Meet the maker: Ankeeta Deb and Viresh Madan – Rivir Shoes

Meet Ankeeta Deb and Viresh Madan - Founders of Rivir Shoes - a brand that is redefining the meaning of canvas shoes by bringing together the excellence of skilled handicrafts and studied inputs from industry experts.

Ankeeta Deb and Viresh Madan started Rivir a little under a year ago (November 2015) after spending almost 18 months researching and understanding all the things they’d need to do in order to get a project like Rivir off the ground. Currently, Rivir Shoes is based in Gurgaon and sources materials from across the country.

The idea behind the brand is to casually redefine the meaning of canvas shoes by bringing together two bright minds, the excellence of skilled handicrafts, and studied inputs from industry experts.

The heart of Rivir

Ankeeta brings the art into the brand. Her vision is to design shoes that express the beauty of life in its various shades. This makes the shoes from Rivir more than mere style statements. Rather, they reflect the various perspectives of life.

Viresh is the backbone of brand Rivir. He works tirelessly to nurture vendors, manufacturers, and other stakeholders and keep all things Rivir on track. From marketing or logistics to fire-fighting to planning to more, Viresh is the man for all seasons.

Ankeeta and Viresh, founders – Rivir Shoes

Naming Rivir

One of the hardest things the team at Rivir faced was arriving at the name Rivir. It took them months of brainstorming, domain searches, and passionate debate to arrive and agree on the name. In short, they wanted a short, catchy, and unique name that stood for them. And that’s how they finalised Rivir, a word (and palindrome) born out of ‘Ri’ (Ankeeta’s nickname) and ‘Vir’ (short for Viresh).

Inspiring Rivir

All creators have people or artists that inspire and influence them. So does Rivir. Ankeeta and Viresh are driven by striking brands like Chumbak. They look up to the talented artisans from all corners of India and draw lessons from the art that life exposes them to everywhere they go. They use these inputs to design and create a striking product that appeals to people who seek something original and comforting.

Learning Rivir

Apart from inspiration, creating something original is about working hard on honing skills. Ankeeta, the artistic mind at Rivir, has been painting on shoes since childhood. She puts these years of experience, childlike enthusiasm, and the practiced ability to think differently into designing products Rivir. All this and the lessons she and Viresh learn day in and day out instil in them the confidence to put their best foot forward for Rivir Shoes.

Challenging Rivir

Building Rivir has been, to put it mildly, a challenge. Be it manufacturing or marketing or building partnerships or understanding customers or working with suppliers, nothing has been easy. However, none of this fazed Ankeeta and Viresh. They know that nurturing a brand that offers what nobody else does is demanding. Happily, they’re more than willing to go the extra mile to make it happen.

Steering Rivir

Where does Rivir want to go from here? Ankeeta and Viresh dream is to turn their baby into a global brand by turning out pieces of wearable art on a scale large enough to touch thousands across the world.

We, at Engrave, wish you well and look forward to being an integral part of this thrilling journey. Way to go, Ankeeta and Viresh!

Visit the Rivir Shoes Shop on Engrave.

To read stories about all our makers, click here.

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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