Outhouse Jewellery is a brand we have been watching for a long while. Since Zardozi was started by two sisters, we can’t help but be drawn to other sibling business partners building mega global brands and Outhouse Jewellery is one of them. We chatted with Indian sisters Sasha and Kaabia to learn more about their unique designs and what kicked off their love for accessories.
How did you acquire this love for fashion?
Fashion has always been a guilty pleasure of conversation between us since we were little. It comes to us like most girls, from our mother. At an early age she took us to her jeweler and made us fall in love with all things sparkly. I can remember Sasha and I dressed identically trying on every piece of jewellery in the store.
So what happened next?
We were scoring A’s as art students and were swift doodlers even though the doodles remained restricted to jewelry patterns. Soon after we had our degrees in gemstones and diamond grading and were off to get our first jobs in the design world. The turning point of our entire journey was the internship in New York. Working at Eddie Borgo was not only an absolute hands-on experience, but also that’s where we developed our streak of experimenting.
Why did you start Outhouse Jewellery?
Totally overwhelmed and thrilled, we decided to start Outhouse. It wasn’t easy, I’ll tell you that. Not only did we not know anything about setting up an enterprise, but also we were doing this in another city. They say nothing can drive your dreams like passion, in our case that’s the only thing that made everything else fall in place.
What keeps you going?
The constant urge to keep doing something fresh and stimulating is what we feel makes us go stronger. Today, when people ask us what makes us different, that’s the answer. We get bored too easily. In most cases it may not be the best thing, but here it happens to work!
We can definitely relate to that! We can also relate to working together as sisters. Tell us about that.
We certainly love what we do and one of the reasons is because we get to do this together and with each other. It’s very reassuring to have someone else just as driven about the same thing. It helps to be together in it as its not easy taking charge and that too as a woman. Everyday is a challenge and everyday is a victory. We try our best to keep the creative work and the managerial work at different ends. The one thing that keeps us both on the same ground is our attention to detail.
Where do your ideas come from?
The design process feels like a hurricane has hit the room. We sit together and brainstorm. It’s a room full of things-from pictures of our fashion idols to music artists and vintage YSL and Chanel inspirations. We also love mixing materials and textures, so you will always find random things lying around our office that were once a very integral part of a conversation. What also helps to give our jewelry an eccentric vibe is our varied sensibilities and preferences.
Tell us a bit about the business side of things?
A good business acumen is only acquired. Nobody is born with it and you can only learn from your mistakes. We are especially thankful to our father who pushed us to keep going stronger with the idea that for every small hiccup there was a bigger achievement waiting. There is immense pressure and with that the habit to micromanage everything.
How does your culture inspire your work?
Outhouse jewellery is not for the wallflower. The Outhouse woman is always the centre of attention. We specialise in statement jewellery and ten out of ten times have been successful in designing pieces that are conversation starters. We like to experiment with different sensibilities, taking inspiration from music eras to Indian Maharajas. We have been lucky to have the most amazing women in the Indian fashion scene wear our jewellery from Sonam Kapoor ordering a customised cape for her shoot in Istanbul to Pernia Qureshi wearing hers with an unconventional sari. We are inspired a lot from shoes and from our travels around the globe.
Give us a peek into your life. What’s you day like?
A typical day for the both of us usually kick-starts with yoga at 8 a.m. We are off to work by 9:30 a.m. to our studio where all the magic happens. It’s about a 45 minute drive away, so during that time we usually discuss our lineup for the day. We try to wrap things up by 6 p.m., but during fashion weeks, like other designers, we work around the clock.
What advice do you have for other Zardozi women entrepreneurs?
It’s so important to take risks, be bold, see what is it that makes you click! I can’t imagine working the hours that I do if I fundamentally didn’t love it. That’s the difference between somebody who’s successful and extremely successful and someone who is good and exceptionally good. It’s the level of drive that directly extends from passion. If you are passionate about something , please do not hold onto your dreams, just go for it. Age is no bar.
Do you want to learn about more Zardozi women-led brands and shop for their goodies? Visit our shop to learn more.