Have you ever looked at the huge billboards dotting the city skyline of pretty models sporting the latest trends in clothes? Have you ever thought of the time spent to put together that perfect look, that perfect dress, that perfect shirt that resonates with you and creates a positive image in your subconscious mind? Neha Gandhi is one of the many people responsible for these wonderful images that you see on the billboards and magazines every day. Building the image of a brand, influencing your perception of it, showing you those amazing pictures that you take for granted are some of the things that Neha does now.
As Neha tells us how it all started, “I was basically following the herd, I didn’t know what I wanted, I still don’t know how we’re supposed to make decisions at the age of 17 or 18. My brother had taken commerce, he was doing well and that was the reason I took up commerce. After that my friends took up B.Com and I did the same along with joining MBA classes
.” She continued, “But somewhere in between, I realized this was not what I wanted to do, I was interested in something else. I always used to put extra effort into dressing up for class. Of course, I did complete my course but also made my portfolio side by side for possibly getting into fashion designing career. I got a chance to work with stylist Tanya Ghavri in Mumbai. I absolutely loved what I did with her and since then there was no looking back!”
It is hard to believe that these words came from someone who was following the herd through her education, to end up in a field where there are so many struggling artists. Stylists are always facing the industry glare, risking professional reputation, trying to outdo each other and always are the first ones to face the critics if something goes wrong. One wardrobe malfunction, one shabby assignment or one bad review in the beginning of their career and they fear being end up labelled as ‘incompetent’ for forever. The criticism one might face from within the industry circles in addition to the media hype following a failure can lead to the end of a career in this highly competitive profession.
When posed with the question of whether the fear of failure affected her decision to get into the industry, Neha was prompt in her reply, “I thought not once or twice but again and then again because I was in doubt. It was really scary to take the leap, even when I started freelancing I was very scared, working under Tanya was a different thing completely, but doing it on my own was something else. I was constantly thinking whether someone believed in my capabilities or not, I doubted myself all the time because it was a huge risk that I took. I had to wait for a long time for work, I met with a lot of rejections. People back then in Kolkata did not understand the concept of styling, they felt it was not required. Then it all change for me when Sonika Chauhan trusted me and that’s how it all started.”
It might be easy to see how taxing it would have been for Neha to hold herself together when the going got tough but at the same time it is admirable to see how she did not lose hope when she was dejected and met with rejection but kept trying and had a never give up attitude to become successful as she is today!
We don’t anticipate and digest failure, especially if it’s in a career for which we have mustered all our courage and dedication for succeeding. But, it’s always important to never give up, keep trying and do the best that we can with what we get to become successful. It is important to get away from the traditional thinking and have the will and daring to do something different, if that is what where your heart lies!
*More to come in our next blog post about how Neha’s hardwork and dedication got her to become successful.