KOCHI: For years, women in India have been told to conform to endless orthodox norms laid down by society; tucking bra straps safely away from the human eye is one of them. With her beaded lingerie straps, Kozhikode-based entrepreneur Sneha Prabeen is on a unique mission to empower women to show off their lingerie straps.
Four-and-half years ago, when Sneha was kickstarting her entrepreneurial venture ‘Yuvanta Beadworks’, she wanted to do something different. “I didn’t want to confine myself to bead jewellery. Almost every third or fourth person does that,” she says. “And I have always disliked the transparent bra straps we use. I hated the idea of the plastic biting my body.”
Designating herself as a guinea pig, Sneha picked up her own brassiere. “I had to figure out what strap I should use and then I put beads on it. The consequent months saw trial and error of the product. Fashion, comfort and strength were the major aspects I considered for this,” she says. Finally, at a flea market in Bengaluru, her beaded lingerie straps were out to the public. “I realised the crowd in the city would be the perfect target crowd to trial the product,” says Sneha.
Since then, the product has been a huge success and consequently patented to Sneha. Leaning on this success, she has been fighting the ‘your bra can be seen’ issue head-on. “We ourselves are conscious. I just want women to know there is a product for them. Use it and flaunt the straps with confidence. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. So my dream is to extend the reach of these products so everyone would know that showing off your lingerie straps is not something you should be afraid of,” she says.
Recently, lingerie brand Amante collaborated with Yuvanta Beadworks. “Getting visibility from such a huge brand was an achievement,” says Sneha.Other than the beaded lingerie straps, Yuvanta - targeting a younger crowd - is also known for its beaded products pertaining to accessories. Yuvanta Beadworks began as an idea after Sneha’s graduation seven years ago. “I had gotten a few beads. I made jewellery with it and was really impressed,” she says. However, it was only after her postgraduation that she was able to kickstart the venture for good.
Having completely fallen head over heels in love with beads, Sneha did not look out of the little frame she had. “The industry is endless and vast. I wasn’t interested in other jewellery making anyway,” she says. For this, Yuvanta makes use of beads manufactured from Haskar, a bead-making village in Uttar Pradesh.
And does she have an advice to young entrepreneurs? Yes. “If you have an idea or product, however silly it may sound, I would urge you to try and give it a shot. Because if you don’t, you will never know of the possibilities. I go by the saying: If you believe you can do something, you can really do it,” she adds.