Telangana Today

Hyderabad: The Covid-19 pandemic might have hit businesses across the world, throwing many off track, but these two sisters have always charted their own course and believed in themselves.

Sakina and Rashida, popular as the Fida Ali sisters, were born and raised in Hyderabad. Their designing skills, which they themselves saw blooming after they set up Pretty Gilded, now have fans across the globe. Pretty Gilded, a luxury invitation, graphic design and print studio, has in just five years managed to carve a niche for itself, as testified by over 400 clients across 40 countries.

‘It all started in 2015 when Sakina was getting married. She wanted a completely different invitation, but at that time, there were no customised studios or boutiques to approach. That is how Pretty Gilded was born. A couple of months later she asked me to join her. I was in college pursuing my physiotherapy course and I was quite reluctant but she persuaded me into it and here we are now,’ says Rashida, the younger of the two who takes care of the firm’s designing and branding.

Pretty Gilded comprises a team of five, at the moment working from home. Starting off as a boutique invitation studio, they got into branding and packaging all over the world. The brand is quite popular for its aesthetic designs, ranging from the contemporary to the Victorian, with the repertoire now boasting of wedding invites, logos, branding, packaging and gift stationery as well.

‘We have worked with celebrity stylist Tanya Ghavri and also with Diana Penty for Christmas packaging which reached many Bollywood stars and was much appreciated,’ says Rashida, adding that just as they were spreading their wings, the pandemic struck.

‘The pandemic affected our business a lot in the beginning. Since about 70 percent of our clientele were abroad, with several weddings being called off. Even now, weddings are very few, and our international orders have taken a hit. But this actually helped us, as we got a chance to take a step back and look at other segments that we could do. That is when we started to focus more on branding and packaging and also stationery. We now have our hands full with these new operations and we are doing really well,’ says Rashida. ‘It all depends on what you do and how you do it. You have to love what you do and create a niche for yourself. Once you create a market, there will be no looking back,’ conclude the sisters, who say their father, an orthopedic surgeon, has been their pillar of support.

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