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About Shalini James
Shalini is a graduate in English literature who abandoned the subject mid-sentence to pursue her love for fashion. After a three year spell in Fashion design at NIFT, Chennai, she took a business management program from IIM, Calcutta. Her education, now a heady cocktail of sorts, she spent more than a few years figuring out her mantra. In December 2002, after a particularly intense eureka moment, she founded a company in the living room of a house in Cochin and named it Shalini James' Mantra. Simply put, Mantra is a firm that designs, manufactures and sells clothes that appeal to Shalini. That they appeal to a whole lot of other women too may be incidental, but it turned out to be fortunate for her.
In its twelfth year, Mantra has spread its wings and moved out of that living room into a state-of-the art factory that looks more like a farm house. Nestling amidst coconut palms and meandering canals, the Mantra house stands tall in Cheranalloor, a hitherto sleepy village in Cochin. As the neighbourhood wakes up to the resonant music of temple bells and the spicy fragrance that wafts in from a nearby pepper grove, a group of people buzz into action here. This colonial-style building that houses big dreams is home to Shalini and her team.