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The Woman Who Chose to "Startup" at 60

In the spotlight: Meenakshi Datta, makeover expert and CEO &Founder – Thread Turner, the woman who chose to start her apparel & fashion e-enterprise at age 60.

Bangalore, India, May 02, 2015 --( Someone once remarked that a majority of people live through life being armchair entrepreneurs. They get used to the security that a salaried job offers while harbouring entrepreneurial dreams, unable to realise them as they cannot afford to take the risk. It is refreshing therefore to hear of someone who at the dawn of her 60th birthday chose to start her own venture, even more refreshing that she chose to go the eCommerce way. Today, as Thread Turner celebrates its first anniversary, here’s throwing more light on its founder and CEO – Meenakshi Datta.

The Build Up
Like every other woman, Meenakshi gave up a nice job to devote her time to bringing up her children and once they flew the nest, that’s when she got started. She took an active interest in honing her skills and joined theatre workshops, did voiceovers, conducted communication skills workshops, held sessions as a motivational speaker and created initiatives to empower underprivileged women. Every step was learning for her, which all put together culminated in her starting up Thread Turner.

The Inspiration
A year ago, on a home-bound flight, Meenakshi came across an article on Captain Nair and was surprised to know that at age 65 he started the Leela Group of Hotels. That really got her thinking that age is just a number. This was inspiration enough for her to turn into an entrepreneur.

The Challenges
eCommerce, for one, was a completely new domain for her, something way beyond her comfort zone. She recollects always being at the edge of her seat as she underwent the training program to setting up the website – all the jargons, parameters, software…Nevertheless, as she says, “I always knew the great potential eCommerce held and a few days into training, I discovered its beautiful nuances and also the power of technology.”

Thread Turner being a startup, right from the initial days she wanted hands-on experience. So she also did the rounds of the various agencies that are responsible for issuing licenses to start-ups. The formalities and the waiting time that followed required a great deal of patience, optimism and determination. That, she feels, was education enough into a whole new world of not just designing clothing but learning the ropes of the trade.

The Family
To quote Meenakshi, “The family has always supported each and every initiative of mine but of course working out of home was a new thing for them. My meetings with craftsmen would be monitored by the family and would take place in between rustling up an evening snack. (laughs) My conference calls used to be punctuated with ‘Do you have any clothes for ironing?’, ‘Can I take the car out?’…to my mother-in-law insisting I join her for tea.”

Her Mantra
Never sit on a problem for more than 24 hours.
Connect with the youth & young people; surround yourself with the energy and buzz.

How Designing and Conducting Makeovers Happened
An extroverted being, Meenakshi has always loved meeting people and travelling. Over the years, she has been complimented on her artistic and cultural sensibilities of doing up her homes and her personal wardrobe. Many celebrated designers at fashion weeks have come forward and appreciated her aesthetic dressing sense. While designing was a natural progression of that, all her experience of conducting workshops with corporates on personal grooming is what eventually led her to conduct makeovers.

How She Summarises the Past One Year in One Word/ Phrase

Her Vision for Thread Turner
Seeing brand Thread Turner being the fashion choice of the independent, enterprising and empowered woman.

About Thread Turner:
Thread Turner is an apparel & fashion brand for the working woman of today, steering away from stereotypical notions and introducing fresh thought to the wardrobe. Specialties include Fashion Makeovers, Corporate Saris, Party-Festive-Wedding Saris for the Working Woman, Heritage Stoles and more.

Contact Information
Thread Turner
Pramod Tandon

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