ARTEPRENEUR HARMINI ASOKUMAR
Driven by Passion
Harmini Asokumar has an innate fair for creativity and with that God-given talent, she has established two thriving businesses, Deeper Than Fashion and Dusky Rose. To fnd out more about this brown beauty, read on.
FIRSTLY, TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF.
I’m an artrepreneur. I’d like to think of myself as a Jane-of-all-trades and attempting to master them all. I run two online businesses; Deeper than Fashion and Dusky Rose, as well as do freelance jobs on the side. I enjoy trying new things which allow me to tap into my creative skills as well as give me the flexibility of time to focus on my selfgrowth and travelling. I’m a perfectionist when it comes to my art and I constantly try to be a better version of myself than I was the day before.
TELL US ABOUT DEEPER THAN FASHION.
Deeper than Fashion is my eight-year-old (baby) jewellery brand, that I started in college. The brand itself focuses on wearable art that has a mix-and-match of my personality and styles as I evolve. If I absolutely had to put a label on it in terms of style it would be bohemian vibe with an Indian twist. I like following current trends in the fashion world and infusing my own take on it.
YOU LEFT A STEADY JOB TO PURSUE PASSION. WHAT WAS THE TRANSITION LIKE AND HOW DID YOU COPE?
I always did Deeper than Fashion on the side even while I was working, so the transition wasn’t really that tough. Convincing my parents wasn’t tough either because they could see how much I loved what I did and I was selfsustainable. I did, however, take into consideration the what ifs and ensured I had sufficient savings and a backup plan, just in case. I think the hardest part of it was convincing myself that I could do this on my own and just take that leap of faith. I’m happy to say it worked in my favour and I couldn’t be happier that I took this chance.
HOW DID YOU TURN A HOBBY INTO AN ONLINE BUSINESS?
It started when I wanted tickets for a concert and my parents asked me to figure out how to raisethe money myself. My friends encouraged me to sell the jewellery that I was already making (for myself and them) and so I set up a blog shop. It has since evolved and has become so much more than what I would have expected.
HOW DO YOU COME UP WITH IDEAS TO CREATE DIFFERENT PIECES OF ACCESSORIES?
I don’t have a specific process. I don’t sketch or draft out any idea. I’m generally a jewellery/art/craft material hoarder and I just sit down and create pieces as I go along. I do, however, like coming up with themes and concepts to work around with (such as the ocean, rainbows, following a colour palette) and then just go along those lines when I create. I enjoy the process of just being able to make something out of my imagination.
WHAT IS ONE OF YOUR FAVOURITE ACCESSORIES YOU HAVE CREATED SO FAR?
My Indian-fusion dreamcatchers. I’ve been making dreamcatchers for a while now, and they’ll always have a special place in my heart as these specific creations got my work noticed. I created a range using Ganesha statues that became a hit and are still some of my best sellers to date. I love coming up with interesting colour combinations and styles for it.
WE LOVE THE INDO-WESTERN ATTIRE YOU ARE OFTEN CLOTHED IN. HOW DO YOU GET YOUR CULTURE TO SHINE THROUGH YOUR CLOTHES?
I think my culture plays a big part in how I see fashion. I love the concepts and textures that Indian fabrics have and I try my best to incorporate them into my personal style. I love that modern silhouettes and traditional wear can be both flattering and comfortable, and styled just right. To top it off, Indian jewellery as well as my own designs have endless options on how versatile each look can be.
NOW, COULD YOU PLEASE TELL US ABOUT THE INCEPTION OF DUSKY ROSE.
Dusky Rose was a natural process for me to go into. Having always loved makeup, and being in the fashion line, it just went hand in hand. The concept behind the brand was to cater to brown-skinned girls like myself who constantly couldn’t find a suitable colour range or pigments that would work with our skin tone.
HAVING A MAKEUP LINE IS EVERY GIRL’S DREAM. WALK US THROUGH WHAT THE MAKING OF EYE SHADOW AND LIQUID LIPSTICKS ENTAIL.
It’s such an interesting process because of how many choices there are when it comes to colours and textures. Usually people see the end product and don’t understand the amount of time, effort and money that go into creating the products.
WHAT PROJECT/BUSINESS DO YOU SEE YOURSELF VENTURING INTO NEXT?
I never really know exactly, but I’m definitely looking out for something that will allow me to travel and connect with more people.
FAVOURITE LOCAL DISHES YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT ARE…
I’m such a foodie and love my rice! Nasi lemak with spicy sambal, a good banana leaf meal and bak kut teh.
HOW ABOUT YOUR FAVOURITE LOCAL DINING SPOTS?
I have an entire list but the one that’s at the top of it is GinRikSha. It serves delicious fusion Indian food (the butter prawns with mantau bun is worth mentioning because of the burst of flavours) and fantastic cocktails, while the ambience is chic and cosy, and the service is ace.