At Home With… Ruchika Sachdeva
For young role models who breeze through life at a comfortable and confident pace, there are few quite like Ruchika Sachdeva. As Founder of Bodice, the womenswear label that got her listed on Business of Fashion (BOF 500) and won the prestigious International Woolmark Prize in 2018, her achievements are extraordinary.
Yet, it is her demeanor of serenity and strength that holds our gaze; the secret to which we were keen to decipher. Below, Ruchika shares what keeps her centred, now more than ever:
Your studio is your current home. What prompted this move and how are you managing personal time within your workspace?
With the lockdown, our movement became restricted, and it suddenly became challenging to get from home to work. As an entrepreneur, there was no real option besides finding a solution, and that’s exactly what I did. I found a way around the standstill – even if it meant moving into my place of work. Luckily, the transition was a lot easier than it seems because I am fortunate enough to have my workspace in such a beautiful, green space.
“We work out of a lush farmhouse in New Delhi, and every day has been a breath of fresh air - all the greenery has turned out to be just what I needed to deal with the stress that came with Covid-19.”
When it comes to managing my time, the thing is that in creative fields, lines between personal and professional are really blurred. Moreover, as Founder of your company, you’re kind of working all the time anyway. Besides, I love what I do and don’t feel it’s a compromise to merge my home and workspace; I’m looking at the positives of this change at the moment because I love being able to work any time I want without a ‘start’ or ’stop’ in my flow. There’s no longer stress about the commute either – I’m able to balance things better, plus, it’s convenient to be able to grab something from the kitchen while a document is being printed!
Your most clarifying moment during the pandemic?
For me, it was understanding the importance of my relationship with myself. Having to spend a lot of time in isolation made me realise the value in this connection. As someone who is so passionate about their work, I often tend to overlook my wellbeing and health.
I’ve experienced the change in my personal life after I started doing things for me that weren’t necessary on a professional front but were little ways through which I could improve my wellness. Through this realisation, I’ve been able to bring about changes that ensure my happiness and a positive state of mind, and that allows me to check in on myself.
What are some of the tangible ways it has impacted your approach to work?
I’ve started prioritising where I put my energy. Earlier, I used to micro-manage a lot, so much so that I didn’t have time to analyse the big picture. I was constantly trying to be in control of everything – including things I had no control over.
Being in the middle of so much hustle in your work life, you sometimes overlook the impact of time for yourself. I’ve now begun to prioritise what I need to take care of personally versus the tasks that can be delegated, so that at the end of each day I’m not overworked or overstressed.
What gets you out of bed every morning?
What gets me out of bed is the list of things I have planned for the day.
“Currently, I’m focused on the four aspects of my life which I feel are really important – personal, professional, health and spirituality. Having a schedule which allows me to balance my time and day across these four areas has me excited to wake up.”
Also, having my own company and a job that lets me do what I love on my terms is something I look forward to each day. I feel very blessed to continue doing what I love; after almost a decade and through all the challenges, we’re surviving and still moving forward.
How are you keeping your immunity up?
The pandemic gave me the kind of push I needed to work towards taking better care of myself and not neglecting my health. I’ve started to put more effort into my well being and into working out more regularly.
When it comes to boosting my immunity, turmeric is something I rely on. Recently, I have started using freshly grated turmeric instead of powdered; we are lucky that this root is available locally in India. I’ve started being more regular with my Pranayama practice. I’m a firm believer in the power of breath to help you centre and release stress. Also, I’m eating a lot healthier now and basically taking any little additional step that allows me to take better care of myself.
What do you feel most comfortable sleeping in?
Light, breathable cotton. I love wearing loose cotton pyjamas with old t-shirts that have aged and softened with time.
Is your bedroom a screen-free zone? If not, what's the last film or show you watched in bed?
Fortunately-unfortunately, my room isn’t but I do try to make sure I don’t look at screens right before bed. I like to give myself a couple of hours of screen-free time to rest my eyes and mind.
The last thing I watched was Abstract on Netflix and I highly recommend it.
What design explorations are driving your upcoming collection?
With our current context, you can't help but examine the impact of your actions on the environment. Coronavirus has made me think of ways in which I can contribute towards a more conscious way of living. Now more than ever, I’m starting to examine the fibres that I’m using and questioning the impact our production practices have – the first, second and third cycle of materials, their usability and reusability. I’m also trying to find out ways of recycling the materials we’ve used in the past and push our efforts into sustainability - a step or two steps further.
A perfect Sunday...
I like my Sunday to be as stress-free as possible. Getting to wake up naturally with no alarm, no work calls, no deadlines… The luxury of spending an extra half-hour in bed peacefully without the rush to get things done. Just staying in and going about my day at a slower pace is heavenly and all I want out of my ‘perfect’ Sunday – relaxed, cozy and comfortable.
How does your sartorial aesthetic seep into the bedroom?
Minimalism and a pared down aesthetic seeps into the bedroom, much like anywhere else I engage myself aesthetically. I like to keep things simple. I love linen in earthy tones; beiges, greys and whites are usually what I go for with a bit of texture for added detail. I have placed some air purifying plants around my room – you can spot several pots of thriving mother-in-law’s tongue on the window ledge and my work desk – to help with the air and also add a touch of green. I love natural light filtering into my room, and during evenings I’ve got top lights with dimmers to ensure a soft ambience with nothing too harsh on the eyes.
There are numerous cushions strewn across the bed that add the right kind of warmth and comfort I’m looking for at the end of the day to wind down and relax. I also like using essential oils: I spray some lavender oil on my pillows at night for a good night’s sleep.
“I like to engage all five senses as much as possible.”
You share your bed with?
Me, myself and I.
Your last dream...
In my last dream I was travelling… obviously, since I love it and we’re not able to with everything that’s going on. I was sitting inside a gorgeous café which was farm-to-table and, even though it was in the middle of the city, I could somehow see the farm right across my table. They were picking fruits and vegetables, sending it through the windows and preparing dishes in no time… It was way too utopian!
I love to start my day with something fresh like a bowl of fruit with yogurt and granola, topped with a combination of seeds like chia, sunflower, pumpkin. Or sourdough topped with avocado and poached eggs, or Indian egg akuri… absolutely divine!
All photography courtesy Akshay Sharma. Featured: Himêya's Gamchha towels in Grayscale and Mud Brown made with dyed yards, subtle contrast and a short terry pile. Multipurpose for Bath, Kitchen, Dish Cloth and more.