[‘Beaded Cropped Tee’ by NAVEDA (SS15 Collection)] Also Read - 4 Transitional Style Must-Haves for Every South Asian Fashionista
Amy Devan’s passion encompasses all things creative, but this 32-year-old always pursued one thing with laser focus: entrepreneurship. Also Read - Behind the Sketch: How Designers Bring Fashion to Life
“I’m an entrepreneurial spirit at heart,” Devan said. “At 21, I went straight from completing my undergrad degree to getting my MBA for that very reason—I knew I would start a business some day when it made sense. The ability to build something from the ground up is exciting to me. It is an enormous risk and a life-changing path, but this was one passion I just couldn’t pass on.” Also Read - Runway Report: Lust-Worthy Trends From India’s Spring-Summer '16 Runways
Devan is the woman behind Naveda Couture, a label that includes ready-to-wear pieces as well as bespoke, custom bridal wear. Naveda’s pieces pay homage to Devan’s Indian heritage—the clothing is made for, in Devan’s own words, “the woman who is an eclectic, global nomad at heart.” Devan knows a thing or two about a nomadic lifestyle—the designer explained that she grew up all over the United States, a fact the considers a blessing.
“It was such a blessing to experience different parts of the country growing up…the friendships I made along the way are life-long and I’m ever grateful for that,” Devan said. She infuses her designs with this sense of wanderlust; she even coined her own play on the term: “Wanderluxe.”
[‘Embellished Scarf’ by NAVEDA (FW15-16 Collection)]
Devan is both designer and businesswoman and she finds it hard to choose one role over another. “I’m a dreamer and a visionary, so I guess that makes me both a designer and businesswoman,” she said. “My brand has allowed me to mesh what I love most from both the creative and business areas.”
She cites her business background as a major asset to her company, claiming it gave her solid skills in operations, strategy and finance. “I deal with related issues every single day as a business owner and reflect back on my experiences many, many times throughout a given day,” she added.
[Garment: ‘Beaded Cropped Vest’ by NAVEDA (SS15 Collection)]
“When I made the decision to follow my love for design and ultimately start my own business, I already had several years of business experience under my belt,” Devan said of the influence her business background has had on her design career. “Though I was thankful for the career paths I crossed thus far, I would find myself laying awake at night wondering how I could mesh my love for design with my experience in operations and business, imagining what my own brand would be like and who my customer would be. Subconsciously, I was creating the foundation of my business plan.”
[Garment: ‘Box-Pleat Top and Beaded Pencil Skirt’ by NAVEDA (FW14 New York Fashion Week Runway Show)]
Despite the fact that Devan is, by many standards, living her dream life as a creative entrepreneur, the job isn’t all glamour. She admits that certain things have surprised her along the way. “Every element of this business is ‘my baby’ and therefore I have to wear a lot of hats,” she said “Though I’m very blessed to have a wonderful team, I am involved in all parts of the business – from operations and sales to web-development. I end up teaching myself how to do things I never thought I’d be doing [such as]. web coding, etc. That’s also part of the fun with building a business from the ground up. It’s exciting to experience and learn new things every day.”
We asked Devan what advice she would share with those who are in the position she once was—wanting nothing more than to one day become successful entrepreneurs – and here’s what she has to say: “I would encourage someone entering this field to never be willing to let go of his/her inner fire, and to view every experience and bump in the road as a catalyst to work that much harder – don’t ever get comfortable, because if you do, passion fades.”