Meghana Manjunath is on the fast track to success!

Meghana Manjunath began her coursework at Cañada College just three years ago, and already she has a successful fashion business overseas!

Originally from Bangalore, India, Meghana started taking fashion classes because of a strong interest but lack of skills. “I didn’t know anything about sewing,” she admits. She started with Beginning Construction and Flat Pattern. (“Pattern-making is everything in design,” Meghana observes.) Those two courses, plus Illustration and Textiles, and finally a successful entry in last spring’s student contest, gave her the confidence to try selling some of her designs.

Meghana says she was “so scared” when she first started classes in the fashion department. But, she remembers, “Everyone was so nice!”

Initially Meghana thought she would work at a large fashion house for someone else. At some point during her studies, however, she began to imagine starting her own company, and in no time she had done just that! Last summer Meghana set up an industrial cut and sew shop back in her home country.

She prepared several patterns for production before leaving for India so there would be no delays when she arrived. Once there she purchased all of the necessary equipment, including two industrial sewing machines and an industrial serger. She also hired a team of three: a master tailor, a sewer and a cutter. She also developed relationships with three showrooms—two in Bangalore and one in Chennai. “They said my work was really different,” she recalls.

One of Meghana’s more traditional Lehengas.

Meghana’s designs are based on traditional Indian formal attire with a few Western influences. Many are versions of the three-piece bridal ensemble called a Lehenga, which consists of a long skirt, a cropped top and a shawl. The skirts are very full and, as a result, typically require four to six yards of fabric. In the case of Meghana’s unusual designs, however, a single skirt could take anywhere from 25 to 35 yards!

Meghana is roughly half-way through earning her A.A. degree, with a number of general education requirements still to complete. She hopes to earn two fashion certificates simultaneously:  Custom Dressmaking Small Business and Fashion Merchandising.

Going to school in a new language and starting her own business hasn’t been easy, but Meghana says the support of the faculty and her fellow students has helped a lot. And, she reflects, she has learned from her mistakes. That attitude has served her well so far and will help her reach her next goal of showing in four to five cities in India in the next couple of years.

An example of one of Meghana’s more contemporary, Western-influenced designs. “College girls like to wear this style,” she has noticed.

To see more of Meghana’s work, go to www.imaze.co.in. She notes that items shown there can be purchased in a range of sizes; however, the company only ships within India at this point.

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