In an interview with young, beautiful and talented Niharika Jolly – owner and lead designer at Tantrum shoes, we find out what her brand is all about and how she comes up with amazing shoe names each time an idea strikes her!
What are Tantrum shoes all about?
Lace, feathers, flowers, jewels and bows! I want my brand to be a one-stop destination for anyone looking for ballerinas. Ballerinas are often seen as basic daily wear shoes. With Tantrum, we’ve tried to change that mindset. We’d like people to wear our shoes for special occasions and most importantly we want people to look down at their shoes and feel beautiful.
How did you start out?
Personally, now that I think about it, I started it on a total whim. Today, I don’t know whether I’d have the guts to just go out and start something without a business plan, strategy etc.
What’s is educational qualification?
I’ve studied at a girls boarding school, St.Xaviers and as for my design-realated education, it’s all thanks to a person who I started as intern with and went on to work for. New York-based designer, Jaimal Odedra who’s someone I’d say has taught me so much that an institution couldn’t do better.
So, what’s your other job?
Currently, I’m assisting costume designers in Bollywood.
What makes Tantrum different from the end number of brands available on Facebook?
Most importantly, we make sure we’re not boring! As much as we’d like to deny it, a lot of us may try to ‘grow up’ in terms of clothing to look more mature, using subtle colours, staying safe. BUT, there’s still that child hidden in us. So the idea is to offer a sort of fairy tale shoe. We’re catering to that little girl within you who smiles when she sees a gold poofy flower or a pink bow.
You mentioned you make your own shoes. How?
I do not make every single shoe now as I used to earlier but yes I still cut the pattern of every first prototype that is made. But, every single embellishment is still done or closely monitored by me. We may take time on your shoes but we’re definitely trying to give you the best handmade option. Our shoes are not mass produced by machines. We’re happy do still be made ‘by the hand’.
How does one buy a Tantrum shoe?
Well we travel quite a bit around India and exhibit the shoes, but our Facebook page is what has been the main selling point. All the shoes are photographed and cataloged there. After two years, we’ve finally got our own website and it’s going to be much easier purchasing directly thanks to zepo.in. Also, we’re going to start retailing in Mumbai very soon but that’s still under wraps.
What’s your favorite type of shoe?
It would definitely be the ballerina. It’s so comfortable (which I’ve come to realize is so so so important!).
You have really amazing shoe names, how do you come up with those?
(Laughs) I try to be creative. In fact, till today whenever I make a new shoe I ask a lot of people what it should be named. I’ve dedicated a couple of shoes to people, friends, fairytale characters, princesses, characters from books, TV shows and the list goes on.
What inspires you to make new shoes?
Everything beautiful inspires me. It could be fabric, flowers, baubles, places, paintings and even dinnerware! And of course I ask a lot of people for their opinions. My sister, friends and even some of the guys. There isn’t a single time that one of them enters my house/workshop and doesn’t get shown a shoe and asked various questions about whether they’d wear it, if not then what should I change etc.
What are some of your favourite shoe brands?
I admire Ms Selfridge and Charles and Kieth.
Our pick from her store are shoes titled “Daily shoe story”. Aptly named, this pair is something that goes well with almost anything! To begin with, they are black in colour. The embellishment on the ballerinas too aren’t too over the top. Together with the small pearly balls, these can be worn to a brunch with a lighter dress or teamed with a all-black number for a night out with the girls. Sometimes, we think we will stocking-clad our legs and wear it with a neon tunic.