Sonal’s heart has always been with family and community, whether in her native Bombay or, later, in her adopted New York.
By profession a social worker, Sonal’s tenacity and drive served her well when working with the hearing impaired and victims of abuse and domestic violence of all ages. The
experience left her with a keen insight into the injustices of the world.
Her passion for art led to her curating a gallery in London, during which time she showcased the work of South Asian Masters – however, it was the Saree that captured her imagination the most.
Throughout her life, Sonal has enjoyed learning from and promoting artists specialising in hand loomed
Sarees from across India. Picking up the moniker ‘The Sari Queen’, she lives up to the name with a vast collection of uniquely handmade Sarees from makers in and around India.
In 2020, Sonal partnered with Karnika (who certainly shares her mother’s tenacity and drive), combining her devotion to female empowerment, social causes and original handloom fashion, the result being the artisanal brand KAANJJ.
Born in New York, Karnika was raised in Hong Kong and London. Exposed to her mother’s love of art and fashion from an early age, she too quickly became enchanted with these worlds.
The privilege of observing South East Asia artisans at work – following silk from source to market in Thailand and Cambodia, seeing how Ikats and Patola Sarees are painstakingly woven in Bali and Gujarat before they grace the wearer – only added to her admiration of these talented artisans.
In London, having successfully completed her undergraduate degree in Communications, Marketing and PR and gaining her Masters degree in Luxury Brand Management, Karnika’s natural instincts for business and fashion led to her founding KAANJJ with Sonal, working together closely to develop her mother’s vision.
The collection has been influenced by Karnika’s international background. While exemplifying the melting pot of style and taste that embodies the modern individual, this stylistic flair is interlaced with the storied Kisnadwala family history and its deep ties to South Asian art, culture, tradition and heritage, ensuring the collection’s allure.