Tuesday, 15 March 2011

The Real Interview!

1. When did the urge to start Terra hit you? Did you wake up one morning and realize your dream?

Sumitra - The fashion industry happened to me by chance as when looking to change jobs, I had the opportunity to take forward what my mother started with a domestic handbag business!

Smita - Fashion design for me was an extension of what I do in graphic design! I enjoy experimenting with different looks and colours, so the opportunity to help design handbags was brilliant!

2. What is Terra and why the name Terra? What makes Terra so unique?

Smita - Terra was a name that came to my mind purely from the nature of the brand! It represents all earthy and natural elements like leather and fine fabrics! Its about being grounded and yet strongly individualistic, thus leading to the thoughts of "terra firma!" Also it's nice that the parent company is RR Leathers, which fits nicely into this name!

Sumitra - Terra is unique by virtue of its styling! The bags are largely handcrafted and the styles we do are not repeated or created in mass! One bag style is usually done in different colours and not repeated! The drape of our bags and sheer light weight nature of the lamb skins we use lend to distinct difference in our product!

3. Can you tell us more about the customization part? Does the bag price depend on the material or the pattern? Is it like "the more customized, the more expensive"?

Sumitra - Price point will depend on various factors and material used as well as pattern development. Both form a large part of the price factor! Having said that we do try to keep it as affordable as we possibly can!

Smita - Customization is an extended service and thus will have a premium attached to it! Yet, the luxury of having a bag tailored to your specific needs is an indulgence that warrants the expense involved for certain bag enthusiasts!

4. How did Terra create a storm in the industry? Do you consider South market a stronghold?

Smita - Your question in itself is flattering! Thank you! Yet, we don't consider our brand to have created a "storm" in the industry just yet...more like a hint of one to come!

Sumitra - The South market is where we have created a stronger presence! We have a loyal database of customers largely from Chennai and Bangalore and are seeing the response pick up across other cities as well!

5. Will you let us know a bit about your studies, background and hobbies including your transition?

Sumitra - I studied Hotel Management and worked at a leading hospitality brand for a few years before taking the helm at Terra! It was not a planned transition for me, but now that it has happened I feel confident and comfortable in my role! Sports, music and travel inspire me and contribute to making me the person I am today! Raring to go, I am filled with ambition both for my brand and myself!

Smita - In my early days of Engineering when my diode diagrams were prettier than the lot, it was a clear giveaway of the designing days to follow! With an Engineering degree and an MBA, I transitioned from technical writing to creative writing and soon to designing! Now with over 7 years in the industry and a 3-year-old graphic design studio Smitten of my own, the story seems to be largely of pursuit of passion! I strongly believe that you must wake up every morning and love the day that lies ahead of you to excel in your field! I try to keep that spirit close to heart!

6. How long did it take you to realise you made it happen business-wise and profit-wise?

Sumitra - Businesses are always reinventing themselves to stay ahead of the curve and I think that's what we place prime importance on at Terra! So it's less about a measure of time and more about the challenge of keeping profitability high!

Smita - The conscious effort is to extend value to the customer as best as possible! With that, profit should come as a natural reward for service and product well rendered!

7. How did your support system react when you made a prestigious debut into media, given your success?

Sumitra and Smita - Our support systems have been tremendous sources of encouragement and pride! We are consciously aware of the strength they add to our lives and work and are quite simply thankful!

8. Did you always want Terra to be a partnership instead of a One-Woman Show?

Sumitra and Smita - Terra is not a partnership on paper yet it is a brand that is created and buffered by a team effort and we intend to keep it that way!

9. What helped you survive the existing competitive market, things that helped you hold your own?

Sumitra and Smita - Like we said earlier, the conscious effort is to extend value to the customer as best possible! With that, profit should come as a natural reward for service and product well rendered!

10. How does it feel to employ people and help earn their bread?

Sumitra and Smita - It feels like a lot of responsibility, which we feel proud to shoulder! Every entrepreneur needs to keep in mind that the strength of a company lies in its employee base and they form important pillars in its functioning! We value our team and ensure that they are well looked after and rewarded! It is not a chip on our shoulders to have provided employment, but more a strong responsibility to continue to contribute in employee growth!

11. Did you ever feel the pressure of competitive market, especially with Hidesign and Calonge down South?

Sumitra and Smita - You know, its such a pat on the shoulder to be compared with such names as these have been brands in the market for years now! That said, we feel each of us have a special niche in the market and are thus enjoying a very dedicated separate set of customer base each!

12.What do you do on a given day at work? What do you do on a given day at home, say like a holiday?

