Warrnha Bringing Colour to Your Life
By Sadira Sittampalam
Warrnha is a new Sri Lankan online brand, conceptualised by Anusha Wisanperuma, specialising in producing tie-dyed products. The name ‘warrnha’ itself comes from the Sinhala word ‘වර්ණ’ which means colour, as Anusha wanted her brand to bring some much-needed colour to life.
She started warrnha during the lockdown when looking for a new passion to invest her time and effort in, and credits her teaching, Sanura Yasasmin for, with teaching her the art of tie-dye and batiks. Only in the first leg of her journey, we at Ceylon Today spoke to Anusha about her exciting new brand and how she began this new venture.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?
My name is Anusha Wisanperuma. By profession, I’m a former Sri Jayewardenepura University graduate teacher, a mother of two, and a naturally-creative person. After having to give up my career to guide and raise my children I was unable to find the time to be in tune with my creative side. I now have the time to explore my creativity because my responsibilities have become less.
You specialise in tie-dye, is there a reason you picked this?
Currently, I only do tie and dye, but I’m in the process of branching out and introducing batiks into my business. Why I chose to do this would be because tie and dye and batiks involve both apparels and art - two significant things that I’m most passionate about.
Warrnha is a part of the slow fashion movement, as all of your pieces aren’t mass-produced, can you tell me some of the advantages or disadvantages of this, or why you decided to follow this way of doing business?
Since I’m a start-up, being a part of the slow fashion movement was the best decision for me in terms of both inventory and finances. I also wanted the customer to feel unique and special in their customised warrnha products. I’d like to believe that with my brand and its ethical methods of implementation, I’m contributing less to the carbon footprint - which is a dire issue in the world. The only downside of having a slow fashion brand is that you’re not able to produce so much simultaneously - as each piece requires careful attention.
Can you tell me more about how your business functions? How you get your materials, how you come up with your designs, etc.
My business functions on an online basis - primarily through social media and a close network of known people. It also happens on a pre-order basis as I am yet to establish a band of loyal customers. As a lot of resources go into making both tie-dye and batik products, it is a bit of a task obtaining them with the limited means available. The designs of most of my products, so far, have been done by me unless requested by the customer to be done differently. I mostly draw inspiration from nature and talented artists.
Since, you started pretty recently, I’m sure you have some exciting plans for the future of your brand that you could tell us about?
I plan to divert into batiks as I mentioned earlier. In terms of batiks, all the different varieties of it - namely: wax batiks, java batiks, hand-painted batiks. I would also like to develop my brand to a prominent level both locally and internationally. And possibly be able to make my materials for the apparel, going forward.
Do you have any advice you could give other people looking to start their own business?
For anyone looking to start their own business, my advice would be to not give up and to take every downfall as a learning curve as there will be obstacles to any and every start-up. Logistically speaking, in the apparel industry, it is important to establish solid connections with suppliers and customers as they play crucial roles in the sustainability of the business.
Another important aspect to be taken into consideration is the network through which you launch your business. Something that started as a hobby and as a way to tap into my creativity has now become a decent source of income. I like to think anyone can do that and harness their originality.
Anything else you’d like to add?
You can find my business on both Instagram and Facebook through the handle @warrnha or contact me directly at +94 (77) 622 8295. One thing I’d like to add is to always be mindful when placing an order with a small/start-up business - not to cancel once ordered as any owner puts in extra care and attention with the limited resources at hand.