I confess that I find shopping for clothes extremely tedious. Unlike most women, I shudder at the idea of going to different boutiques and trying on various garments. I also live in fear of being overwhelmed by overeager salespeople who shower you with garments in order to make a sale.
However, an upcoming event necessitated that I go shopping for a dress. I decided to go to Meghmalhaar, a newly opened boutique in Ahmedabad that caters to “pret couture”.
I spoke to the owner of Meghmalhaar, Nehali Savla Kothari, over the phone and fixed up an appointment. She assured me that she provided ethnic, western and Indo-western clothes. I arrived at the boutique on the appointed day and time and entered the premises with some trepidation.
I found that I had stepped into a calm and tranquil room. It was certainly unlike any other boutique that I had visited. My gaze settled immediately on a beautiful blue chandelier. I could see racks of clothes and shoes with various types of ethnic jewellery artfully arranged in cupboards that matched the chandelier. After being greeted by Nehali, I explained my requirements to her and told her that I hated fussing over and trying on too many clothes.
She seemed to gauge my needs perfectly. After listening to what I had to say, she went to the racks of clothes and pulled out a few outfits for me to have a look at. That was another thing that struck me about how Meghmalhaar was different: there were no enthusiastic salespeople around. Only Nehali was present and she was fully attentive to me and my requirements.
I tried on a couple of outfits and I settled on a full length brown cowl dress. After we concluded the formalities of the purchase, I settled down to have a chat with Nehali as my curiosity was tweaked by the unique ambiance of her boutique.
Nehali revealed to me that though she always aspired to create, she did not pursue designing for her education or profession. Instead she worked in finance in the corporate sector for several years, before and after her marriage and even while raising her daughter. When she took a sabbatical from work, she started thinking along the lines of styling.
I was really floored when Nehali narrated to me how much research she had put into starting her brand. She put her analytical skills acquired by working in finance into good use in researching all over India. Nehali came to the conclusion that fabrics are the basic root of all garments and in building up her brand she diligently worked to source the best quality fabric and convert it to appropriate garments. In fact, Nehali confessed that she was so involved in the creative process that if she had to convert a particular print into a garment, she could be struck by inspiration even in the middle of the night!
Meghmalhaar as a brand came into existence in January 2018. It was launched with very specific goals. Nehali endeavours to give quality time in styling each client. Her aim is to give one on one time and attention to each client. She sincerely tries to understand her client’s requirements and select and suggest what garment would suit that particular client the most. Her target is to make each client look beautiful and she feels that she has been successful only when her client is satisfied and happy.
Every piece of clothing in Meghmalhaar has been selected, styled and designed by Nehali herself. The boutique also provides customised shoes and jewellery. Meghmalhaar has a variety of garments ranging from resort wear to wedding wear to party wear. Nehali narrated that she has had a variety of clients that ranged in age from 78 years to 18 years and that she thoroughly enjoys interacting with each one.
I inquired about her sources of support. Nehali told me that her husband Chintan, her daughter Megh and her mother along with some friends were her backbone in motivating, encouraging and supporting her.
Nehali uses the internet for research in order to develop and grow as a stylist. She also learns from the suggestions and inputs given to her by each client. She has an extremely unique approach in the sense that she feels that what her client doesn’t want is extremely important to her.
After I finished chatting with Nehali, I got up to leave. She told me to come back soon. On my way home, I realised that for the first time, I had enjoyed a shopping expedition and that I would definitely not mind going to Meghmalhaar to shop or even browse once again.
I would definitely recommend Meghmalhaar as a boutique to visit. Nehali Savla Kothari can be contacted on 9825200167. Meghmalhaar can be followed on Facebook and Instagram.