Smita - Work days are a riot and how! Charged, exciting and never-stop-for-a-second sort of rushes create a typical work day for me! Days at home, holidays are filled with extra curricular activities and pursuit of hobbies like music, reading and writing!

Sumitra - Work days translate to exhilarating times at the factory and plentiful travel! Home and holidays means quality time with friends and a good smattering of sport, gym and music!

13. What is your take on entrepreneurship in India? Does it base on the factors like volume of work and time or it’s just the luck factor that helps?

Sumitra and Smita - Entrepreneurship anywhere is tough and a personal decision! Once taken, it needs to be backed and pushed with full might and can result in more rewards than any job in the world!

14. Where do you see Terra and yourself in the coming years? Did you set any ultimate goals for Terra?

Sumitra and Smita - We see Terra as a global brand that caters to women and men that are strongly individualistic and game for experiment! We want to see more presence across more stores and the next target is our very own flagship store that is an immediate goal!

15. Your pearls of wisdom to the budding entrepreneurs!

Sumitra and Smita - Do. Do. Do :)

Hope you all enjoy the session! Do check out their website and Face Book page as well! All Terra bags come with luxurious satin fill pillows and cloth carry bags that convert into dust bags to keep them looking fab for years!

(Courtesy: Terra World)

Terra Handbags & Accessories

I was absent for a long time, but this time for a good reason! I can't thank Femina enough for letting me know more about Smita Rajgopal and Sumitra Roy from Terra Handbags & Accessories! Femina's January issue, the one with Aishwarya Rai on cover page had an interview of the million-dollar-smile entrepreneurs!

One might assume it's attitude when they say - "We are not a manufacturer of mass, assembly-line products! We cater to people who want something unique!" In reality, they are warmest and most down-to-earth! How do I know? The moment I approached them for an interview, they were more than ready! They were very kind enough to apologize for the delay in the interview as they were busy with International Leather Fashion Show 2011! Do I need to say more about how approachable they are?

Terra makes handbags with soft lambskin with trims, buckles and other details! You can check out their catalogue to know what's new and trendy! The best part is they customize bags! Your choice of pattern, color, dimension or anything as such! Terra leather bags are pocket-friendly! To those who find it expensive, they came up with Terra Fab range which is a mix of leather and fabric! Doesnt break your bank as well!

Terra so far doesnt retail through stand-alone outlet, but it might sooner! Their merchandise is available at selected stores in Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai, Lucknow and Hyderabad! Consider yourself lucky if you spot them at any exhibitions and shows! Eager to know more about Terra? Check out my interview with Smita and Sumitra, the most friendly and beautiful divas!

Friday, 11 February 2011


The most trouble-some and tiring week I have ever had! First, face book issue and today I cant open my blog! I could open the dash board via blogger as I had to change my blog layout! I cant view my blog page, but! I have been trying hard since today morning! If somebody can view my blog, do let me know what blunders occured so far! Thank you very much for your kind help!

Face book says "You have been blocked from commenting on public posts because you repeatedly misused this feature. This block will last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. When you are allowed
to reuse this feature, please proceed with caution. Further misuse may result in your account being permanently disabled".

Who else can use my account if I cant? If this persists, I would love to delete my account! Did this happen to you anytime earlier? Why do such things happen to people who hardly socialize? Shame on you, FB!

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Sale Alert!!!

I am hosting a sale on my Face Book page, finally! Pictures and prices are updated, so do check out if you are interested! This is my first sale, so kindly allow till I update my FB page and blog with important details before proceeding any further!

Sorry, but sale is restricted to Indian residents strictly!  I will link to my blog if any reviewed product is featured on the sale as it might be more useful, ONLY at your request! First-come-first-serve basis! Mail me for sure, so that I will let you know if you claimed that product! Allow till I get back to you! Considering your safety, NO email ids in the comments box please! Products shown will be the same when they reach you!

Products mentioned as "swatched" are only once, that too on hands! I didnt have hearts to swatch them any further! I dont have a paypal account, so payment will be through banking! Products will be shipped only after the payment! Shipping charges will be 50 INR! I take no responsibility for any damages unless specified below the product or any other delivery issues, but fingers crossed nothing of that sort should happen!

My face book chat feature is blocked for some reason, so I am not able to get back to any of you who already left messages! I deeply regret the inconvenience, but please try to understand! It never happened before! Now onwards, I have no ideas to use Face Book chat feature! Leave your g-mail ids in my Face Book message box, nowhere else! I will be away tomorrow, but I will surely get back to you once I log in!

Thank you every one for your kind cooperation! I really appreciate your waiting! If anything crucial is found missing, do let me know!

P.S - No exchange, no returns please!

