Wait, scrunchies, made from sarees?

You heard it right, scrunchies made from our beautiful sarees. Read more to learn more about the founder of Shop Life of a Lotus's journey into becoming a small business owner!


Interview with: Owner of Shop Life of a Lotus

Shop Life of a Lotus website: https://www.lifeofalotus.online/ 

Shop Life of a Lotus Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shoplifeofalotus___/?hl=en 

Hello everyone! The title speaks for itself since this was my exact reaction when I first discovered this business. To go a little more in-depth, for this interview, I had an amazing opportunity to interview Chanel: owner of Shop Life of a Lotus! Shop Life of a Lotus is a Canadian-owned business that specializes in selling scrunchies with a uniquely South Asian twist to them. Some of these durable scrunchies are made from our traditional sarees! You heard me right, sarees! She incorporates our South Asian fabric to create her wonderful scrunchies. While also being affordable, she emphasizes that this hobby turned business to be her creative outlet to release tense emotions. It was empowering, to relate to her through each conversation tidbit we had. Her genuine responses shined through this interview, and I hope everyone reading also sees her generosity. Check out her shop (Shop Life of a Lotus) and read our interview below to learn more about her personal experiences as a business owner.

Introduce yourself: who you are, what you’ve created, and just say a brief sneak-peak so readers can know you more personally!

My name is Chanel and I’m 21, turning 22 years old this year. I’m a student, I’m a crafter, I work, and I started my small business Shop Life of a Lotus. I called it this because I suffer from anxiety and depression, and to help me cope with that, I’ve always been making and crafting things. We’re very vocal about mental health and self-care as a business because it’s a cause we really care about. I created my small business to help me navigate my identity as a woman of color. I’m half Indian and half Guyanese, and I identify as a South Asian woman. I like to work with saree fabrics or traditional fabrics to upcycle and use them in my work! I’m also a student who studies health studies and mental health, so I’m really passionate about using my small business as a platform to make a difference for people who need it.

Why did you decide to create Shop Life of a Lotus

I originally started the concept of a craft business in September 2021, and then I took a break since I was all over the place with it, and officially relaunched it last month (January 2022). Like I said before, it’s an outlet for me to cope with my mental health, and to make a difference with a platform and community. I also wanted to share the beautiful fashion and fabrics from my culture.

What makes your scrunchies (and included claw clips on the website) different from other businesses?

The claw clips are there to support another Canadian woman-owned small business, so we partnered with the business that makes the hair clips to sell them in our shop. We give them their own credit for them.

With the scrunchies, they’re all unique and all handmade by me with a combination of machine-sewing and hand-sewing. Each of them is made with love! The fabric is often thrifted fabric or old saree fabric. Sometimes I buy new fabrics but rarely, so they’re very unique. Each one is a tiny bit different since they’re all handmade. They are all ethically made here in Toronto.

What does the manufacturing process and creative process look like when you make these scrunchies?

For coming up with ideas, I just make scrunchies that are different from what’s out there. As you know, South Asian culture has such beautiful fabric and beautiful sarees, so I like to browse the thrift stores for any old sarees and other old fabric (that’s unique). I also have a lot of old cloth in my own house which I draw inspiration from. When I have picked up the materials, I cut it with sewing scissors and I machine sew a scrunchie tube, and then I cut the elastic. For the last part (the seam), I grab a thread and sew the seam together. That’s my way of putting my own unique touch on every scrunchie. Then I take pictures with them and make content. I have some experience with content creation, so that’s a fun part too!

Your Instagram page included different photoshoots with your products (which is so impressive!), so I was wondering what does the content creating process entail?

It feels really special. I’ve only coordinated one shoot with my scrunchies. It was a bit stressful because it was my first time doing it, and I honestly didn’t know a lot about coordinating a photoshoot. Recently I got invited to be a part of a larger photoshoot about sustainable clothing and they wanted scrunchies! That made me feel really proud of myself because it was a bunch of people who were “mainstream” in the creative world in Toronto. To be able to share things handmade and that incorporate my cultural fabric with other people made me feel really happy!

What were some of the best things you gained from Shop Life of a Lotus?

It’s definitely the community. I’ve been able to connect with so many amazing people through Instagram and TikTok. I was also able to work with so many amazing people, both in-person and virtually. I also connected with many small businesses, women-owned businesses, content creators, and it makes me feel very thankful.

What were some of your favorite pieces you have created in Shop Life of a Lotus?

Some of my favorite pieces are definitely the scrunchies, especially the pieces that were created through old sarees. I have 2 scrunchies that are made from the ending part of the saree called the pallu. I love them!

What would you tell other South Asians who also want to start their own business? Any tips or tricks you want to share with the viewers interested?

I would say that the most important thing is your own individuality because there are lots of people who start small businesses, but what makes yours unique is you and your dreams! A part of you goes into everything you make, so pay attention to yourself and your values with your intersectional identities. Build what you want to build, and create what you wish to!

I hope you all enjoyed this interview conducted by me (Erina)! Please support the Shop Life of a Lotus, and continue reading from Brown Girls Reunite! Thank you so much.