Meet Kavita Singh. This talented textile artist creates colorful art that’s a joy to wear.
Imagine you are a retailer, opening a package received from Silk Designs by Kavita. Each scarf and garment is perfectly pressed, layered in tissues, in the same order as the packing slip. Easy to unpack and check off, ready to hang in your store. This is the level of care, and customer service, that Kavita Singh performs for each of her wholesale accounts.
Having started painting silk 30 years ago as a young mother, Kavita developed a retail business and eventually turned to almost exclusively wholesaling her work. She recently spoke with us about her business and her techniques.
Hand painting on silk produces a lovely result, but is incredibly time-consuming. To be able to work more quickly, she creates designs in bold patterns and colors, and screen prints them by hand onto the fabric. Her garments are flowing and loose-fitting, which allows her to avoid making her jackets in multiple sizes. She creates S/M and L/XL sizes, mostly adjusting the hem and sleeve length.
Each year, she designs at least two new products for each of the Spring, Summer and Fall seasons. Scarves are her bestsellers. Her line is sold at museum stores, symphony and opera gift shops, boutiques and galleries, and even cruise ship gift stores. Kavita’s designs have been requested by the Royal Family of Malaysia and have also been displayed in the White House.
This California-based artist exhibits at numerous wholesale trade shows, as she believes it’s best to see the buyers in person. She also feels strongly that it takes persistence, and showing up for several years at least, to be successful. Kavita laughs and says, “Buyers finally have to break down and buy from you, because they have seen you so many times!”
Another tip that she offers is for exhibitors to have show specials planned for the wholesale events they attend. With a tight economy, she often notices retailers looking for something free. It may be shipping, or an extra item or a discount – which she sometimes offers when certain quantities are ordered.
Kavita suggests that artists who want to wholesale work on offering a variety of items in different styles, colors and price points. It’s an ongoing process of designing, and evolving your business. “You’re never finished,” she says.
Her painted silk line can be viewed on her retail website, but she also has a separate website for wholesale buyers, who can call her for more information.