#DesignerSpotlight – Janam Maternity Saris & Beyond!

Maternity Sari c/o Janam Maternity

4 more weeks to go! It’s hard to believe that I am 36 weeks pregnant and full term – meaning Baby B could arrive anytime. With each day, I feel more prepared for the little one’s arrival. With the kicks becoming stronger, I have a feeling Baby B is excited to meet us too! As I enter the home stretch, it’s amazing to think about how much my mind, body, and life has changed. In the last few weeks, I feel pretty fatigued (all the time) and my hands, feet, and face are constantly swollen. Accepting these changes and not trying to push myself has helped me understand what’s important and how to prioritize. These days it’s all about comfort. I focus on how to feel calm and comfortable in my everyday life. When I connected with Parul, founder of Janam Maternity, her passion for creating comfortable and stylish South Asian maternity fashion resonated with me. I couldn’t wait to try the maternity sari for myself. As you know, I love Indian fashion but that has taken a back seat during pregnancy since most of my outfits didn’t fit or were too uncomfortable to wear. Janam Maternity has changed all that with the genius patent-pending Maternity Sari! The Maternity Sari is different from normal saris in many ways. First, the sari comes pre-pleated which alone is such a brilliant idea since I have so much trouble tying my own sari. Most important, the Maternity Sari comes with an expandable belly band to be worn around or below the belly. The sari took me less than 5 minutes to put on and I felt so at ease. Janam Maternity also makes Maternity Saris that cover the entire belly and nursing sari blouses! I chatted with Parul, a lawyer turned fashion entrepreneur  to learn more about the inspiration behind Janam Maternity!

#DesignerSpotlight – Janam Maternity Saris & Beyond! 

  • Tell us more about what inspired you to start Janam Maternity Saris & Beyond?! I was helping two of my best friends get ready during a wedding, trying to wear Indian clothes during their pregnancies. One friend was wearing a sari and trying to figure out where to place her petticoat (above the bump or below the bump?). Neither option seemed flattering or comfortable. If we tied the petticoat above the bump, the sari pleats would flare out and cause her belly to look even larger. If she tied the petticoat under the bump, it felt like it was going to slip down and fall with every step she took. I imagined in my head “if there was a way to stitch the petticoat into a sari-like skirt with pleats already stitched as well, removing all the excess fabric, attaching the sari skirt portion to a stretchable belly panel that is just as comfortable as Western maternity wear, it would be so much easier to sit and breathe in a sari during pregnancy.”
  • After two years of letting the idea simmer in my head and being frustrated with the options that I had seen, I drew out a few sketches. I decided to start taking sewing lessons to learn how I could combine the elements of a silk (non-stretch) sari, with a petticoat (also non-stretch fabric) with a stretch belly panel. It took a few tries, but with a very skilled sewing teacher, I was able to make my first two prototypes for the maternity sari, maternity sari blouses and then shifted focus to nursing blouses and the Two-Step Sari.
  • How is Janam Maternity Saris & Beyond different from other Indian clothing companies? Honestly, I don’t know much about how other Indian clothing companies operate – I still have so much to learn. I think the main difference in both the Janam line and Two-Step Sari is that since I’m not a designer, my main focus is function, comfort and ease of use, without losing the style aspect of traditional South Asian apparel. My goal is to make sure all Janam and Two-Step Sari products maintain the appearance of traditional ethnic apparel while providing the comfort and functionality that modern women need.
  • What advice do you have for moms‐to-be who would like to wear South Asian fashion during pregnancy? Some women may see the Janam Maternity line and worry about spending money on a product that they think they will only be able to wear during pregnancy, but our Maternity Saris can be worn during pregnancy and post-partum. I am happy to provide styling advice for customers to find the best solution for their needs. If they know which events they have during and after pregnancy, we can mix and match products, without having to spend on separate ensembles. All of our nursing blouses look like regular blouses, so they can be worn after nursing as well.
  • Tell us more about your design philosophy. My focus is to provide a functional product, so I will always be looking for ways to make our line more comfortable, versatile (use before and after pregnancy), easy to put on and take off. I am always happy to receive feedback and suggestions. If I can’t find an immediate solution, I will work on making additional prototypes and have them tested to come up with a working solution.
  • What’s next for Janam Maternity Saris & Beyond?! I’d like to expand the nursing line for the Janam line, since our survey feedback has shown quite a bit of interest for the Janam nursing products. This includes a nursing salwar kameez prototype nursing lengha tops and a maternity/nursing blouse in one. For the Two-Step Sari, I’d like to offer some more modern and trendy pieces, to include a younger demographic. Most women I know cringe at the thought of wearing a sari and most young women I know, ages 16 to 30 won’t even entertain the thought of buying a sari because they “wouldn’t even know what to do with it.” My goal for the Two-Step Sari was to help preserve and save the tradition of this iconic piece of our culture. It’s not just fashion culture, but part of our culture as a whole. Many well-known Indian designers have created #savethesaree campaigns and I want to do my part to also allow the millennial and younger generations to also wear a sari easily and comfortably.

Connect with Janam Maternity:  www.janammaternity.comwww.twostepsari.com, InstagramFacebook 

 

signature

Comments

  1. Sonam Sharma says:

    Glowing Mom-to-be you carry the sari so well. Wishing you all the best in your last month!

  2. You look gorgeous Kamana! Good luck with the new baby!

  3. I got my wedding sari pre-pleated too! And love the expandable belly idea. You look gorgeous!
    Salma recently posted…Hell’s Gate AirtramMy Profile