PRIYANKA TAYI, APPAREL DESIGNER
“I went to college in my second trimester carrying my baby bump and my laptop bag. I studied and worked over weekends or at the hospital while waiting my turn for check-ups and during the lunch break at college sometimes. There were times I had to storm out of presentations to throw up but still managed to win over the clients at the end! ” Need I say more about the sheer grit this wonder woman displays? Meet Priyanka Tayi, an apparel designer who founded, Hunkydory Design Studio and her reasons for setting it up are even more impressive, in her words, “I set up on my own to be able to work from home, given the nature of my husband’s job in the Navy. And to provide opportunities to designers in similar situations (pregnant, post maternity, returning post a break, who relocate often due to unavoidable circumstances).”
Back in 2012 when Priyanka started out, projects came in slowly so she picked up a teaching job as Head of Design at a newly setup fashion college and shuttled between the firm and her job. She made it a point to hire designers (Indian) with similar limitations from across the globe. Before long, they were a team of 6 designers, all women, servicing over 4 retails brands from different time zones.
Not that I needed to hear more about the challenges she has been through, but I had to ask which instance particularly stood out and Priyanka, completely floored me with her answer. She recalled the time when a client called her for a meeting with only 24 hours’ notice. The husband was away and not reachable. So, she booked tickets from Goa (being the closest airport to Karwar where she lives), took Diva, her baby, and the nanny and flew out to make it to the meeting!
Spirited, Sassy and Strong – those are the words that come to mind when you meet Priyanka. She is excited about how her firm is growing and said, “We now have 8 clients, an all women team of 10+ designers, no head office, 1 chief accountant, several home offices and 1 hyper active baby. Life is good!”