How Pratishta Lall has taken every experience, passion and degree, and turned it into her branding business
When we first got in contact with Pratishta Lall, we were blown away by her resume alone. Having studied and worked at both top universities and top fashion houses in London and Milan, we were instantly ready to meet her. Sitting down with her was no disappointment: she’s just as awe-inspiring in real life as she is on paper, and we were excited to dive into her story.
It turns out, like most of us, her story begins right here in Trinidad and Tobago. After winning an Open Scholarship in Business in 2008, she went to London for her Bachelor’s in Business Management in the Cass Business School at City University of London.
Although she was studying business, Pratishta always had a love for fashion, and it slowly reared its head more and more into her life plans. Soon, she’d enroll in a Master’s program in Fashion and Luxury Brand Management, and only a few years later, she ended up with Panache Creative TT.
“Panache means elegant, it means flare,” she explained of the brand’s name. “That is really the core of everything I do in my business.”
Panache Creative is the first luxury branding agency of its kind in Trinidad and Tobago. One might think that there’s not much need for a luxury agency here: our local brands, even the most expensive of them all, stay on the simpler side. But Pratishta thinks that any brand can be a luxury brand, regardless of price point.
“A brand doesn’t have to be expensive to be luxury,” she clarified. “But it has to have a good aesthetic.”
And so Pratishta works with brands of all sizes to create their idea look and feel, but she knows that a good brand goes far beyond just a shiny new logo. She and her team at Panache Creative work on everything from the physical logo, to image and concept styling, to website design and social media presence, to product launches and company events. Branding is far beyond just a recognizable logo: it’s entirely how you represent yourself.
“Most people have the perception that brand is just the logo,” she added. “But no, it’s really about creating the five senses for the brand.”
That includes going above and beyond in every aspect and including elements that people will associate with your brand: a particular scent in the waiting room of a spa, a sound playing in a fashion designer’s store, a decadent treat at a launch event.
These are the little details that take a brand above and beyond, and it’s these details that Tish provides to each and every client through Panache that make her as good as she is.
“Panache really aims to create an experience for brands locally,” she said.
This really grew when she moved home after living abroad for the better part of 6 years, especially having had experience working with prestigious brands, attending luxury events and seeing the best of the best branding.
When she moved home in 2014, Pratishta attended one of the local pop-up markets that showcase hundreds of brands, and she realized the number of small or up-and-coming entrepreneurs that were starting businesses with amazing products or services that didn’t have the knowledge to take their brand to the next level. Seeing their display styles, their packaging, their branding, none of it paid tribute to the quality of their work, and so she felt that she could offer these brands the help that they needed.
“The power of branding… that could really make or break a brand,” she added.
And now, Pratishta has expanded beyond local brands. This past week, she secured a deal with Canadian swim and resortwear brand Aquananas, officially taking Panache Creative past TT and into the world.
Who would have thought that there would be such a market for a boutique luxury branding agency? Pratishta certainly didn’t expect it, but her business was born out of an organic need, and it somehow beautifully tied all of her education, her experiences and her passions together in a perfectly designed bow.
“I definitely think my time in London and Milan really opened up my mind to think of different aspects of how things could be done,” Pratishta explained. “I didn’t initially think it’s where I would be, but it all came in time and unfolded and I found the niche that I wanted to focus on.”
And that niche has led her to help transform some of the hottest up-and-coming brands in our twin island, including a skincare brand that has now made its way up the islands after their rebrand. It doesn’t take much, Pratishta says, besides small, structured changes.
While it’s easy to make these changes that play a big impact on your business, it’s also easy to fall into the trap of doing too much or trying to be too much. The most important part of any brand – and especially your personal brand, Pratishta adds – is finding your focus. You can never be and do everything: so find that one thing that you do and that you do well, and grow that. In a digital age, it’s easy to see a million and one ideas and want to do it all, but staying true to yourself is the best thing for a personal brand.
It can feel very complicated, but luckily Pratishta makes it all so easy.
You can follow Pratistha and her brand on social media