simple — wear what you feel. For instance, I dress and accessorise according to my mood. I believe that fashion is a mode of expression. It is important that one feels comfortable with what one wears. Else, a lack of confidence will definitely be noticed. We have a wide range of accessories at Ayesha — from funky neon to delicate petite pieces. This is because we want everyone to be able to walk in and find something that suits them.
Life is full of surprises and difficulties, especially for a teenager. Has this multiplied considering you are running a full-fledged business?
It is undoubtedly difficult. I am suddenly thrust with responsibilities that a lot of people my age may never have. However, life for me has always been challenging. I constantly have something to do. At one point, my friends stopped trying to invite me over after school as they knew I would be busy. One has to sacrifice a little when one tries to juggle a lot of different things. While on the one hand it is hard, it is also exciting and stimulating. I have never been the type of person who remains idle throughout the day. My curiosity and thirst for learning drives me forward.
The most cherished moment in your life would be?
While there are many moments in my life that I have come to cherish, my childhood definitely stands out, growing up in Auroville, walking through the forest, splashing in the muddy water with my brother during the monsoons, galloping on my horse with the summer air on my face, reading Harry Potter books for hours on end and spending time with my family — something that has become rare now — are some of the most cherished moments of my life.
Some gyan for youngsters like you…
Never lose your curiosity and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Observe people and learn from them. If you believe in yourself, you will find that people will begin to believe in you.