Thursday, May 18, 2017

Crow 31 Days: I Have a Few Rubies in My Closet

Her name is Ruby Bhandari. She is part lightning bug, part butterfly, part unicorn: you've never met anyone like her. Mysteriously she never sleeps, and miraculously she can draw something in Dallas, Texas and within hours, a sewing machine in New Delhi, India is bring it to form. Ruby is magic.

I met Ruby and her amazing husband Raj for the second time though their magnanimous offer to create a fashion show for our members at the museum over 15 years ago. We are convinced we met years earlier on the campus of the University of Texas as we both served on the Cabinet of College Councils. It is the kind of friendship where--when we met "officially" we all felt like we'd known each other forever.

Ruby is a dear friend, but Ruby is also an accomplished fashion designer and entrepreneur. She started her company Silk Threads while still as student at UT. She is the epitome of tenacity.

Ruby works two shifts for two time zones: telecommuting with India has it's challenges. She fills her day meeting with clients in Dallas, working on her many distribution projects, designing the next season and building the business.

Walking into the showroom is better than Alice in Wonderland. Ruby has a team of devoted employees--and she pops in and out between calls and clients to offer a style or a color: she knows how to create something ravishing.

Her confidence is magnetic: I've walked in planning just to stop by and say hello. I've walked out with mid-riff bearing sarees, jewelry, salwar kameez, gowns fit for royalty and two tunics commissioned for the opening of our sculpture garden.

She is a marketing genius, a talented businesswoman and simply impossible to say "no" to. Once you see the Ruby, you are part of a marvelous elixir: an intoxicating concoction of joy, glamour and fun. Ruby dressed me for an engagement party, several local galas, a fashion show and several evenings with the Asia Society at the Tiger Ball in Houston. She even dressed me for the opening of an exhibition we supported in New Delhi-sending her cousin to our hotel for a last-minute fitting. Ruby was thousands of miles away on the phone: designing by satellite.

Ruby's success has been earned: over 25 years of grit and courage. She is recognized as one of the first designers to bring Indian fashion to the region. Raj has been a guiding light in their partnership and in their business. This is one of my favorite Power Couples in Dallas.

A visit to the Silk Threads showroom will not disappoint. Plan to spend a few hours sifting through the gowns, and do not be afraid to try something bold. Be like Alice in this wonderland and drink it all up. I promise you'll walk out smiling. And you just might find a few Rubies in your closet, too.

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