To go by the proverb ‘An apparel oft maketh a man’ (though in this case it is woman), Vasantha and her husband Rajagopalan have made a mark for themselves in the women’s garment industry.
Hailing from an aristocratic family, the couple, who have specialised in two different streams, were literally pushed into this domain. Vasantha is a musician and has obtained a degree in music and Rajagopalan is a lawyer by profession who has been a pillar of support in all his wife’s endeavours. Though ‘Athreya’ garments was just an accidental inclusion to the world of readymade garments, yet, they have reached out to women in a short span of time.
They started ‘Athreya’ in 1993 with no seriousness but now it has grown phenomenally, remarks Rajagopalan. They specialised in readymade blouses to begin with. We were a little skeptical about its success and we had to toil hard to create awareness about it, quips Vasantha.
Initially, there were heavy losses because women were unaware of a readymade blouse. The blouses were handed over to the tailor who knew the measurement of his client or they would hand over a sample blouse to him. But buying a readymade blouse was unheard-of then.
They did extensive research as to how to go about the whole thing like to learn the structure of a woman to stitch a blouse. After they got over the initial glitch, they set a pattern where sizes of 34, 36, 38, etc., were made. We stitch a blouse of this size and ask the women to try them out in our fitting rooms, declares Vasantha.
There are girls to help them out and corrections are done instantly. Many working women who have no time to go the textile shop and tailor, troop in with the confidence of buying a readymade blouse here, smiles Vasantha. NRIs buy blouses in bulk as it saves them time.
In fact, we learnt the nitty-gritty of readymade blouses only after we started the shop, claims Vasantha. For somebody who was ahead of their times and who learnt on the job, they now have a good clientele and share a wonderful rapport with the customers.
There are 35 employees and 20 machinery.
Price of one blouse: Rs 150-200
Athreya is situated at:
No.1, Jambulingam Road,
Chennai – 600 034.
Landmark: Near Independence Day Park