Nikitha Satish – Founder, DORI
I am a designer based in Bangalore. I make clothes! Have been a designer for about 7 years now. I have a clothing line called DORI. I work with Indian textile and artisans from North Karnataka and make contemporary clothes for women.
Please tell us about your work
Dori was started with an idea of exploring Indian textiles and making contemporary clothes. I wanted to start from my roots. I was born in Dharwad but haven’t really lived there. I wanted to explore that region and thus started working with Ilkal and Kasuti. Ilkal has been a staple weave of people in North Karnataka and Kasuti is this beautiful intricate embroidery which hasn’t been on the map at all. After I began going to Ammengad to meet the weavers I realised that depth of the work they do and how much we are unaware of it. For Kasuti embroidery I work with the lovely folks at an NGO called KaiKrafts. They give employment to the women in Dharwad and help them become financially independent.
Was it your dream to choose this profession?
Tell us a little about your educational background.
Right after 10th grade, I did a 3 year diploma in Fashion and later a degree in Fashion design from Bangalore University.
Who or what was your inspiration?
I don’t have one particular inspiration as such. I think its all around us. Whether its nature, a place or a person. Much of my inspiration comes from history. I find them very fascinating and there is an underplay of nostalgia in my designs.
Tell us about your milestone journey. How did it all begin?
It all began with a spark to do something on my own. I guess it was always there but I never took myself seriously as an entrepreneur. I still don’t. I am just a designer and I love to make clothes. I love the process! When I first took a trip to Ameengad to meet the weavers is when I realized that there is much more to it. I found my purpose. My purpose in exploring Indian textiles and trying to project it in a different light. That the Artisans are the makers who need to be shown to the world. they should be appreciated and recognized for the work they do.
Please tell us about the hurdles and challenges you faced along the way.
Constantly finding inspiration and pulling yourself up can be a huge challenge. Balancing the design life and the business part of it has been a huge hurdle for me which i still hesitate to cross. I am trying to work on it so that I can give back in a better way.
How is your work/business different from others?
Its not a business for me. Its a way of life. I am trying to imbibe the sustainability and consciousness into my life too.
What was the best advice you received when you began your journey?
That I should just follow my heart. I have been blessed with the most amazing parents who have always told me to do what I like and encouraged me though they had no idea what I was doing!
What was the worst advice you received when you began your journey?
That I should get a ‘proper degree’.