An Economics graduate with a Masters Degree in the business of fashion from NIFT, Mumbai, Tanvi Sethi founded her label, Torqadorn in June 2018 with the sole purpose of making her vision a tangible reality. Torqadorn is one word for “Power Dressing”, however, it goes above & beyond the traditional realm of corporate-wear silhouettes & attempts to include ensembles which make women feel confident, fierce & empowered.
Here are a few excerpts from the interview where Tanvi unfolded her entrepreneurial journey with HelloPost Team:
Tell us something about yourself.
I am an Economics graduate with a Masters Degree in The Business of Fashion from NIFT, Mumbai. Owing to my strong creative bend & analytical background, I've had the opportunity to work at companies such as Triburg, Reliance Brands Limited, etc. One of my greatest learning experience was when I got absorbed as a “Product Research & Merchandising Executive” at one of the country’s leading couturiers; Shantanu & Nikhil, where I applied my ability to understand current market trends and consumer buying habits.
What motivated you to start your own venture?
My love affair with sculpted silhouettes began with an interview that I was so nervously preparing for. I still remember how wearing a structured blazer for that first job interview gave me an inexplicable sense of confidence to be the best version of myself & ready to take over the world! Being able to lend that fearless sense of self-belief to women through the clothes I create is the very foundation that Torqadorn is built on.
What were the challenges that you’ve faced while starting your own venture?
There was no “magic pill” that effortlessly launched me out of my cubicle confinement and into the intricate, cumbersome world of entrepreneurship. The dream to be my own boss grew for a long time, over the years, before it finally came to fruition. Although still young, my strong work experience at top companies & labels like Reliance Brands Ltd., Triburg, Shantanu & Nikhil etc., made me take this leap of faith.
Which was the moment in your journey when you felt that it's not working but still you didn’t lose your hope and kept it going?
To be honest, I hit these moments of doubts time & again. I'm only human. But if you're one to lose hope easily, truth be told, entrepreneurship is not for you. There is no plan B. I dived into this with my eyes open & I have to make this work, no matter how hard some days might be & I'm glad that I'm slowly getting there.
What was the biggest achievement during your entrepreneurship journey?
Each day brings with itself a new set of obstacles & challenges and striding through them gives me an immense sense of achievement. I believe success is a journey, not a destination. And it's so important to celebrate small wins each & every day because it's these little achievements that gradually sum up to make the success that you are. As for naming a few, I was overwhelmed when a new label such as ours was received so warmly amongst celebrity stylists & clients alike, resulting in a strong customer-base & a number of celebrity-spotting over the course of our journey. This has only reinforced our belief that we're on the right track.
How do you maintain a good work-life balance and mental health?
Entrepreneurship is a high-pressure lifestyle. So I try scheduling a downtime every now & then. I regularly disconnect from work by spending time with my friends & family, cooking new recipes and reading, which makes me even more productive & creative when I am back.
Who is your role model?
My role model is every woman who is strong, compassionate, unique & beautiful & who continues to inspire everyone around.
What is your secret to success?
I often find people asking me what it is that inspired me to make the jump to entrepreneurship, and everyone wants the answer to be easy or great timing, but it never will be. It's an evolutionary process, continuous learning, not taking no for an answer, doing the work when you’re the only one in your corner. And then making it happen.
What’s one leadership lesson that you’ve learned in your career?
Think it and believe it. It’s very hard for others to believe in you if you do not believe in yourself. You need to inspire others by putting in the effort. When facing challenges as a team, you as a leader, need to create systems and processes that allow for others to become self-sustainable. The more your organization can do without you, the better as that makes for a well-oiled machine.
What are your future plans?
We're just 6 months young, and there's still a long way to go starting with the launch of our first-ever ready-to-wear line aiming to cater to our young-millennial customer base & some super interesting collaborations that await us this year. It's all very exciting to see & be a part of the brand-growth process.
Any advice to aspiring women entrepreneurs?
Be clear about the fact that being an entrepreneur should never be a career — it’s should be a calling. It is challenging 24/7. This position requires always being a student and learning as learning can turn every setback into success. It makes it impossible to fail — and always possible to find a solution to any and every problem. You should be self-motivated & ready to put in the work, no matter what.
Anything else that you would like to add.
I believe if a woman supports another woman, incredible things happen.