Born and brought up in Mumbai, Maneesha is a product of a fast metropolitan city. It buzzes with larger than life dreams of the youth of a vibrant country. This western region represents an amalgamation of history, business and a culture that oozes with creativity.
As if Mumbai was not stimulating enough for an ingenious brain, she moved to New York at an impressionable age. Maneesha declares, “It is the ultimate cosmopolitan city of the west, known for splendid art, and cultural dynamism, which tie together to become the utmost source of inspiration.” She has always been creatively inclined and is passionate about consistently evolving in arts. “My art journey truly began during my early youth”
Along with her desire for art, she has been involved in the family business for almost 20 years. “Ruia and Ruia” caters to the fashion industry and Maneesha designs for the company. They have world- wide export network for garments and accessories.
“Creative passion in luxury is something I love to explore. The utilization of Indian handiwork comes naturally to me.” Spending a greater part of her adult life in New York, the fascination with the Indian creative intricacies and the demand for such exclusive work, appeared time and again. This gave birth to Maneesha’s brainchild that focuses on Indian artisanal luxury and “Maneesha Ruia” the brand was launched on a global platform.
Maneesha spent some time with us at House of Coco to tell us more…
When did you launch the brand and what was the reason behind it?
Launched the brand in March 2013. I am a designer by nature and profession. I was involved in designing and manufacturing various accessories such as hangbags, scarves, garments, etc. for private label. The success and applaud received gave me the push to create and launch my own label and brand.
Whats your background?
Arts…Applied Art and Fine Arts in Mumbai and then Parsons in New York where I learned to work on different mediums. Coming from a business family and therefore entrepreneurial by birth, I guess starting my own business came naturally.
How many people are involved in the company and what are their roles?
I have team of about 15 people inclusive of my executive assistant who has been with us for over 25 years and is my right hand, my brother who is brings the business acumen to the table and manages the brand building / finances and a team of merchandisers, designers and production / quality controllers. The strength of our team is their dedication and loyalty as over 10 of them have been with our group for an average of 15-20 years.
If you could start over with the business, would you do anything differently?
Nothing really as, even though it has seemed chaotic at most times, it has been a dream run and I couldn’t have wished for a better path….
What is the hardest challenge you have faced since you started the company?
Finding additional human resources that can keep up with our current team in terms of dedication and integrity apart from bringing in new concepts / ideas and greater professionalism.
2015 is here, where do you plan on taking the brand?
The brand, whilst well accepted globally in a very short period with over 80-90 customers covering 4 continents, is still in a high growth stage and hence we want to replica watches continue in the same vein. That said, since our brand epitomizes everyday luxury, we are also in the process of diversifying into other lines besides scarves and shawls that gives our discerning customers a wider choice of items falling into an affordable luxury concept whilst giving the brand a more exponential growth path.
To date, what has been the highlight since launching?
The first show at “Who’s Next” in Paris in July 2013.
Which city do you feel most at home in, London, Paris or New York?
New York without question. However, now beginning to get a stronger bond for London and Paris as well.
Three beauty products you can’t leave the house without?
Moisturiser, Moisturiser, Moisturiser
Best thing about London to you?
Fashion with no language barriers
Statement shoe or statement bag?
Both!! Start with the bag and go down to the feet!
If you had to, what piece of clothing from your wardrobe would you wear everyday?
Best place for a coffee?
Most memorable piece of advice given to you?
Follow your passion…
If you could spent 24 hours in anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Drinking fine wine at a vineyard paired with delectable array of cheese
In future, how do you plan on expanding the company?
Ee plan on expanding our exposure by participating in additional trade shows in other fashion and trade capitals of the world such as Hong Kong, Las Vegas, Tokyo, etc.