The Creative Five - Minttu, Breeze, Alisha, Anmol, and Sahib Sarna

If there’s one family that’s taking over the creative space like a thunderstorm, it’s the Sarna’s. This artistic household is painting their passion in each of their respective fields and working together as a wonderful team. Famous for their hospitality and innovative minds, the Sarna’s have made quite a mark in the fields of event planning and décor. Known for their beautifully conducted weddings, Minttu Sarna and family are an ambitious bunch who are here to stay. We catch up with them this week to find out more about their work, their inspirations and much more.     ---  as told to Rubaina

Minttu Sarna

The head of this creative family and the one who started it all, Minttu Sarna has wowed the nation with his stellar décor and unique style. Inspiring many, including his own family members, he has mastered the art of décor, created his own benchmark and is constantly surprising everyone with his stunning work.

How did you get into event planning?
Getting into event planning was a sheer accident. I was previously running my own transport business and software company. A friend of mine insisted that I help him with his daughter’s cradle ceremony, and I was so fascinated by the concept that I became curious to know what goes on behind the scenes in event planning. This led me to establish ‘Signature Decor by
Minttu Sarna,’ along with my wife Breeze.

What’s been the most challenging aspect of your career?
When it comes to innovation, the rules are yours to set and redefine. Today, as yesterday and throughout my design journey, the challenge remains the same: to attain perfection in all we do. Event planning is all about the client and our passion to make their most special day a momentous one.

How do you keep the creative juices flowing?
You see things and say, ‘Why?’I dream things that never were, and I say ‘Why Not?’

Keeping this in mind and attention to detail as our prime focus, we strive towards creating a novelty factor that reflects our clients’ unique and sophisticated personalities.

Who, or what, has been your biggest inspiration?
I am highly motivated by nature, as it not only allows me to think seamlessly but also teaches me that the sky is the limit. It’s a moral aspect that I follow in my day-to-day life, as well as in my career.

Which project is closest to your heart?
When it comes to my personal favourite, there isn’t just one that I could pinpoint, as I treat all my projects as my babies. The perfect setting is a vision foreseen and fulfilled by unlocking the secret chambers of imagination, while keeping the clients’ taste and personality in mind.

Personally, what is your favourite style of weddings to work on?
“Life is not measured by the number of breathes we take, but by the moments that take our breath away”.

Having said that, I do not revolve my work around a particular style. Instead, I work on all kinds of themes as suitable for the client. As for me, it’s all about being able to leave the host with pleasant memories of contentment, elegance and grandeur.

Where do you see yourself 10 years down the line?
'Signature Decor By Minttu Sarna' has been turning weddings into stunning, unforgettable realities and fulfilling the dreams of a refined clientele in the Middle East and Far East countries, apart from India. It continues to strive to captivate new horizons and become a global player with the only thought of being able to spread happiness across the globe through grand and immaculate décor.

Breeze Sarna

An ambitious fashion designer, loving mother, and wife, Breeze Sarna is the piece that holds this dynamic family together. Achieving great feats in the world of fashion with her ‘Minttu and Breeze’ label, which Minttu also contributes to, Breeze has a unique approach to balancing her professional and familial responsibilities.

How did you get into designing?
Growing up, I have always had a creative side, but design as a career path was destiny’s call. I ended up doing what I love the most. Joining a family of achievers after my marriage gave a boost to my confidence, broadening my love for design, be it clothes or jewellery. I owe it all to my ever supportive mother-in-law, for encouraging me to become a GIA graduate and a strong and independent individual. My life, my husband, Minttu has always been my biggest support system, standing by me every step of the way. And I wouldn’t stand where I do today without my pillars of strength: my father and brother. They made sure to give me the correct guidance, teaching me the ropes of business ethics.

What would you say are the favourite aspects of your business?
One of the most rewarding aspects of my business is the multitude of designs I can experiment with. Each day is a new beginning in terms of creating new patterns and designs that will suit my clients and test my creativity, enabling me to refine my skill to perfection in the process.

What are your long-term goals?
‘Your dreams are often your goals’.

Having set up my label, my dream has come true. I currently find myself content in my small world: my work and my family, with no long-terms goals in mind, as of now.

What colours are trending for bridal wear this season?
This season, bridal wear is all about pastels and ethereal vibes, with soft tones like rose, peach, lavender, grey and white topping the charts.

Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration?
Being in the design field, thinking seamlessly and out of the box is a must. Having said that, I draw my inspiration from nature it teaches me to spread my wings beyond boundaries and enhances my creative side.

What do you think has been the most challenging aspect of handling your boutique?
“Joy is a gift valued when received, but mastered only when given.”

Keeping this in mind while handling the boutique, the most vital aspect is to be able to satisfy the client through the garments we curate. This in turn helps us create an elegant piece which must emanate our clients’ desires and reflect their unique personalities and tastes.

What’s your ideal family time? How do you all find time to spend together, considering you’re so busy in your respective work lives?
“I’m too blessed to be stressed.”

God has been extremely kind to me in that aspect. My entire family is present at my workplace and is always around. They are already with a listening ear, always willing to share their ideas and passions with each other.

Alisha Sarna

Being the oldest Sarna child in a family of achievers, and coupled with a passion for creativity, Alisha was motivated to dive into the world of designer footwear. Here, she talks to us about her venture abroad, her brand, ‘Chinar by Alisha,’ and her future plans.

How was your experience abroad?
My experience was an eye-opener in many ways. Studying abroad makes you learn to adjust with what you have, because everything was not served on a platter there, as was the case back home in India. It was a challenging yet fun-filled experience, adapting to an atmosphere totally new in terms of place, people and food. It also gave me a lot of insight about life on a broader range and learning to settle in an independent manner.

