Priya and Isha Patel

Turning a Childhood Dream into a Real-life One
November 19 - Sarah Ashlock

FIRST THOUGHT: Crazy for Clothing

Baby, it’s cold outside. Time to grab my five wardrobe essentials for the season. First up has to go to my #1 girl: leggings. Not just any leggings, but ones with a wide waistband. (I don’t need to tell you why.) Next up? A boyfriend cardigan. It’s effortless, cool-girl chic and, if you accidentally toss it in the dryer, you’ve got a less slouchy version. My #3 is hats, hats, hats. While we all pretend that our heads aren’t sweaty in the summer when we’re rocking that wide-brim sun hat, we all know that winter is when hats shine. Number 4 is all about boots. I mean, hello, no need to explain. And last but not least, #5 is whatever you damn well please. Follow your own inklings this season and rock whatever your cold hands and warm heart wants.

WOMEN IN NUMBERS: Nearly $48 Million

Once you stop feeling the pressure to wear a certain thing, (hey, you’re no longer in those horror-inducing middle school days), it feels good to spend your paycheck on pieces you’ll wear for years to come. This year, the women’s clothing industry accounts for $48 million of sales in America. Imagine how many wool ponchos and galoshes that mula could buy. That number also means there are plenty of jobs to be had, from sales associates to buyers to tailors.

WOMEN TO WATCH: Priya and Isha Patel, Co-founders of Kriya Clothing

In case you didn’t notice, we’re talking about fashion today, ladies. Today’s Women to Watch and cousins Priya and Isha Patel have always bonded through shopping sprees, Pinterest DIY projects and the like. When the women felt stuck, they devised a dream career. They’d work together and form a clothing brand. But that was just a dream, right? Wrong. Priya and Isha made the very scary leap into the fashion industry and launched Kriya Clothing. They grew up in the South but were immersed in Indian culture—something to experience, as they describe, with all the senses.

What’s particularly notable about Kriya Clothing has to do with the cousins’ blend of their Indian heritage and contemporary design elements. Some key elements of the items come from their rich history, like the vibrant colors and intricate detailing. Kriya meshes its textile choices and shapes in a fashionable, affordable way. For Priya and Isha, clothing isn’t just a couple yards of fabric stitched together; instead, it’s a story to be shared.

With their pieces like the Rickshaw to Runway Jacket and Deep in the Heart of Tunic, both hope that the brand reflects the diversity of present day. There’s no doubt that Priya and Isha have made monumental steps from the beginning, but they’ve experienced some challenges on their entrepreneurial route as millennials, too. They say they faced moments where they weren’t taken seriously because of their age and the fact that they don’t have a dash of formal education in fashion or business. They like to say they earned their higher education on Google, which many of us can relate to.

It’s because of this adversity, perhaps, that the two are closer now than ever. They remember how often they’d be scheming as kids, and they view this venture as the ultimate scheme to create a life they love from scratch.


I’ll leave you with a quote by Isha Patel:

"Though it can get tough, we know that this is truly what we want and going forward on this path is the way to create a life we love. If it wasn't challenging, it wouldn't be a learning experience and we are lucky to have each other through it all."

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