Lifestyle Life & Style

Accidental entrepreneurs: Pretty Gilded Design

Sakina and Rashida in their studio at Gandipet  

When Diana Penty called Sakina Fida before Christmas to place an order, Sakina was so star-struck she didn’t hear anything beyond the caller’s name. Added to this excitement was Diana’s revelation that she’s been following Pretty Gilded Design (PGD) for many months on social media. Pretty Gilded Design is a design and print studio specialising in bespoke wedding invitations, does branding and packaging and has currently decided to venture on custom-made stationery.

Started by the Fida sisters — Sakina and Rashida, PGD is the outcome of the run-of-the-mill designs for wedding cards. In 2015, Sakina was getting married and nothing impressed her. “Maybe out of frustration or maybe because dad understood what I wanted, he suggested that I design my own wedding card,” says Sakina who is the elder of the two and has a degree in architecture. More than the technicalities, it’s the creative part like painting, designing, colouring and planning in Architecture that Sakina enjoyed. “I jumped at my dad’s idea and got started with my work. A month later another couple of friends were getting married and seeing the work I was doing for my invites, they too placed their orders,” smiles Sakina.

Some of the invites designed by the two sisters

Some of the invites designed by the two sisters  

As she got busy with paper, paint and designs, Sakina started getting more and more orders and was joined by her sister Rashida. Their mother finds it quite amusing that half a century after their great-grandfather who was a pioneer in the paper industry, her daughters decided to venture into the paper and design business themselves. What sets the creative stuff from PGD apart from other companies is: as designers, the two personally get involved in the designing process with every client. “We don’t thrust designs and idea. We spend time with them to know their theme, what they have in mind and the colours and stories that are close to whoever approaches us for orders. We also monitor production closely and get involved to monitor and pay attention to every detail trying to capture the essence of the client’s personality and their relationship, and more often than not, end up becoming close friends, not just clients,” says Rashida who is a physio therapist by profession and finds designing, therapeutic.

Sample of the stationary designed by the two sisters

Sample of the stationary designed by the two sisters  

The clean, elegant and minimal designs which are not motif — heavy or excessively extravagant made them a big hit when they participated in wedding shows in Mumbai. “Pastels and florals set the best aesthetic tone for weddings, and customising invites, modelled after the venue/ the couples’ story or the couple themselves is what makes our products so close to our client’s heart. An example of that would be an invite we did recently for a couple getting married in the hills, and hence used water colour and landscape elements to bring the whole suite together, while still keeping the overall look — modern and elegant. It was produced on a beautiful European paper, making it a delight to hold in hand,” explains Sakina.

In the three years since the sisters started, they’ve been worked with over 400 clients from more than 30 countries and have now partnered as the official invitation partners with Dhoom Dhaam Weddings, an event curated by celebrity stylist Tanya Ghavri. “The response that the invites got from some of the biggest names in Bollywood was overwhelming, to say the least. The gift boxes we make are appreciated a lot. We also design them keeping in mind that these boxes can be used as storing boxes for your special clothes or an expensive hand bag,” says Rashida.

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Printable version | May 12, 2021 2:00:49 PM |

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