We had the good fortune of connecting with Akila Palaniswami and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Akila, we’d love to start by asking you about lessons learned. Is there a lesson you can share with us?
Learning and unlearning goes in tandem. While I learned the skill of saree draping and styling, I also unlearned the myths of it too. I was raised that saree is for women in India. After living in France and USA, I learned to embrace the concept of draping a saree to anyone who likes to try it. Besides, draping skills, I started reading research journals on history of saree, the fabric and it helps me educate few customers who love to know more about this outfit. The more I learn, better I work with any type of fabric. It is beautiful to wake up everyday and learn or unlearn something.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
What sets Pattupleats apart from others? – All my brides love a trial bridal drape as no one offers this service so far. It is a moment of truth and brides bring jewelry, shoes , saree silhouettes, etc., to try and get a mock look of the D-day. I styled models at NYFW 2022. This was the first time in the history to style models in Saree at NYFW 2022. My customers love and always ask more about this experience.

Journey – Journey was hard and I embrace every bit of it now looking back. It was hard to compose myself and style models at NYFW 2022. With the team support and courage, I was able to execute the vision of Indian sarees at an international stage. Books and cousins and friends helped me overcome all the challenges.

World to know – 9-5 job cannot be your destination. Please create a product or service that works for your skillset and be your own boss as we all deserve it. Your financial and time freedom is yours and only yours.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Must have lunch/dinner – Bavette grill (Lamb chops), Harvest , Toulouse and CAVA.

The boardwalk in plano to spend an evening followed by a dinner at Union Bear Brewing.

McKinney downtown is a must visit to walk around in an afternoon (Boutiques, restaurants)

Fortworth Botanical garden is beautiful to chill with a sandwich picnic . Also Japanese garden to visit this summer.

Grandscape at the colony for an evening outdoor walk watching the dancing fountain and a dinner at Barley& Board (You need to build a charcuterie and cheese board) – My personal favorite.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Would like to list three items here.

1. My husband – He is a professional photographer and always captures the best moments in my business. Always listens and talks about customer service, product development and website.
2. My cousins and friends – They help me everyday with anything I go and ask for. Starting from the first business flyer to the website theme. They are helping me now with the email marketing platform.
3. Books – Zero to One is my favorite book that I read and reread many times since last May. It is a gem for any new entrepreneur.

Husband : TJ (Thiyagarajan)
Cousins and friends : Nivetha, Kavin, Divya, Megha, Yogitha, Pushpa, Sujaka,Laxmika.

Website: www.pattupleats.com

Instagram: pattupleatsbyakila

Facebook: pattupleats

Image Credits
Lightsandgin SANYFW Thiyagarajan Angappan

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.