Born in Himachal Pradesh, Mansi says that like many teenagers, she yearned to find purpose in life, an interest of work that could engage and keep her happy enough throughout life. Yet, there were many challenges that made it difficult for the young girl to pursue her aspirations.
Living in a community still rooted in patriarchy, Mansi realised that for girls, marriage was often a priority over education and career. Fearful at the prospect of being married, she left home and boarded the first train that arrived on the platform, which took her to Bhopal. She was just 18 and had neither money nor belongings.
“I don’t know, how would have my life turned out if I had not taken that train. I feel my inner strength and people around me, my friends helped me to make it happen,” says the designer. It was, in fact, a friend who came to her rescue and found her a job as an office assistant in Bangalore.
Pursuing fashion was still an ambitious dream when Mansi reached Bangalore and found work in an export house as an assistant. Already in a financial crisis, her halting English and unfamiliarity with the fashion circles made her challenges worse.
She was making enough money to keep herself afloat. Her desire to be a designer paved her path to the IRA – house of designer. One day shopping for her friend, she landing in the IRA store. She was spellbound with the unique design. She could see herself in action when she came to know, IRA provides a platform for the designers to share their piece of art, which does undergo a filtering process and once selected, royalty is offered based on the sales.
With no further delay, she forwarded the designs. The wait was taunting, as she was confident about her designs. As expected, she got through the process. She adds,” I never realized it could have been so simple. I always had the starting trouble, and IRA helped all the way long. My forte and only job were to create powerful designs which went well with ethnic clothes.”
“To me, incorporating Indian textiles in design came as a natural approach. I think one should not underestimate or ignore their inner voice — that is where the key to successful life is hidden.” She says.
She seems to be very happy with the learning and growth in such short span of time. The best part of the whole process is that, she is back in touch with her family who are not just happy but want her to be the best in business.