This Assam entrepreneur is touching homes and hearts with feel-good designs
The beauty of any home depends largely on the quality of its interior decoration. Interior designer Karishma Kakoti has dedicated her life to beautifying homes across India. She is the founder and head designer of KA Designs; an interior design company.
Kakoti's early education began at Digboi Carmel. As a child, she was a potpourri of characters. She was studious and naughty at the same time. Kakoti was a painter, tennis player, and swimmer. She had an amazing childhood. After constantly changing schools as a result of her parents’ job transfers, she finally completed her high school education and went on to obtain a degree at Amity University, in 2010, where she graduated with a gold medal; which eventually opened several career doors for her. She received numerous offers from different companies as well as a masters scholarship. She would go on to have her first brief work experience with a multinational corporation, and in 2015, began her start-up in Bangalore.
Kakoti expanded even further and began KA designs in Guwahati, and ever since then, she has witnessed steady growth in her company. She now looks to kickstart her own design school; KA School of Design.
Kakoti has always had a sixth sense when it came to creativity. From her teen days as a painter, her dream had always been to pursue her passion and explore the business aspect of it. As she would always say, "having my passion as my business is something I will always cherish".
Starting a venture is never easy. Kakoti always had a knack for entrepreneurship and true independence. That, and her dream of changing the narrative that you need deep pockets to have quality interior design in your home, was the major motivation behind her company.
Her styling involves a minimalistic approach and with the use of local materials for her numerous projects. She tackles each challenge head on with different styles and concepts that are guaranteed to produce a breathtaking sight.
"My initial investment was somewhere around Rs 500,000 which I paid in equated monthly installments (EMI) to my vendors and there was also a lot of help from the market in setting up my own space. As for the current turnover, it is satisfying for me to pay my salaries and bills and of course, fund all my foreign trips," she said with a slight chuckle.
To attain the heights Kakoti has attained, she had to overcome several daunting challenges. Most of her challenges stem from attempting to succeed in a job previously preserved for men. Luckily for her, her parents and belief in her capabilities were all the support she needed. According to Kakoti, "when you are confident in yourself, nobody will be able to trigger you off".
As for the projects she has done that proved to be the most challenging, she recounts designs and equipment that were executed in small spaces to be few of them.
“Many of my challenging projects consist of very small commercial space designs. Recently we created an aquarium flooring in a living room – which was quite a challenge yet one of the most beautiful projects we’ve done so far.”
Some of her notably favorite projects in Guwahati include; "Times Square, a watch showroom, The Whistler - Bar and Café, and Gateway Grandeur Hotel. There have also been a few residences in different styling and the potential education buildings".
She says her major design inspirations are Kelly Wearstler and Frank Lloyd Wright. There are lots of places she derives design inspirations. "I read design books. I also keep myself updated with interaction with different people around the globe through few social links. I travel a lot where I try learning new things. Lastly, I visit exhibitions and design meetings around India, as well as a part of the design community."
Kakoti hopes to expand her business to Europe, and be privileged to design buildings in Paris and other European cities. Apart from interior decoration, she also engages in activities like oil or charcoal art, canvas painting, surfing, and dancing.
As Kakoti joins the rest of the world in adapting to the new normal as a result of the ravaging pandemic, she has ventured into several other endeavors like mastering software, beginning an online class; which has been warmly received by many, and so many other activities.
Kakoti encourages new designers to be relentless in their pursuit for success, while arming themselves with important traits like confidence in their abilities, kindness and gratitude, without forgetting to be smart and updated. With those secured, the sky will be the launching pad.