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“A few weeks, wound up being five months as I traveled into new worlds without any reminders of home.”

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After being laid off from the corporate Ad world, Rachana Suri, went on a life changing journey that led her to find her passion, her voice, and the strength to start her own business. During her trip, Rachana found many small designers along the way who created unique accessories that helped her update her well worn outfits.

Upon her return to New York City, she began creating accessories and selling them at local shows. During this process she realized that although there are so many wonderful designers, there is not a quality outlet where luxury shoppers can find high end designer goods that support small designers, their integrity, creativity and their production process. Like an on line consignment shop, Rachana wants Accessuri.com to be a place where mindful consumers can purchase goods from passionate designers.

At Accessuri.com you will find luxury products that follow ethical fashion practices.

Rachana Suri, Accessuri - Founder/Designer

MO: Being laid off from the corporate Ad world of Manhattan sent you on a life changing journey. How did your journey unfold and how did your awakening process lead to a new business venture?

Rachana: I had already planned a trip to London for my cousins wedding which a two week vacation was to follow. I left the US with one suitcase and two week’s worth of clothes, not ever thinking I would stay longer. With a lot of prodding from my wonderful cousins in Europe they told me to take this time to explore, versus just going back to find another job. I reluctantly agreed, I would travel for a few weeks and then head back. A few weeks, wound up being five months as I traveled into new worlds without any reminders of home. Unfortunately or fortunately I had only brought two weeks of clothes, I was on limited funds, and limited space. I had to learn a different way to live. In the past I mindlessly consumed whatever I wanted without any thought to where that money went or who it supported. I had to make a hard choice with every purchase. Could I afford it, did I have space, and if I didn’t have space what would I have to get rid of to fit it in. Now I look back on every purchase and remember every story, every feeling I had and the connection I made with each item’s story.

MO: How different is your life now than when you were working in advertising? Is there anything that you miss?

Rachana: My life is very different. I used to rush to work every day, be in tons of meetings and committees, just rolling along with the flow as I saw each day pass like I was looking through a window. Now I am part of every moment of my life, and my life feels like it’s mine. I work a lot, probably every day, but it’s on my terms, on my schedule. I do miss a lot of the wonderful people I met at work and the friendships and fun you would enjoy that only workplace situations can bring.

MO: Do you think that if individuals were more educated about where our accessories and clothing come from it would start a shift in their purchasing? You use Burberry as an example to pinpoint the corporate illusion of luxury, can you reiterate it here?

Rachana: Yes I do believe that we are not educated enough. Only because in this society we look more towards instant gratification than we look at how our purchasing has power. When you have 1 second to influence someone, the message always comes up short. When I have time to speak to someone, they do get it. I find it funny, we buy free-range chickens, or cage free, and yet we have no idea where or how our clothes are being manufactured, much less how those humans are being treated. Burberry and a lot of luxury brands spend millions on advertising to make you believe that if you buy their product you will be transported to a new level of luxury, what I am saying is you can have that same level of luxury but buy it from a company that has ethical manufacturing processes.

MO: For every item sold on Accesuri.com, $1 is donated to the DNA Foundation to stop human trafficking. What initially brought your attention to human trafficking and how does it feel to be part of the solution instead part of the problem?

Rachana: Human Trafficking was brought to my attention when I saw the documentary, “Born into Brothels”. I guess because I am Indian, and it was happening to Indian women, I thought wow I am lucky to have the life I have. It’s so wrong, it makes me sick that people could treat other people like animals, and it is not just in the sex slave industry there are many countries that still have modern day indentured servants working in their factories. I always wanted to get involved in something to stop human trafficking, so when I decided to open my own company it was natural that this would be the charity I would choose. The DNA Foundation does so much to stop slavery, to reeducate victims, and they have also put an ad campaign to stop men from using women. Plus on a side note, I was hoping to get Demi or Ashton involved to get a little celebrity momentum to help the social end of my business take off.

It feels great to be part of the problem instead of the solution, how many people who have the ability to change things actually utilize that power. I always believe in the quote that Mahatma Ghandi said, “be the change you want to see in the world”.

MO: How have you managed to create a network of designers who represent the vision and quality of Assessuri?

Rachana: For right now it has been word of mouth. In New York you cannot turn anywhere without meeting someone with a unique talent in anything. I also have an entry form on my website for anyone who wants to enter a accessory. I am going to rolling out the global end of this program as I get all the kinks out.

MO: Where would you like to see Assessuri.com in 3 years time?

Rachana: In three years, I am hoping that I am not only having different designers on board, but a program in countries to help woman develop highly marketable skills so they too can come out of the trenches, be independent and find their true voices.

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