Amaara & Aavaranaa, Krishna sisters

Vijayalakshmi Krishna, as imagined by Madhu

Sisters, Vijayalakshmi and Soorya, run 2 stores in Chennai - Aavaranaa and Amaara. Always lauded for their good taste in clothes and styling, their inspiration is their mother Gowri, who set up an Aavaranaa store in Coimbatore. I came across their awesome story through a friend and got in touch with Vijayalakshmi who has been meticulously helping us put together a story.. Madhu and Ram visited the Amaara studio in Chennai and had a ball asking questions and clicking pictures. The product is here for you to read!

They come across as women who are strong headed and proud of the work they are indulging in. A story like that always finds a space with us! The Amaara studio has a charming appeal - a house in the middle of lush green gardens; soothing traditional music once you enter the space; and smiling people to welcome you inside, glad to offer the help you need. Understandably this appeal reflects on the clothes they design and sell too!

Soorya Krishna

Vijayalakshmi Krishna

About working with clothes.. 

Clothes have always been a big part of our life – especially with the ladies in the family. For as long as I have remembered, my family members have loved shopping & donning good clothes. The ladies in our family are often complimented for their taste in clothes, jewelry & styling. I guess my mom took this passion forward by first setting up Aavaranaa in Coimbatore. Meanwhile my sister Soorya graduated from NIFT, Chennai & we decided it was now or never. We first brought Aavaranaa to Chennai. Once that happened, Amaara was the next step.

Aavaranaa & Amaara in Chennai is run by jointly by me & my sister Soorya Krishna. My mother Gowri Krishna takes care of the store at Coimbatore. Why do we do it? We simply love good clothes. We love designing them & wearing them. We love our job. Our job also means meeting new people which is immensely rewarding. When you are able to make another woman feel pretty – it feels really good.

About their designs and inspiration..

We stay away from fads. We like to combine trends that are practical to our innate sense of fashion. We believe in making the fabric the king – most of our outfits are made from pure fabric, be is silk, tussar or cottons – we definitely avoid cheap replicas. Comfort is key, but that is no excuse for sloppiness. We believe in clean cuts, simple & ever green trends that can resonate with a sophisticated audience. You do not just buy a piece of clothing; but you also buy the design, the cut & the inspiration.

Our customers inspire us most, on a day to day basis. It is lovely to receive notes & messages from customers telling us our clothes made their day. For me & my sister, our biggest inspiration is our mother Gowri Krishna. Beena Kannan, of Seematti silks is someone we admire as well.

Amaara collection

About a lifestyle that inspires energy..

Simple yet healthy food – that is very important. I love fresh fruits & need my dose of fruits every day. I love spending time with my dog – she makes me feel positive all the time. I like to have a schedule & a never ending to-do list. Since we are on our feet, all day long – staying fit is very important for us.

My son has changed my outlook to life & travelling has opened my mind. I love spending time with him & reliving my childhood with him. I also look forward to visiting new places every now and then.

Creative energy comes from within – a balanced mind, body & soul is essential for that. All these things make sure I have that.

Amaara collection

About the clothes and the people they make them for..

Aavaranaa specializes primarily in sarees – from heavy kancheepurams to light weight chiffons, we have it all. Our specialty is the fusion range which resonates well with the younger generation. At Amaara we design & produce a range of Indian & Indo-western  clothes including Anarkalis, salwar sets, a mix-n-match range of kurtas, dupattas, bottoms & also tunics, dresses, jackets, pants.

We have built this retail shopping experience with our customer in mind. They must enjoy the process especially today when online shopping is all rage.

We design for the modern Indian woman – who is comfortable is a saree as well as a pant suit. A huge part of our collection focusses on every-day 9 to 9 office wear. We design for women who love well cut, well-tailored clothes made from fine fabrics. We believe that less is more.

For businesses like us, word of mouth is crucial. We owe a lot to our customers for what we are today. A huge chunk of our customers are repeat customers – that goes to show how much they love us & our clothes. I wish to thank them from the bottom of my heart & look forward to their continued patronage.

About social media and the future..

Ads don't work anymore to fetch walk-ins. Social media on the other hand is economical, and powerful. You can't hide anything from your customers today. It's all out there for them to see and choose. We believe in our products. At the end of the day, our products speak for themselves.

We are looking at taking Amaara to other cities. We also want to create a line of clothing that can be sold in other stores.

Amaara as a line up

About learnings on their journey so far..

There is loads of competition everywhere, today. When we started Aavaranaa 10 years ago, there was hardly any competition in our sector of the market. Today with Amaara, sustenance is the key. We knew that if we can survive and pull through the past 4-5 years, we can do it. And I think we have crossed that mark.

Running a business teaches you a lot. Plus, unlike in a 9 to 5 job, there is no exit time. You are constantly working even when you are back at home. However, it can be immensely rewarding monetarily & emotionally once you get the recipe right. There is no compensation for hard work & no shortcuts to success. Lastly, customer is King, well Queen in our case – and customer delight is not an option, it is a mandate.

Amaara studio, Chennai

About unwinding..

I believe in keeping an open mind when it comes to music. I can listen to anything melodious – be it classical music or film melodies. Adele has been on my list for a while now. Once in a while I like to listen to blues & jazz – particularly if I am in the mood to relax. If I am going dancing, I like peppy numbers – both from Bollywood & the west. I do not really get to watch a lot of TV, especially with a toddler in house now. Used to follow sitcoms like TBBT, HIMYM ,Greys anatomy etc.. I have been meaning to watch House of Cards & The Game of Thrones – perhaps one day I will catch up. At our store we usually play mild Indian instrumental music – which keeps us going all day long. It also adds to the ambiance of the place.

As you can see, we loved the duo and their spirits! Thank you so much for taking the time, Vijayalakshmi and Soorya, we heart-fully appreciate it!


Amaara: facebook | website
Aavaranaa: facebook | website