a work in progress

Category: Kholo (Page 2 of 4)


How To Dream

If you are to dream, Don’t do it cautiously. 

Or hesitantly. 

Or steadily even. 
Dream irrationally. 



And with abandon. 
Because that my friend, 

Is how one ought to dream. 


History Marks Us

In ways we don’t even recognise. 

It says to us. 

This happened last time, so it’ll happen again. 
It says. 

Don’t do that, because then this will happen. 
It says. 

You aren’t capable of this, because you weren’t last time. 
It says. 

Don’t. Try. Again. 
And as we age, this history becomes our identity. 

Every incident adorns us and we become, 

Layered with wrinkles of this. 
And so. 

To become aware of your subconscious, 

Is the only way. 
To the true future. 


Hangovers from the past

So this is part 2 to the styling experience. 
Megan, the stylist, took me on a “shopping experience”. 

No need to buy anything, just experience shopping in a different way. 
And as we started, she told me about “hangovers from the past”. 
Maybe your mum never liked you in sleeveless. 

Maybe in the 80s brown skin wasn’t cool, so you needed to cover it up. 

Maybe that picture of you jumping with spaghetti straps and a white tee wasn’t so flattering. 

Maybe platforms are so 90s. 

Maybe long necklaces rested between your boobs funny. 

Maybe your husband didn’t like “blooming” skirts that gave you the hips you don’t have. 

Maybe the idea was to look slimmer, so everything (or most things), had to be fitted to avoid the “tent” look. 
All visual, fashion hangovers of the past. 
Things people said. 

Magazine articles you read. 

Pinterest advice you pinned.
They stop you. 

In the change room. 

And in life. 
In your tracks. 
And suddenly,

You’re stuck in time. 




The Stylist Experience

I don’t usually write about fashion / looks / trends here. So don’t worry – this isn’t that type of a post 🙂 

This year, one of my goals was to get my wardrobe sorted. I felt like I needed some realignment. Prior to Aru, all I wore was silk. I’m obsessed with silk. But after him, I needed to wear a lot more easy wash cotton and knits. 

But I put off this wardrobe change. In my eyes, it wasn’t important. It was vain. And to pay for vanity. Gosh! I’m a walking oxymoron. Hi 

So finally this clothing line I’m starting gave me the perfect excuse. 

“Get advise for the clothing.” 

Disguised as, “learn more about your own dressing style”. 

A friend of mine put me onto Meagan Harding. 

When I met her at a fashion event, her kind eyes were enough I needed to be able to trust her with all that vulnerability. 

So I booked her in under the thinking that it was more for the business than it was for my vanity. Man, I have serious issues… But I’ll save that for another day. 

One of the earliest questions Meagan asked me was:

How do you want to be perceived / how do you want to feel when you wear clothes. 

I had two responses. 

For business, I wanted people to want to emulate me. I wanted them to be inspired by my swag so much, that they wanted a piece of it. 

For personal, I wanted to be subdued. I didn’t want another woman to envy me. I didn’t want to be perceived as “showing off”. For fear that it might make a friend feel less. 

Whilst she got the first, she didn’t agree with the second. 

And deep down inside, I didn’t either. 

Why do we go playing ourselves down? 

In some way or form? 

Less smarter than we are at work. 

Less savvier than we are in our style. 

Less confident than we are in our relationships. 
When did making others feel better equate to making ourselves less? 


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Energy & Dreamers

One of the challenging parts of growing this label has been meeting all sorts of people. I’ve been told that as an industry fashion is super challenging. 

Takes a lot of time. One woman told me a decade, then she paired it back to 3 years once I told her I’d built and sold a business. 

I’m learning that you have to have to really love it to hang around in this game. 

But I’m also learning. To bide my energy. 

Many years ago, I was a dreamer. 

I stood in the face of people telling me not to freelance. 

They told me I wouldn’t be able to make a business of it. 

They told me. 

I didn’t have enough experience. 
Today, I’ve been told I have no idea. 

I’ve been told to go work for someone else. 

I’ve been told I’m an idiot for making calls and asking questions till I build a name.

I’ve been told I WILL FAIL. 
And to all this I say. 
But more likely. 
Maybe not. 
It will take time. There will be lessons. It will hurt at times. 

Yes. Yes. Yes. 
I have a feeling I might just make it out at the other end if I hang in long enough. 
And so. 
You? My friend. My reader. 

If the  is shooting you down for whatever it is you want, wherever it is you want to go. Just hang in there. Hold onto your own space. 

Your own energy. And if you need a safe space. You’ll find it here. 
A space that believes in you. 

Believes in you coming out at the other end of it all.  
Cheering you on, 



Questioning Love.

How can this be love? When you can’t bear my shine?


