‘We’re not trained actors. It was a big adjustment’: Q&A with charming family starring in new documentary polyweed
Their back-to-back episodes air Thursdays at 8pm on CBC TV and stream for free on CBC Gem
Iconic Little India bridal store Chandan Fashion always stands out with its bright cyan and magenta look. Its owner, his Jatinder Pal Singh, aka Kuki, has been talking to potential customers since he first set up shop on Gerard Street in 1986.Over the years, Chandan Fashion has become a destination for brides, grooms and families seeking South Asian style on their wedding day. It also caters to celebrities like Priyanka, Canada’s first drag race winner.Singh helps run the brand with his wife, Sarab, and their two children, Chandan. Chandni, and A new member of their family, daughter-in-law Roop.
Now the Singhs have become stars of their own reality show. polyweedThe first episode of the ten-part series began on January 12 on CBC Gem. We caught up with the family and talked about their work, the show, and what it was like to open up their lives to Canadian audiences.
How did you come up with the idea for a show based on the family business?
Chandan: We attended the 2013 bridal show and chatted with videographer Gurjeet Mann at the time. of singleI pitched him the show idea. say yes to a dress Meet an Indian family. I liked having my family involved in some way in the wedding itself, and so did he. We shot our first demo in 2014 and have purchased it in various locations. But no one else connected to it. Then in 2015, I shot another demo and bought it on various networks, but received 22 rejections. Then, in 2020, he finally got the attention of the CBC, where he is today. Currently, Gurjeet is executive producer and cinematographer of his. polyweed.
Your job involves interacting with people all the time, whether it’s customers at stores, trade shows, or events. So you can’t be shy, but having a mic and camera following you around is something else.
Sara: Wrong. For many years I lived a simple life. I used to take care of the house while working and taking care of my young children. Now all of a sudden there was a lot more exposure. It felt strange at first.
Chandni: We are not trained actors. So it was definitely a big adjustment. Not only was it overwhelming, it was also fun and exciting. For example, we did a photoshoot with an LGBTQ South Asian influencer because inclusivity is important to us. rice field. We want our store to be a safe place for everyone.
loop: There’s even a scene where my dad asks Chandan and I about our grandchildren and it’s a big part of our culture. I wanted to address a serious problem. So I talked about it on camera.
Jatinder looked very happy. he’s quite the star…
loop: Dad was having a hard time welcoming guests at the door while we were filming. He’s shooting a scene on his second floor and wants to go back to the store to finalize the sale. So he jumped out as soon as the shoot was over.
Jatinder: I have enjoyed this experience and am grateful to CBC. When I was young, when I went back to India, people looked at me and said, Would you like to join the movie? Finally God listened. I’m in front of the camera Also, having your photo on a billboard on the side of the highway can help your business.
Have you ever felt the need to bring some drama?
loop: I think we were just going about our daily lives, but we had the mics up and the cameras pointed. Our crew was respectful and didn’t try to create a dramatic story. they just followed us. I recently watched the first three episodes of him and they are very true to our story. we are happy with that.
Chandan: I honestly don’t think the extra drama is needed. Follow our family for a few weeks and you’ll find plenty of masalas that happen organically.
Each and every one of you seems to be putting effort into your business. How have we learned from each other?
sarab: We have always been united as a family and I think we have always been able to find a solution that satisfies everyone. So he tries to bring in another point of view.
You often act as a peacemaker.
Sara: yes. If you have two stones and need to fit another stone in between, you will need to adjust and move both stones slightly to make room for the third stone. I also think that all three children are very smart. You don’t have to say anything to them. If there’s something in the air, an idea, they catch it. All three have this quality.
Chandan: Mom and Dad bring a lot of experience. It gives us confidence. They make it easy for them to reach out to them whenever they are unsure of something or are in a place where they need help.
loop: What keeps me going is my mom and dad working hard. My father works religiously. In Punjabi we have this word: Strength, which means “passion”. That’s his attitude towards work. For example, tardiness is not tolerated and absences are not tolerated. He just has to do his job honestly. And as Mom said, when we get together and face our problems, there will be solutions.
Running a successful family business over the years has never been easy. what’s your secret
Jatinder: teamwork and family unity. In the past, when my children were small, my friends used to tell me to open more stores, but I wanted to devote myself to my children. And now the business is so big that the kids are opening another store in Brampton. Chandan promotes her business on her social media and sees so many people ordering online after watching her videos. Listen to the new generation and there will be progress. My father owned a clothing store called Kuki He Silk in Punjab. My store is for my children as well. It’s about making their dreams come true, and they’re the ones driving it forward.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.