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Oriflame Hydra Comfort Lipstick # 4326 Cranberry Crush

Claims - Long wearing colour so light and comfortable you'll forget you are wearing it! Contains shea butter to nourish and Vitamin E to protect!

Did I scare you?

Excuse me if I am bad at categorizing, but I consider this shade a mix of red and berry! If at all that makes any sense as berries are mostly associated with red! Its louder on lips alone, which is why I hardly use it as a lipstick! Cranberry Crush is a pure tint, no matter what others say! I can never imagine this alone on my lips, not even my vague dreams! It lasts ages for me as a tint, so no chance of repurchase! Otherwise, I would recommend this shade to everybody!

My friend who is an Oriflame consultant herself bought # Very Berry! I safely opted for Cranberry Crush as the name itself speaks of berries, lots of hope deep inside! We couldnt stop laughing once our products arrived! Very Berry turned out to be something quite shimmery, which she loathes! Finally, she had to place an order for another Cranberry Crush!

Packaging is simple-sweet, nothing unique! Blue tube with silver band in the middle, which displays the brand name! Cranberry Crush is a deep berry red! A must-have if you are yet to try reds, but so desperate to have one in your stash! Perfectly compliments any skin tone, no matter what! Dont let the intensity of the lipstick scare you! Its the deep pigmentation, which makes it more sexy! Cranberry Crush is a very-buildable shade! Active lipstick on your lips can make you look sexy??? Blot and apply a clear gloss or balm! Voila! Passive lipstick can be sexier! Cranberry Crush transforms depending on what you want to be, sexy or sexier!

I always use a lip balm prior, so it helps lips look voluminously healthy! Used alone, Cranberry Crush is more of a matte-finish, hence the tint once wiped! I am not sure if its the same with other shades, though! Try to remove easy with Vaseline for seriously healthy lips! My way - A lip balm topped with Cranberry Crush, blotted and topped-up using a balm or gloss! Gloss can either be clear or your favorite berry shade!

Flash, aye!

I dont care if its long-lasting, but it stays on for a decent amount of time! Stays with food and water! I need not talk much about color pay-off as it is very evident! Doesnt feel heavy on lips, but I can never forget I have this on my lips for a good reason! Doesnt smell like anything in particular apart from the typical lipstick scent! No wax scent! One great shade for both day and night depending on the state-of-art application! Lovely tint by day and daring lipstick by night! Oriflame products are not tested against animals, hear-say!

Sans flash!

Oriflame hydra comfort lipstick comes in 22 shades, so there might be one for you! Cranberry Crush is definitely worth the price, which is 169 INR for 4 g! Prices might vary according to the offers that particular month! You can always get Oriflame products from either your neighbourhood consultant or online! Never ever go by the online or catalogue swatches! Very misleading and misinterpreted! Experience counts!


Always look out for reviews! If you dont find any over the net, request your favorite blogger if she has tried the product earlier! Not every product under the sun is reviewed, so make sure you know what you buy! If your pockets are deeper, no harm in experimenting too!

P.S - Pooja Bali is the right person to approach regarding Oriflame products, as far as my knowledge goes! Warm wonderful woman, a rare find these days! She gets to review most of the products including their new launches as well!

P.S.S - If you are an Oriflame/Amway/Modicare/Avon/Hindustan Lever consultant yourself (beauty blogger too), kindly let me know so that I can refer you for reviews and recommendations further!

Friday, 21 January 2011

Maybelline Watershine Lipstick #13 Ice Tea

Maybelline's moisturising range of lipsticks for those who hardly bother about pigmentation and staying power! Its more of a gloss in stick form leaving a glister on your lips, finally delivering the promised water effect! Doesnt last long unless you go on a hunger strike! They are not sticky! Vitamin E enriched, which helps in retaining moisture longer! Hypoallergenic i.e less tendency to provoke any allergic reaction!

Lipstick is melon-scented, which I am not a big fan of! If you like the feel of summer, fresh fruits and tropical weather, this might be for you! Not particularly con, but I find the zangy pink packaging a bit tacky! I prefer the lilac version better! Its definitely not for those who find reapplying very irritating!

Ice Tea is more of a browney-nude with pink undertones hard to detect, but the best if you dont want to look too made up! Color is kind of transparent, so better stay away from Watershine range of lipsticks if you are looking for great color payoff! More layers doesnt always mean more pigmentation! If your lips are naturally pigmented, it would be wise not to expect great color! Its easy to remove, thanks to the formula. Doesnt leave any tinted lips!

I admire Maybelline for categorizing shades according to the skin tone! But, who knows you might find your favorite shade from the other skin tone range! So, always watch out. Unless you worry about the pigmentation, these lipsticks are great value for money!