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The Pattern Maker

I’ve had the joy and delight of finding a gorgeous pattern maker in Melbourne who is helping me learn more about cuts and darts and blocks and fabric. It’s been a real journey. 
During our second meeting, I showed her the design concepts I had in mind for the label range. I showed her a trench coat. But it wasn’t your typical trench coat. I wanted something edgy, a bit undone. It was jacquard fabric which was plain in the sense that it was predominantly black with slithers of silver. And then I explained that I wanted to use a floral print by Carmelo on the lapel. 

I was nervous and worried that she wouldn’t like the idea. 

I could gauge from her face that she didn’t “get”. 

I was asking her with hope, if she “got it”. 

She truthfully said to me. 
Karishma, you need to be the one to get it. 

The one to see it. 

I don’t need to see it. 

This is your vision. 

I can’t always see what you see. 

And that is ok. 

You have to see it. 
And with that. 

She changed the whole game. 
It is an honour to have the moment to have her light shine upon me. 



“Love What You Do”

For years, I thought I was doing what I loved. I ran a graphic design agency and I was able to make choices because I was the boss. 

I’d read interviews of successful artists who said they were “so lucky to be able to do what they love and earn a living from it.”

I never understood this. 

I didn’t feel lucky. I didn’t feel blessed. 

I mean I did, but not in that way. 

And a lot of the time, I didn’t wake up in the morning excited about the day ahead. 

There was a to-do-list and that was that. 
Of course, I eventually sold the business. 

I didn’t want it. 

Having a son felt like more than enough. 

Why take on something you didn’t really want? 

Suddenly, that part of the picture was clear. 
But I was so lost. 


I could do consulting, make decent money and be happy. 

I’d tell myself I loved it. 

But I just because I was good at it, 

Didn’t mean I was running to it. 
After about 1.5 years of knowing the things I was really good at, 

I still didn’t know what I really loved. 
I had a counselling session. 

And I walked out of it alive. 

Because I guess Kayleene could see which parts of the conversation made my eyes light up. 
It was the embroidery. The art. The florals. The silk. The rich, rich, silk. 
And now. 

Just about every meeting I have excites me. 

My whole body is alive. 

And I know what it means, to really love what you do. 

To have it excite you so much, there are tears in your eyes. 

Or goosebumps on your arms. 
And that. 

Is a blessing. 



Instagram Obsessions

I’ve had about a fortnight of “drowning in Instagram obsession” and it has been bad. Super bad. I was escaping work, watching Lovebird (which has the hottest guy I have ever seen – I didn’t like him at first but about 6 episodes in and I’m drooling). 

Okay but on a more serious note. 

The tension. 

The nervous tension was getting worse. 

My focus had shifted from the making. 

To the selling. 
I know how hard it is to sell when you have a new brand. 

When your garments are over the $150.00 mark and it’s not because you’re heaving for profit, but simply because you need to make a decent margin to get it into retail and OF course you want silk. Of course you want embroidery. Of course you want the creme de la creme. 
So my thoughts had skimmed over everything else. 

But the sell. 
And in my mind, the only way it was going to sell was if I had over 100K followers on Instagram and it was blogged about globally… Can you see how I can go a bit loopy a bit too soon? 
So I was stalking fashionistas, looking at how many followers they have, how much engagement, blah blah blah. 
I needed a specific recipe for guaranteed success.

And it was driving me mad. 
I told V about it. 

I wrote about. 
Then I deleted the Instagram app off my phone. 

Just for now. 

Just to stop the obsession. 
And I spoke to Carmelo about it. 
He said something incredible. 

He said, there are a million paths. 

And instagram is only one. 
It breaks your focus. 

Takes you away. 
Sure it’s good sometimes, 

But some of the most successful people he knows aren’t on it. 
Vivek said the same. 
I was blinded by the lights. 
So I’m off it (in an active way) for now. 

And trying to keep my focus to the making, NOT the marketing. 

PS tho – if you do want to see the process, I’ll be sharing the making and designs at @kholo_thelabel when I’m in India and later on as well. But I won’t be checking and replying daily. Just keeping it to a minimum so I don’t get obsessive and sad about it. 

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NOTE: I wrote this draft a month or so ago. So the reference isn’t to any recent delays 🙂


So the last three posts have gone out without a featured image. And it is killing me inside! 
I’m realising that this clothing label journey is keeping me on my toes. 

Somedays it feels like I don’t have a moment in the day to catch up on the dishes. 

And other days (like yesterday), I just want to have a couple of hours to myself and Netflix. 
So aside from keeping the house in order, catching up on bills, adoring my son or telling him off, taking out time for baby making and all. The writing hasn’t been happening as much as I’d like. 
So I’ve had a think about it – and I don’t want it to stop. One day when Aru grows up, or when I’ve grown a gorgeous label and I wear a sari every day and work with artisans who love what they do, this will be the chronically of it all. 
So egotistical right?! Can’t help myself 🙂 Plus it keeps me accountable and healed. 
But instead of posting daily, I might post every 2nd or 3rd day. 
I hope you don’t mind. I hope you don’t turn away. 

It’s okay if you do – I totally understand. 
But if you’re here. 

And if you’re still listening. 
I hope you come along with me. 


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