Shatakshi – Creative Middle
Hello, I am Shatakshi. I am a trained fashion designer, presently working on multiple design consultancy projects alongside my stationery brand Creative Middle.
Please tell us about your work
Creative Middle stands for all things design and creativity related. I am a stationery and craft lover, and my need for specialized planner, non-generic gift wrapping materials, and pretty yet affordable stationery products- led to the birth of Creative Middle. In the start of 2017 I started researching and experimenting with various formats and designs for products best suited to my needs. All of this hard-work led to the first collection in May, and ever since we have added new designs and products. Our second biggest collection launched in December.
The USP of Creative Middle is that our products are both utilitarian and appealing to the eyes. Our keywords when designing any product are ease and happiness. We strive for our products to make your work life and personal life easy, while brightening your day. For example, our note-cards are easy to write on, pocket friendly, and bringing back the emotion inducing culture of snail-mail.
Was it your dream to choose this profession?
I always wanted to be in the creative field, and that is a dream I am fulfilling.
Tell us a bit about your Educational Background
I am a graduate from National Institute of Fashion Technology, India.
Who/What was your Inspiration?
My true inspiration are the creative bloggers I have been following since high-school! They are women who have a unique voice and have been able to monetize their passion for design. I strive to do the same via Creative Middle, a brand that makes you happy.
When it comes to the products at Creative Middle- I get inspired from anything that brings a smile. For example, our bestselling graphic- the confetti- is inspired from my love for desserts. A set of fresh flowers around the house, random wall colours, inspiring quotes- all of these are part of my current inspiration board.
Tell us about your milestone journey, how did it all begin?
One of the biggest milestone journey is being able to actually launch a brand. Everyone at some point in their life toys with the idea of launching their own enterprise, and actually being able to do it is an achievement in itself I feel.
Please tell us about the challenges and hurdles you faced along the way?
Lack of motivation and excessive competition- are the two main challenges I have faced.
“Experiment, give it a shot.” If the worst outcome of a new idea/ opportunity is not life damaging, go ahead and try it.
Not such a good Advice?
“You should do what the market wants.” A lot of people are looking for customized stationery products, but that is not my strength. I even gave it a shot with a few personal orders, but it was not fulfilling. This made me realize, each entrepreneur has their own path- what works for one person might not work for another.
How has your journey been so far?
A learning experience, still evolving everyday.
What are your future plans with regards to your work?
I am figuring a few practical details out, but on a whole I would like to expand the product offerings of Creative Middle. Addition of new paper products, and new materials is on the line. I would like to amalgamate my knowledge of fabric with my love for stationery.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
A work packed day is the best push-me-out-of-bed I ever have.
What is your morning/nightly ritual?
In the night I need to clean my face and moisturize it- a small daily ritual like this helps my brain note that I am done for the day.
What is your favourite quote?
“Be the CEO your parents wanted you to marry.” This quote keeps inspiring every time I read it, especially in a semi-conservative society like ours.
When do you work best?
More than the timing, I need solace and silence to work a few hours at a go.
Do you believe in Dreams?
If you were to advice someone based on your career, what advice would you like to give?
One requires passion and an unending will, to pursue a similar career. There will be times when you want to give up, but always remember your ‘why’ and that will motivate you, and keep you on the right track.
If you had to start all over again, how differently would you do it?
Cliched but I would not do anything different, because each step has taught me something. If someone were to ask me about a particular phase of my career, I can tell you what I learned but a person needs to take their own journey. No two life journeys are ever the same.