No matter how expensive or high-end your lip product is, make sure to exfoliate your lips often! Best scrub is olive oil and sugar! Follow using a lip balm or conditioner before bedtime! Pros being economic, wide range of shades, moisturizing and easy to remove and cons being less pigmentation and  not that long-lasting!

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Beauty & Bloggers!

Blogging is so trendy these days! Every minute, a blog is born in some part of the world! People blog for different reasons, mine being enjoying writing! Many of you keep boosting my ego saying I write well, thank you for that! Not that I missed product reviews, but the core reason I came back to blogging after a long hiatus was I missed writing terribly!

To be honest, I didnt want to be a beauty blogger in the beginning! Shocker? Now you know the reason for my blog's name! Identity is one thing I dont compromise on! I wanted my blog to be random about everything under sun that involves me, but my blog later turned out to be a beauty blog for unexpected reasons!

The journey so far was memorable as I discovered great bunch of virtual friends! I hardly know them, but they inspire me in lot of ways! No names, but they are the ones that keep me going! There are things in every aspect of life which are not documented any where, but you learn only from experience! I thought they might help others, especially if you are about to start! I dont mind if you call it the Guide To Blogging! In fact, many of these are from my own experience!

Make sure what do you want your blog to be about! Name it accordingly! Not that it should be that way, but it looks apt for a beauty blog to carry a name accordingly! Unlike mine! Why? You dont want to change your blog name often and keep updating your friends! It can be irritating after an extent!

Blogging is not about followers! Please! Do not visit blogs for that purpose and leave messages on random blogs! Never start the conversation saying "Lovely blog! Just found! Please find time to visit my blog!" Such a bad one-liner! We all know we abandon such blogs if they dont respond! Or they follow yours, but you dont find time to follow them! Or you follow them only if they follow yours! Why? It degrades your skills! Everybody is blessed with talent, but different aspect may be! Followers and regular comments mean a lot as they inspire you, of course! Let things take their own course, instead! Leave your blog link on their blogs, rather! Not everybody can trace back your blogs with your comments! If they find your blog good enough, they will definitely extend the courtesy of following you back! Some might even go to the extent of making a special post about a new-found blog!

Unless the blogger is hyper-friendly, you need not know more than what the bloggers wish to reveal about themselves! The more you wish to know, the sour the reply will be! Worst case, you might be ignored! For instance, "Would love to know your name or more about you!" Why? The more you are ignored, the more you get hurt! Who wants that? Nobody deserves hurt!

Wait till the blogger responds to your comment! No reply to your comment on my blog doesnt mean I ignore you or I dont wish to reply! It might be for many reasons! See if the blogger is active for a while! Such cases, better mail your questions! You will surely get a response sooner or later, unless the blogger is in a remote place without basic facilities like internet! Never think negative!

Give Away! One thing I dont bother about! Bloggers give away free stuff to a set of winners! The rule for entry being you following, commenting often and posting about the Give Away on your blog so your followers too get to know about their blog! Every blogger has a set of different rules for their Give Away, National or Inter-national! Its just fun, but dont take part unless you are super-sportive! Just because bloggers dont notice, its not fair to subscribe during Give Away and unsubscribe later! Dont blame bloggers as winners are selected on a random basis! Why? I assume there are sensitive people around like me if they dont make it!

Never make your blog a debate-platform! Nasty, aye! This applies to you and your followers, too! Dont let people misuse your space! For instance, dont let some C speak about B on A's blog justifying who's better around! Your friend need not be mine! Why? Things as such do not make a huge difference in anybody's life! Good or bad! What's the point, then?

Treat others the way you wish to be treated! Good happens only to good! What goes around comes around definitely, one day or the other! Consider Internet a platform to make virtual friends and maintain good rapport! Why justify blogger A just listening to blogger B whom you hardly know either? Dont get influenced in a bad way! Know the person in real! If you cannot, dont develop hatred towards that blogger! We are all here for fun, sharing our knowledge! Let nothing spoil the sport! Listen to your gut! If you suspect a foul play anywhere, kindly ignore such places! Hope for peace and happiness around! That happens only when you spread some on your own! Not a Herculean task, right?

Just because your favorite blogger does huge hauls all the time, doesnt mean its time you do the same! We all have our budget limits! For instance, not every teenager can afford high-end brands! Especially, the word "Limited Edition" puts hell lot of pressure! There is nothing as "Never comes back"! Cult favorites remain forever where as limited editions come back as repromotions some way or the other! You might miss some that way, but there is no harm in looking out for the exact shade in other brands instead! Nothing is worth your hard-earned! Unless you are a professional and you know your things!

