Aparna Singh is a graduate from NIFT Kangra, and the founder of accessories label De__ Base. She talks about the struggles of local artists, and how after meeting a dreadful accident, De__ Base is all that has kept her spirits alive.
How did the journey of De__ Base begin?
De__ Base means ‘basic’. The name was a friend’s suggestion. It initially started as a platform to share views related to designing, fashion and styling.
When and how did this discussion platform turn into an accessories label?
After I graduated in 2017, De__Base was still at a nascent stage. In 2019, I re-launched De__Base with a fresh perspective. As of now, it is a handmade accessories brand on online platform. I don’t wish to restrict it to just that. Let’s see how far we can make it.
When you made this switch, did you consider other names for your brand?
My primary idea behind De__ Base is to put the most basic items to creative use. The brand as such was initially started and managed by me, but gradually more associations were made and a couple of us are working as a team now. I must say all of us are quite content with the brand name, and don’t wish to change it in near future.
What are your present expectations with De__Base?
The main aim behind De__Base is to support sustainable fashion by creating handmade accessories. I intend to gradually build it up as a three-level sustainable brand i.e. environmental, social and economic.
What are the challenges you’ve faced in online business?
I don’t have a website as of now. It costs me more than what I earn via Instagram sales. The biggest challenge is to convince the buyer that our product is worth the price. Customers willingly pay a lot more money to more popular brands. Artists like us suffer due to lack of funds. This brings me to another major challenge of investment. I met with an accident last year which also cost me my job, as I had to be bed ridden. All the lifetime savings were spent in multiple surgeries that I and my family had to go through.
How did your accident affect the growth of De__Base?
After the accident, I was not only restrained financially, but also physically. So, the scope of furthering my interactions with potential customers and collaborators narrowed down to a great extent. But on a brighter note, De__Base is what has helped me the most to survive the accident trauma. It has made me feel much more productive and worthy.
Any words for G Caffe readers?
I would like to appeal people to support local artists as much as possible. We come from very humble backgrounds, and every single purchase is a big deal for us. Support nature, support art.