Meet the Maker: Anjali Kanodia – New Leaf

Meet Anjali Kanodia, founder of New Leaf, who in her own words tells us about her inspirational journey from being a hobby artist to a successful entrepreneur at age 22.

Let’s meet Anjali Kanodia, founder of New Leaf, who in her own words tells us about her inspirational journey from being a hobby artist to a successful entrepreneur at age 22.

I was born and raised in Mumbai, I’m a big time foodie, who’s always been passionate and inclined towards art, craft, and design since childhood, I decided to make a career in the same soon after my 12th  class board exams.

After checking out all the possible design-related courses in various fields, I trusted my instincts and opted for a Bachelor in Science with a specialization in Textiles and Apparel Designing from SNDT University in Mumbai.

So began my journey in the field of textiles, and fashion!

founder-new-leaf

Founder – Anjali Kanodia

Being a hardworking person, with an eye for detail and timelines, I always felt that I wanted to do something different from everybody else.

After gaining some knowledge of traditional textiles, art, and crafts of India, I acquired the skills of creating handcrafted products and apparel. In spite of studying apparel design as my main subject, I used to end up making “Bags” in my free time. My friends would jokingly tease me, saying “Anjali, In future, you will have a brand named as Anjali Bags”.

“Couldn’t they think of a better name?” I thought.

It was during my second year of college when I was inspired by my Mom’s colorful hand-woven basket bag in which she used to carry her Tiffin.

Excited at the opportunity to create something new, I took out a few scraps of fabric and some synthetic leather, cut them into strips and wove them into a simple plain weave pattern that I learned during my college course. Later, I gave it for stitching it into a formal bag. The bag looked interesting and different. But I was still not sure if I wanted to pursue bag making, as a career.

 

Soon after graduating, unsure about my future plans, I started interning with Being Human, an accessory brand.

After I completed my internship, I began hunting for courses in Accessory Designing. Unable to find a good short-term course, I chose to join School of Fashion Technology in Pune where I would do my Post Graduation in Fashion Design and Clothing Technology with the hope that I will at least enhance my designing skills if not Bag designing.

Trying to explore myself more in that competitive environment, I arrived at the firm conclusion that in the near future I will create something of my own.

The free time I had after completing the course and before joining my second internship at Vero Moda was crucial.

It was during this time when the temporary planning of my startup began. One thing was sure that I would create something beyond the common items, something which couldn’t be found on Google, Pinterest, etc. or with any other brand.

While interning at Vero Moda in the women’s wear design team, I became sure of my passion for bags over apparel. I started working on my startup for handcrafted bags after office hours and on weekends.

Keeping with the exclusivity I wanted to bring in, the name- “NEW LEAF” emerged which meant “a new leaf on an old tree of fashion”.

Building up my first collection was a difficult task but I loved every bit of it.

I still love the first handwoven bag I had made during my second year and thought of taking that idea forward and creating a better line of products with proper research and understanding.

I having a vast amount of weaving knowledge and was able to grasp different basket weaving patterns easily and wove a few samples with different materials.

After a month or so, I wished to launch my New Leaf Collection at The Lil flea Exhibition but couldn’t get through their screening process. It was my dream to have a stall at The Lil Flea Market and this rejection ups me..

In October 2016, I finally launched my first collection “Twist and Entwine” at an exhibition in Mumbai.  

There was no looking back now. I was full-fledgedly into my startup. In April 2017, I reapplied for screening at The Lil Flea!  And yes, I finally got through. I felt happiest with this little achievement.

In May 2017, I launched another collection- The Colour Phool Collection, which was all about hand painted bags.

The next was the special kids’ collection of handcrafted bags- The Tiny Puppets Collection.

Recently, I have launched my new collection– Stitched  Carvings.

This collection pays tribute to the beautiful carvings in the palaces of Rajasthan. Forming a perfect blend of traditional designs and methods with modern silhouettes and colors; each stitched carved bag stands out as being unique and unconventional. Each bag has been given an embossed effect of carvings by quilting intricate designs, the real charm of which can only be seen and felt in person. Images don’t do them justice.

ABOUT THE BRAND

The goal is to develop handcrafted bags where innovation meets inspiration; ‘Something classical with a modern touch’ is the core feeling that one gets after looking at a New leaf bag.

Vegan, PETA approved, Clean, classic, minimal, unique and unconventional, handcrafted are few words that describe New Leaf Bags.

Wallets, Mini Slings, Satchels, Handbags, Tote Bags, Backpacks, Clutches, Party slings, Travel accessories, we have it all.

Visit the New Leaf Shop on Engrave.

Avinash Subramaniam

Avinash has been an advertising writer, fiction writer, poetry writer, freelance writer and serial wronger. Other roles he has been in include those of an editor, brand builder, and teacher. His interests include advertising, scrabble, body building, chess, cinema, making money, reading, internet culture, cricket, photography. To hear him air his thoughts, follow him on Twitter @armchairexpert.

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