Inching away from her fulltime employment hold and weaning off her regular pay cheque, she chose to go after a long cherished dream. Putting all her fears aside, Melbourne based young mum Preet Taneja recently launched her design label HH Collective and ventured into the intricate business of styling interiors.
Preet’s eclectic collection incorporates customised, individual, bespoke items, often sourced from artisans and craftspeople from rural India.
According to Preet, who is also the director of Taneja Interiors, if we do what we love it will never feel like work.
Her 20-month-old daughter Hazel Heer inspired her brand and is the motivation behind the decision to showcase the HH Collective interiors, accents and jewellery lines infused with myriad personal touches.
“Ever since I have become a mother, my world has changed,” said Preet. “I do not have the heart to leave my child for long periods of time in care and go back to a 9-5 routine. I will not be able to handle it. So even though this is a financial risk, I am going ahead with the confidence that there will be more potential than pitfalls.”
Preet has worked with interiors and furniture for many years under brands like Plush, Kiki and Weylandts. She has gained formal education in marketing and also dabbled in advertising. She can enhance a space and craft an aesthetically pleasing, thoughtfully styled look that immediately sparks emotions.
“Working with various retailers and dealing with hundreds of clients and buyers made me realise that handcrafted designs and antiques are preferred over mass produced, factory made goods,” said Preet, sharing her experience.
She finds that each piece in her collection has a story to tell. Talented artists handcrafted them and there is poetry in their finished designs. She feels that her pieces are suited to anyone who is home-proud as well as those purchasing their second or dream home.
“The recent inaugural launch of HH Collective was well attended and most of the jewellery was snapped up in no time,” claimed Preet. “I was very pleased with the response I received. My website will also go online soon, so it’s a very exciting time for my husband Anmol and me.”
“It is by no means easy,” claimed Preet. “I have to juggle parenting and running a business, create networks, visit client sites and manage all the pain points. With a lack of corporate infrastructure, I am doing the job of 4-5 people. However, the flexibility and freedom that it affords me gives me motivation to persist.”
She is always on the lookout for more pieces from around the world. Collecting gives focus to her travel. “I always have hopes of spotting that next piece that I love and that can add character to a home. I try to select works that are technically competent, both in design, balance and colour,” she said.
The premise of her latest collection is to explore traditional Indian crafts and integrate them into mainstream living.
“I believe that my concept is niche in Australia and benefits the artisan community in regional India. There are a lot of kitschy Indian items available in the market here, but my aim is to expose Australians to the diversity of refined Indian art. I want them to enjoy the warmth, comfort and craftsmanship of all things handmade,” said Preet enthusiastically.
Her future plans include opening her own showroom in Melbourne city and to introduce her business and designs in ‘hotspot places’ like Byron Bay and other Australian towns.
Pushing the design envelope, Preet is among a burgeoning number of mothers that have married maternity with entrepreneurship. Her business is in the seed stage and there are miles to go. However for Preet, this journey that reflects her passion was well worth taking.