Valentine’s Day special with fashion designers, Shyamal and Bhumika

Love is in the air. In fact, it’s all over the place for these power couples who not only share a personal relationship but also a professional relationship. This Valentine’s Day, we chat with dynamic duos about how they keep the spark alive. We’re taking a page from fashion designers Shyamal and Bhumika Shodhan’s rulebook on how communication is the key to a successful relationship.

Designers, Shyamal and Bhumika Shodhan went from being high school sweethearts to starting a label to becoming parents and more. What’s got them through all these years is being best friends, and that’s a lesson we’re learning this Valentine’s Day.

How did you meet and how long have you been together?

Bhumika and I were in the same school for an overlapping year, but we got to know each other through mutual friends right after we graduated high school. We’ve been best friends for twenty-five years when we were seventeen and sixteen. When I was 20, almost two decades ago, I was sent to Hyderabad to explore, however, I fell in love with Pochampally weaving and tried to develop interesting color combinations in woven fabrics . Bhumika was an intern in Bangalore and sent me sketches from there, so our first ready-to-wear collection was born. Subsequently, Bhumika’s graduation project to revive the Amdavadi Real Zari weaving technique was our first step into tailoring and wedding wear. This is how Shyamal & Bhumika was created. We started our journey in the early 2000s.

What is the biggest lesson of working together as a couple?

We have worked together since the age of twenty and have grown together and shared our differences. Constant communication plays a key role in maintaining a good balance. Working together has been a wonderful journey. The division of roles is quite complicated and often overlaps as we tend to take on each other’s responsibilities. Bhumika is the technical expert and fashion designer and I am the entrepreneurial creative director who dabbles in several collections and creative business ideas. We both gave our lives to building the brand, but most importantly, we grew together as individuals and committed to each other and our families. Open and honest communication helped us enormously from the start.

What’s the secret to keeping romance alive in the midst of a hectic work and life?

As long as you love what you do, it doesn’t feel like work. When you are in such an exciting field as fashion and your passion is a creative career, you never feel the work getting hectic. We ensure that we are well delegated to work with reliable teams and we do not assume more than we can comfortably do. We make sure to spend lots of time with the children and not miss their growing years. Our farm weekends in the countryside are the best rejuvenation mechanism we have built into our routines.

Any plans or special messages for Valentine’s Day 2022?

It’s our son’s birthday and we will celebrate it with family and friends.

All images: courtesy Shyamal and Bhumika.

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