After 11 years of practicing medicine, Chetna Singh needed a creative outlet and took to making art. While working on a painting, she thought to herself, “How interesting it would be if I could wear this piece.” And with that, a fashion brand was born… a line of luxurious silk “art” scarves that feature reproductions of Chetna’s original work.
Having spent her early life in India, the style vision Chetna had for her namesake brand was to bring an Indian influence to a classic western accessory. That’s why she chose the square scarf as the fashionable extension of her canvas.
Her wearable art process begins with oil on canvas, occasional acrylics and mixed media. Chetna then turns her work into fashion by digitally printing her paintings on pure silk. The result… chic, eye catching scarves that can be worn in a variety of ways.
While all of her designs showcase elements of her heritage, there is one in particular that is deeply personal to Chetna. It’s called Breakthrough and she designed it to support Ring The Bell, a campaign started by the global human rights organization Breakthrough. It calls on men and boys to take a stand on ending violence against women and girls.
The artwork for this scarf features a red and gray “target” with a woman at the bull’s eye, intended to represent violence against women. The woman in question, however, is strong and resilient and is surrounded by words – actual pledges made by men all over the world to challenge violence against women – that create a support system for her.
The Ring The Bell campaign is close to Chetna’s heart as violence against women is something she witnessed as a child in India that has haunted her ever since. She shares, “I remember my parents taking me to a doctor when I was not well. While in the examining room with him, his wife burst out crying and yelling about how he abused her and how could we come to such a man. I recall him saying that she was crazy, but in our hearts we knew she was not. We got up and walked out, much to his chagrin but I will never forget the look in her eyes.”
For this reason and more, Chetna donates half of the profits from sales of her Breakthrough scarf directly to Ring The Bell.
Chetna, who is still a practicing Emergency Medicine Physician in New Jersey, only launched her brand in March 2013. In addition to selling her scarves through her own site, she already has boutiques in several cities in the Northeast carrying them. Another sign of early success, Chetna was selected to exhibit in NOLCHA Fashion Week in New York. Of her blossoming brand she says, “I am extremely lucky to have a wonderful and supportive circle of family and friends that are helping me live my dream!”
A Woman You Should Know pursing her passion, building a brand, and giving back. Brava Chetna!