We had the good fortune of connecting with Nalini Arora and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nalini, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I learned at a very young age that without risk there is no reward. My father was an entrepreneur. I recall him having different jobs and moving up in his career. I’ve seen him fail, and then all of sudden be driving a convertible Mercedes. I sensed he was driven, fearless, and determined. Having seen that in my life, I knew that if I wanted something in my personal life or career that I had to take risks.
After working in house for different brands for several years, I felt compelled to try freelancing. Here I am 15 years later. Working on your own has its ups and downs but I love working on a variety of projects, learning, and interacting with different brands.
I haves so much more I want to accomplish. I’m working on a few things at the moment. I’m scared that I will fail, but I won’t know until I try. I apply this same theory to my personal life.
What should our readers know about your business?
Studio Arora is a footwear and accessory design consultancy. We design and develop shoes for brands globally. For the majority of my time in business I focused on designing shoes with large brands, and working in tandem with their design teams, or working on special projects. Last year, I decided I want to work with brands who want to create products with purpose. I began to build a library of sustainable materials, and developed relationships with these suppliers. We have a strong sustainable material library with vegan leathers you would not believe existed, and plant-based materials that look like leather. I did a lot of research and explored how these materials work on different products. Handling plant-based materials, vegan, sustainable textiles, and chrome free/eco-friendly leathers has been an amazing journey. I’m learning how these materials feel when they’re lasted onto a shoe or bag. The experience of these materials is allowing me to communicate to my clients if the outcome they want will work on the materials of their choice. I offer development, and factory sourcing. What sets my business apart is that I’m a designer that has the strong ability to understand the importance of design, marketing and branding. All those three elements are important when creating a product line for a brand. I work with my clients on not just delivering great product, but encourage brands to focus on their brand story, and find what will set them apart.
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?
Right now, my safe haven is going to Il Caffe in Downtown Los Angeles. I love what they’ve done for downtown locals as far as safe outdoor dining. On weekends they have contactless/no server service by offering different trucks to come on the weekends. I also enjoy going to Sant Monica on Montana and having a gluten free donut at Erin McKenna’s bakery. Taking a stroll on Montana is nice because it’s not so busy. There is also a nice private beach in Malibu I go to frequently and hang with my dog. I find peaceful activities that offer no stress, social distance gatherings that friends enjoy going to during this weird time in our lives.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to do a shout out to my dad who always believed in me, encouraged me, and pushed me. I never saw it that way, and felt he was hard on me. I now understand what he was trying to do.
Bree McCool Photography Annette Tang