What did you study in NIFT and abroad?
At NIFT I graduated as a Fashion and Lifestyle Accessory Designer, which helped me gain in-depth knowledge, both practical and theoretical, of the fashion accessory design process. It also gave me a clear understanding of the broader cultural and social context of design and helped me carve a niche for myself in the traditional and emerging sectors of the global fashion industry space.
I also studied abroad at the Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia, where I completed my Honors in industrial design. This course helped me understand technology and innovation, people and society, design process and problem solving, and helped me bring all these aspects together to create innovative, attractive and sustainable products and systems that are viable to produce and distribute.

How did ‘Chinar by Alisha’ come into being?
My penchant for the finer things motivated me to forming my brand, ‘Chinar by Alisha’. According to my analysis, I discovered that there is large scope for fashion footwear in the emerging global fashion industry. Using nature as my inspiration, I named the brand ‘Chinar’, based on the longest living tree.

What are your long-term goals?
My goal is to achieve a distinguished position on the global map of footwear, with every foot donning ‘Chinar by Alisha’ footwear.

Coming from a family of achievers, do you ever feel the pressure?
My parents have always given me ample support when it comes to my education and profession. They always taught me how important it is to focus on life and on whom I aspire to become one day. They have always been my source of inspiration and the creative genes I have inherited from them help me handle all the pressure with ease.

With both your parents in different fields, what inspired you to start a shoe brand?
My inspiration stemmed from my parents’ approach towards fashion and style in general, with their own respective signature styles that are unique to them. They set me up to be meticulous and work hard on whatever I chose to do, and they always helped me achieve my goals to the point of perfection.

What is the most challenging aspect of your work?
I never tend to look at anything as a challenge, because I have picked what I love. Thus, each day is an inspiration to create new products, and the immense pleasure of people accepting and enjoying my creations brings utmost confidence to me and helps grow my career.

Anmol Sarna

This creative family is incomplete without Anmol Sarna, who helps Minttu with his ventures and plays an integral part in the execution of each and every event. With Minttu ji as his mentor, we asked Anmol where he plans to take his career in the future.

What role do you play at Signature Decor by Minttu Sarna?
Event management seems like a simple organisational task. But like an iceberg, there is a lot more than what can be seen on the surface. It requires several technical skills for creating and executing the desired event. I handle the back-end operations along with orchestrating all the event details, managing vendors, creating and managing budgets, and also timelines, for the successful completion of events.

What career path would you have taken if not for this?
Every passion has its own destiny, and so I can’t really think of any other career path for myself. Ultimately, whatever is meant to happen always finds a way.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?
My dad, Ravinder Sarna, and my mentor Minttu Chacha are my biggest inspirations. They have instilled in me that when we put our heart, mind and soul into even the smallest acts, success follows. Minttu Cha’s excellent organisational, interpersonal, and multi-tasking skills leave me in awe all the time. He is a people’s person and his charisma is contagious.

Coming from a family of achievers, do you ever feel the pressure?
I’m blessed and privileged to have been born into a family of achievers who have proved their mettle time and again. There are undoubtedly some large shoes to fill here, and great expectations to fulfil. But I guess the key to handling the pressure is to keep yourself steady, follow your instincts and think clearly. My family is my biggest support system, inspiring me to achieve greater heights for myself.

What has been the most interesting thing about decorating?
Decorating is a point of view. It’s not about bringing imagination to life, but rather to understand the clients’ expectations and give them form. It’s all about the detailing and connecting things and creating the experiences of a lifetime. The ability to see things differently at creatively challenging times is the most interesting bit about this field.

We hear you’re quite a foodie. What’s your favourite cuisine?
I’m definitely a foodie at heart and a true Hyderabadi. Hyderabadi  Biryani and Chicken 65 are my all-time favourites I can relish them any time.

What’s next for you?
“Work hard in silence, let your success be your noise” is something I strongly believe in. I plan to follow the footsteps of my mentor and try to absorb and implement the passion and imagination Mintu Cha brings to work. I would like to be as innovative and add more dimensions to ‘Signature Decor by Minttu Sarna’, with the required guidance and support. Being creatively challenging each time and taking some big leaps will take me where I want to be.

Sahib Sarna

The youngest member of the crew, Sahib Sarna is still schooling, mapping his way into the world of design. Sahib spoke to us about his academic future and where he sees himself going career-wise. Having a family as encouraging and supportive as his, he believes he has a lot to achieve. Here he shares with us how he plans to get there.

Since you already help your father out, are you planning to follow in his footsteps after college?
My dad surpasses his own benchmark each time. I’m inspired to be just like him, someday. I would love to follow in his footsteps and leave a mark. My goal is to learn from him the knack of creating special memories through exclusive events.

Who inspires you the most?
Every individual has a role model to look up to. Ever since I was a student I looked up to my dad because of his special aura and amazing endeavours

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Since childhood, I’ve been fascinated by automobiles and cars. I often find myself browsing online or flipping through magazines to learn more about the latest updates in the automobile space.

Coming from a family of achievers, do you ever feel the pressure?
I have always been taught to give my all in whatever I do. With this being my motto of life, and with the support of my family of course, no task seems impossible.

What is your next step, academically?
I plan to start studying and settle down abroad. The plan is to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in business administration.

What role have you played in helping your dad in his business?
The event management industry is constantly growing and now accommodates a lot more than before. I would like to provide more facilities and experiences to the same, bring new ideas to the table and helping the creative processes flow.