Hi there! I'm Sugandh, (Sue-gun-d) the designer and artist behind GUNAS. I have been trained as an industrial designer and am dedicated to utilizing my fashion skills and business acumen for a cause very close to my heart. Having grown up in India, a country where cows are worshipped and ironically also slaughtered for their meat and skin I witnessed this cruelty first hand and knew deep within that I had to do something about it someday.
In 2001 I moved to the United States and received my Bachelor in Fine Arts, Industrial design degree from the Columbus College of Art and Design in Ohio. I also hold a Masters in Design Management from the Pratt Institute in New York. While at Pratt, I met a leather handbag designer. We had a long conversation and strongly disagreed over the effects of leather and the ignorance of its users. That's when I had my big "Aha" moment. This was it! This is what I need to do. The Universe had given me a sign. So, as a part of my thesis I developed a business plan and came up with GUNAS, a 100% animal friendly handbag brand. I was already keeping leather out of my closet and knew there had to be several others that felt the same way.
With the help of family and friends I put all my life savings into building GUNAS from the ground up. The initial days of entrepreneurship were hard and yet enjoyable. I started the company in my one bedroom apartment in Manhattan and recall walking several blocks in the city on a daily basis carrying boxes of fabrics and samples for GUNAS a dream I knew I had to turn into reality. My passion and perseverance never became dull even for a moment. I've had to push my comfort zone and really put myself out on the line. But I believe that when you are out to do good, all the forces of the universe will conspire to make things happen in your favor.
In 2014 my husband and I were blessed with a beautiful baby girl. I've never so strongly felt more responsible for leaving behind a happier and healthier planet for our future generations than I do now. I listened to my critics and deeply thank my early adopters. You've helped the brand evolve so much over the past years and with your support, I aspire to continue making beautiful and meaningful products that appeal to everyone; saving the lives of animals and touching the lives of those that make our products, one bag at a time.