On Wednesday, June 28th, 2023, we had the pleasure of hosting Natasha Thasan from Drape Therapy for High on Saree, an evening of Saree Draping classes, self-care tips/tricks, and Tamil snacks for the community.
We caught up with Natasha Thasan to get more insight into her background, introduction to Saree Draping, community-building initiatives, and valuing her Tamil roots.
We were also delighted to have Erik Fletcher from Axea on site to discuss self-care products from Axea, such as their infused CBD Green Tea Moisturizer, Arnica CBD Topical Cream, and Frankincense Dead Sea Pink Himalayan Bath Salts.
Shivaa’s Rose is committed to bridging gaps within the cannabis community and providing opportunities for BIPOC representation in the industry.
See below for the Q&A session with Natasha Thasan from Drape Therapy!
Could you take us through your journey of becoming a prominent influencer in the saree draping community on social media?
A few years back, I was experimenting with a blouseless saree style in a changing room. I shared it online on a whim, not knowing it would ignite my social media presence. The response pushed me to explore more draping styles and highlight the cultural richness of sarees, especially their role in Tamil culture. My journey isn't just about sharing my love for saree draping. It's about creating a space to celebrate self-expression, curiosity, cultural exchange, and learning.
How did you first develop an interest in saree draping, and what inspired you to showcase it on your platform?
My interest in saree draping was sparked by my desire (and escape) to keep the child's play alive through dress-up. It always welcomed me without judgment, symbolizing acceptance and self-expression. From a young age, I recognized that a saree was more than just a cultural garment but a way to connect with my inner femininity and celebrate myself. I promised myself that when I was “old enough,” I would share all the secret lessons that years of private drape play had taught me. The saree’s allure and endless versatility became a canvas for my creativity and a bridge to my cultural roots. The way I celebrate and express myself through sarees resonates deeply with others, keeping this tradition alive and relevant.
Can you share tips or techniques for achieving different saree draping styles that reflect your Tamil roots?
My top tips for achieving different saree draping styles that reflect my Tamil roots are centered around feeling your best and paying homage. I embrace my Tamil roots by working with my ethnic features and celebrating my brown skin, letting go of harmful colourism notions - this goes a long way. Lastly, be willing to fail - I don't call it drip or drape for nothing. Just like how your first attempt at making parapu wasn't exactly a showstopper or like your amma’s, learning how to drape a saree comes with its fair share of trial and error. You got this!
How do you blend traditional Tamil elements with contemporary fashion trends while draping a saree?
I am genuinely passionate about cultural appreciation, especially as someone who appreciates my American and Tamil fashion influences. It has always bothered me how we are often taught to confine our culture to the safety of our homes and designated cultural events while simultaneously longing for more cultural representation in the mainstream. Instead of waiting for a miracle, I decided to be the representation I needed to see for myself. My saree closet perfectly reflects this blend, allowing me to create looks that work for a hot girl walk to the mall, a night out at the club, and everything between and around.
How do you utilize social media platforms to connect with your audience and share your passion for saree draping and Tamil culture?
I like to keep things both fun and meaningful. Engaging with the audience is crucial, and I do so through live sessions, saree draping tutorials, and interactive Q&A sessions. This helps create a genuine sense of community. Also, I highly encourage user-generated content. I get daily tags of my saree lovers sharing their take on saree draping, especially from those learning for the first time.
Did you face any specific challenges or obstacles while building your online presence, and how did you overcome them?
I am not exactly the cookie-cutter representation many expected as a saree role model. My delivery is different, and my approach constantly challenges conventional ideas of saree draping etiquette. Through these captivating visuals, I have challenged stereotypes and showcased saree's incredible versatility, appealing to a diverse audience. It hurts many people in the process, especially those who think they know better. Despite this, I constantly remind myself to stay true to myself and ignore unnecessary expectations.
What role has social media played in promoting and popularizing saree draping as a fashionable and cultural phenomenon?
Social media has played a vital role in spreading the love for saree draping and making it popular among people from all walks of life. Platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Pinterest have created a sense of community where people can share ideas, techniques, and personal stories related to saree draping. It has brought people together, transcending geographical boundaries and making saree draping a celebrated art form that is both fashionable and deeply rooted in culture.
Can you share how you first became interested in cannabis and what prompted you to explore its use?
When I was younger, I experimented with cannabis, but it wasn’t something I genuinely enjoyed- I could never get it right. Then I rediscovered it recently and found a way to enjoy it on my terms and explore its use in a way that resonates with me. Like with anything, when done with intention, we can truly appreciate the experience and, in this case, appreciate the high.
Have you encountered any misconceptions or stigmas surrounding cannabis, and how do you address them in your advocacy?
We are all aware of the reputation weed has in society. Many still hold outdated beliefs that associate cannabis solely with these negative stereotypes. I approach things I don't fully understand or know enough about with an open mind. Also, the internet is free. When it comes to cannabis, I never intend to convince or pressure anyone to try it. Instead, I share my own experience and perspective. It's not for everyone, but creating safe and open dialogue should be.
What is the common ground between Drape Therapy and Shivaa’s Rose, a minority-owned cannabis dispensary?
Drape Therapy and Shivaa's Rose may seem different on the surface, but they both share a common goal of celebrating individuality and creating inclusive spaces. Drape Therapy focuses on saree draping and cultural appreciation, while Shivaa's Rose promotes cannabis education, wellness, and destigmatization. Both initiatives defy societal norms and strive to create safe, accepting spaces for all. We strongly believe in empowering individuals to embrace their authentic selves, encouraging open conversations, and cultivating a sense of belonging.
We recently hosted a meet and greet with your fans, and it was amazing to see the amount of love and support you received from them. How does a moment like that make you feel?
it makes me turn into mush!! I put my heart on the line when I share my drapes. It comes from such an honest place, and to resonate with so many - couldn't ask for anything more. And If I haven't said it enough, grateful for our partnership. The support is noticed and appreciated.
Do you have any current favourite Cannabis products you would like to recommend?
Peach Rings by General Admission is a full statement, 5-star review, and repurchase.