Kanika Yadav started Ekatrra to address the problem of good affordable designer wear for the average style conscious woman. Having faced the problem herself, she decided to venture out of her comfortable family house living and take on the challenging task of meeting the right balance of style, quality and affordability in the highly competitive world of modern living. For Kanika, the project is more than just about having another realm of choice available to the consumer. Instead she views clothing as a form of expression for each individual and endeavours to render that expression in a form to her customers.
Yadav says that for her designer wear isn’t vain, but a form of art itself. Ekatrra tries to combat several issues through its enterprising ventures and works trough the retail model store. Helped out by an efficient team, the initial years saw through bootstrapping alone.
Without any background or formal training, Kanika Yadav took various courses in different things that interested and decided to start her project believing that entrepreneurship is a personality trait and does not have much to do with elaborate professional background. Firmly believing in the power to realise dreams, she feels that it is essential to hold onto a dream through months or maybe even years of hardships and trouble, a skill that women especially hold because of their daily routine in the household in contemporary society.
While Ekatrra addresses a conscious problem of female clothing, it also helps support designers who cannot find the means to reach out beyond their local milieu. While extravagant designers find their way into the mainstream, local craft workers and designers often lose out to the commercial bigwigs, which often leads to the loss of important styles and forms of cultural heritage of textiles and embroideries. Ekatrra not only preserves these various art and craft forms but also promotes them and makes them available to the common person, enabling an easy exchange for both.
What makes Ekatrra different in another way is that it provides for customized clothing for its customers accommodating requests made by individuals according to their personal preferences and thus providing the unique personal touch. Knowing the problem of working women, they also offer styling assistance to customers on the go creating entire looks for them for suitable occasions. Her vision is to equip every woman in India and beyond, who aspires to own designer products with her favourite pieces.
Kanika Yadav is also quite vocal about the need to facilitate women entrepreneurship for the cause of female empowerment. She feels that people are more awestruck by women entrepreneurs in her experience because society as such does not provide or inculcate the freedom for women to venture out on their own, the basic freedom that entrepreneurship demands. The role of primary caregiver in a family often creates a niche for the average woman within the family that is hard to break and harder to sail through. For women talent and skills are not enough to succeed with an idea, but to be able to balance out responsibilities and to be able to come out in the world.
The challenges of the work place still abound for the woman and combating these is often as high risk as other demands of the work. An important change in attitudes and work style in general is needed to break through these stereotypes and existing models of economy and general lifestyle so that both men and women begin to take equal responsibilities in home and in the work place. As it stands, it takes women twice the effort to prove themselves in a workplace than their men counterparts.
For the woman herself, the journey of launching and working through has been one of self-growth most significantly. Having to learn everything by herself made her take on several challenges which gave her new insights and helped push new boundaries. Yadav believes that having a vision is extremely important to fulfilling the goal in a self-enterprise and it is by dint of her passion that she was able to withstand the journey and come out victorious.