TT Designer Dhisha Moorjani Opens Boutique In Germany

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By Essiba Small, HER Magazine

Fashion designer and former owner of House of Jaipur, Dhisha Moorjani has taken her brand to Germany, where she now calls home.

The San Fernando born Moorjani, whose parents migrated from India to Trinidad a year before she was born, shared about her new life in Germany and about her spanking new eponymous boutique, located in Cologne.

‘I decided to use my name as the name of my boutique, in order to make it a bit more personal,’ Moorjani told Her.

‘I discovered that Germans love a story, and they prefer to connect with a person. I had a story to tell and I wanted to connect with my customer base. Germans are totally bewitched by the Caribbean,’ Moorjani said.

‘When I tell them I moved to Germany from the Caribbean, they are flabbergasted as to why? Who would leave the warm Caribbean to move to cold and grey Germany?’

The woman who started the House of Jaipur out of her living room in 2001, Moorjani migrated to Germany ‘in the nick of time’ (to borrow her words), two weeks before the world came to a screeching halt, due to Covid. She joined her German husband who, after working in the Caribbean for 15 years, wanted to return home to be closer to his family.

At House of Jaipur, a store that was inspired by her late father who was from Jaipur and passed away before she opened the store, Moorjani said she saw a need in the local market for Indian inspired garments and home furnishings.

‘I was influenced by the Indian culture naturally by my parents, and I was fortunate enough to have relatives in India whom I visited occasionally and through whom I was able to connect to different factories and suppliers and eventually build a relationship with them.’

Dhisha Moorjani Designs & Lifestyle is markedly different from House of Jaipur, although the concept is similar.

‘I design and produce my own line of clothing, fashion accessories, home furnishings, jewelry, gift items.

‘I also built a kitchen in the store to be able to offer drinks/ coffee, tea, and I plan to offer some Caribbean/ Indian appetisers… a complete shopping experience.

‘German protocols regarding serving food and alcohol are quite stringent, so it will be a while before permissions can be given. All my applications are in so hopefully I can start that soon as well. The Germans are just loving the fact that I brought so much colour into their life,’ the former BWIA flight attendant said.

‘Grey is normally the favourite colour here. The pavement and sky usually have the shade of grey, so with me bringing my Caribbean vibes to Cologne, my neighbours around my shop are thanking me for improving the quality of life and shopping on the street. That was a huge compliment for me. ‘I have absolutely no Caribbean customers. I wish I can find more Caribbean people here in Cologne, but at the moment I only have German and European clients.’

Missing from Moorjani’s new store are her signature Indian traditional clothing, which she said are unique to T& T, given the large Indian diaspora.

‘All my garments are designed by me and I have a team in India who I liaise with regarding the stitching and finishing of the product. In terms of designing for my new customer base, it is a bit more challenging because I have brought something very different to the table here in terms of colour.

‘Of course designing for a colder climate is my biggest design challenge now, because I am new to the realm of winter and the fashion that goes with it. This will be a work in progress but I am looking forward to this new chapter.’

With Divali fast approaching, Moorjani is preparing for a quiet one. ‘Unfortunately, no one here knows about Divali and I thought about maybe introducing it here to my customer base and lighting up the shop…. but I think it’s too soon to do that this year.

‘Divali weekend this year in Cologne coincides with a very important day in Cologne anyway, 11 11, which is the beginning of the Carnival season in Germany. Cologne is the Carnival city of Germany so this is a huge day here.

‘I will wait and introduce Divali next year. I want to grow my customer base a bit, get my food license sorted and then next year I will be ready to introduce Divali to Cologne.’

‘Stimulating’ is the word Mooranji used to describe this stage of her life and business.

‘I feel as if I have started all over again because every aspect of my life and work here is so different – language/culture/ customer base/climate.

‘What I miss more than anything is the social aspect of my life in Trinidad. It is very hard to meet and connect with people here. I miss my friends in the Caribbean and I miss the spontaneous ‘liming’.

‘To meet people here you have to book a date almost two months in advance. Still cannot get used to that.’

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