Dont just stick to one brand just because the other blogger talks only about that! Keep trying new brands you have super-sensitive skin! Who knows what lies where! High-end always doesnt mean it should meet your expectations and match you exactly! There are wonder products from budget-friendly brands, too! Explore and do your own research if you cannot find great reviews!

Dont shop online unless you hardly bother about scams! Not every website out there is a genuine one! Your fellow bloggers are always there to help you, so find out the best available! Regarding E-Bay, find about particular sellers! Some sites charge you a bomb for shipping, so its better you cross-check with your friends! Particular time of the year like New Year, X-mas or holidays, you might get lucky with free shipping! Wait till then, if you can!

Try to visit and comment your follower's blogs often if not regularly! We all have our own reasons for being busy, but make sure you extend the courtesy! No harm in leaving a friendly mail once in a while to your blogger friends! If you are sure about their special days, better leave them a mail instead! A message on social networking site means they are just somebody from the lot, but a mail means they are special! My way of staying in touch with friends need not necessarily be yours, so its up to you to choose!

No harm in posting updates about all brands, especially new launches! But review your own products, tested and tried! If you are too busy to take pictures of the products reviewed and wish to pick from the internet, extend the courtesy of linking back! You can mention the site name, at least! Last but not the least, do not blog for freebies! I can't exaggerate about this, so its for you understand!

P.S -  We all get hurt at some point of our lives, but time and tide waits for none! Move on! Nothing stays forever! Always remember, "Nobody is worth your tears! If they are, they dont hurt you!" Be good to friends and ignore those you consider unfriendly! If you cant be close friends with some hundreds, at least be nice to every one! Dont even think of the word "Enemy", not even in your dreams! It literally ruins everything! I dont make the rules, so you decide how you wish to survive around! You all will get to know more once blogging gets into your nerves! Good luck is all I can say! Shivani @ Adorable On Your Vanity passively inspired me to post this! I owe you, honey!

Monday, 17 January 2011

Haul Time!

Let me not start off with the monotonous one-liner "nothing exciting, but"! Of course, whatever I buy should definitely be exciting for me at least! It means something to me or else there is no point in picking, right? Elle 18 nail color in PP61, Lakme nail color in 044 from Gypsy Collection and Lakme Insta liner in Black and three regular-wear kurtis!

Thanq very much, V!

Never in my life I thought finding Lakme products would be such a pain! My neighbourhood is blessed with the so-called big malls, but they never carry the right stuff! The beauty store @ one mall either doesnt stock up or remains closed due to restoration issues! The second mall always has products from earlier collections, not the latest launch! Not even the privilege of testers! There is no point in those malls existing where they cannot stock up the most budget-friendly brand like Lakme! My friend got hold of this particular nail color from her place! By the way, I cant even locate Elle 18 Color Bomb collection and Tips n Toes in my locality! Where on Earth do I live? Pretty disgusting!

My friend gifted me a couple of funky nail colors and a Japanese fan aka hand fan! On her way to Mysore, she picked a couple of baby blue and baby pink hand fans! The baby pink one ended up  in my stash! Blue nail color descends from Wendell Rodricks Tropical Island Collection from Summer 2008! The red-silver flecks nail color is from Carlo Di Roma, possibly a Spanish brand! Correct me if I am wrong!

No matter how many branded eye liners raid the market, I keep going back to my all-time favorite Lakme Insta-Liner! There are things that cannot be replaced! The guy @ Elle 18 told me something interesting about the Color Bomb range! His perspective - packaging revamped, price hiked, but quality and shades remain the same as of the earlier version! I wish Elle 18 nail colors carry proper names instead of random alphabets and numericals!

NYX Update!!!

NYX Color Cosmetics has a free makeover and some exclusive offers @ Hyper City, Bangalore East! On purchase worth 700 INR, you get to choose between eye liner or lip liner worth 200 INR! Might depend on the stock, again! On purchase worth 1000 INR, you get a small trusso box worth 300 INR! On purchase worth 1500 INR, you get a medium trusso box worth 500 INR! On purchase worth 2000 INR, you get a big trusso box worth 700 INR! Check out if you are in and around Hyper City!

Make sure you dont let the girl @ the counter convince you with crap! She imagines Round and Black Label lipsticks are one and the same including similar shades and they both are pretty much same except for the price! Imagine people who are new to makeup and sales staff!

Compared to NYX abroad and online, I find the price in INR atrocious! Especially with live sites like Cherry Culture and others, I am not ready to pay rocket price for a lipstick or a lip gloss! Though I am tempted to buy the Black Label lipsticks, I know I can wait longer to get them at a justifiable price!