Director and CEO, Queenmark
Who would have thought that cashmere shawls could be a hit in a warm country? Rajul Mehta decided to test the theory and now, her iconic cashmere shawls are selling well in major Singapore stores and other tropical climates. Her innovative idea is quickly turning her company, Queenmark, into a global brand.
Her beautifully crafted, luxurious, and eye-catching shawls are retailing in leading stores, such as, Isetan, Tangs, Tanglin mall, and Mporium at Suntec in Singapore. For this prolific artist, it marks a high point in her long journey to find appreciation and recognition for the artistic expression she had spent years refining and perfecting.
Coming from a family that is well established in the diamond business in Mumbai, India, Rajul had exposure to business fundamentals. She was married at 19 and moved to Israel with her husband. This was when her creative talent began to flourish. With the support of her husband, who had utmost faith in her ability, Rajul attended evening classes in Beit Berl College – a leading arts school in Israel. Her husband encouraged Rajul while she juggled her family responsibilities and her studies. In that way, she spent eight years earning her teacher’s degree in Art.
At that time, Israel had no space for colours in its cultural ethos. Instead, Rajul was surrounded by the tones and textures of the Holocaust. Yet, Rajul’s work is vibrant, infused with the bright colours of her Indian heritage. She battled to mark her identity within that landscape. The occasion arose when she had the opportunity to showcase her work at the Museum of Modern Art in Ramat Gan Israel. It gave her hope that she could carve a place for herself as an artist.
Her prospects improved as she moved to Singapore with her husband when he expanded his business to Asia. The turning point came when she was on a trip to Mongolia and saw the production of cashmere shawls. Her friends, who were keen admirers of her artworks, suggested that Rajul imprint her art and designs on cashmere shawls.
It was a novel thought and Rajul was willing to try. She ran a few prints and was happy with the outcome. That was the start of Queenmark Pte Ltd’s evolution. Rajul went on to present her work at international fashion shows, such as, Paris Fashion Week, Blueprint Singapore, The Fashion Festival Bali, Premiere Classe Paris, the Trunk Show in Dubai, and various other prestigious venues. Queenmark’s growth accelerated due to brand establishment and increasing customers.
Living in Singapore, Rajul had never thought that cashmere would sell in the tropical Asian countries. However, the cold air-conditioned interiors have boosted her business, not just in Singapore, but also in India. As a producer of cashmere, the Indian market is replete with cashmere apparel, but Rajul is gratified that her Queenmark cashmere designs are making waves there. Retailers are expressing demand for her products in several Indian cities and Rajul is quickly establishing a strong presence in India.
Today, Rajul has transformed her label into a Singapore brand with a business presence in over 15 countries. From a local enterprise that started with cashmere products, Queenmark has organically expanded into other product lines, such as, lace. Success has taught her, “The world is changed by your example and not by your opinion”. She had dared to try something different with her art, and that conviction has created change in the fashion scene. Her perseverance has led her to achieve the Singapore Indian Business Leaders Award, 2016 and the 8th Annual Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards Singapore 2016, showing her growing prominence in the business world.
In managing the business and its growth, Rajul ensures that she has her primary focus on the creative aspects of the business. This ability to focus on what matters has been pivotal to Queenmark and sets it apart from the competition. She maintains a balance between being an artist and an entrepreneur. Beyond profits, her priority is always to create a fashion statement that her customers can flaunt. Her next step is to move into other lines of luxury products to the delight of her customers.