After studying Architecture for three years, Akhila realised her calling lay somewhere else, but she was yet to understand where.
She grew up in a creative household but never thought about taking up fashion design as a career.
In fact, when she was younger, she wanted to be a psychiatrist because people fascinated her and she wanted to read their minds. There was a time when the idea of being a spy seemed thrilling!
One rainy afternoon, we sat with Akhila and had a hearty conversation about the journey of her eponymous fashion brand 'Akhila Shaha' and how following her heart got her this far.
She said, "For a long time in my life I did not know what I wanted. I kept exploring different avenues but none made me happy or content from within."
However, after completing one year diploma from Shanto-Mariam University of Creative Technology, she began to find interest in fashion design.
Eventually she started working at Aarong and enjoyed the experience. She especially liked doing experimental work and her designs were thoroughly appreciated.
But she quit Aarong in 2019 and in 2020, amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, the brand 'Akhila Shaha' began its journey.
The pandemic obviously made things harder, such as sourcing, tailoring, and even maintaining safety protocols all the time, but Akhila took on the challenge and she has been shining past all the obstacles.
Her mother Alpana Chowdhury and her father, eminent fashion designer Chandra Shekhar Shaha, remain her biggest pillars of strength.
"Baba gave me the wings to fly, Maa gave me the strength," she shared with us.
But she is also grateful for the support she receives from her cousins and friends.
Akhila values all the experiences that life has handed her. She believes these experiences have shaped her to become the best version of herself today.
She voiced, "My experiences in the last 10 years of my life are the only things I have learnt from. My experiences, my interactions are a huge part of my journey that has taught me a lot."
She loves meeting people - different types of people from every possible background and feels comfortable in every situation.
"I absolutely enjoy meeting and talking to people. Be it standing at a road-side stall and enjoying tea, or being a pampered favourite at high-end parties, I equally enjoy both," Akhila detailed.
The casual wears by Akhila Shaha stand out from the crowd because of their carefully thought-out designs and cuts.
There are no extra works like embroideries or appliqué and the idea is to let the clothes reflect the wearer's personality.
A simple white shirt is turned into a stylish, versatile piece with perfect fitting and beautifully designed sleeves; a dark blue layered kurti is designed in a way that it can also be worn as a dress.
Blue, green, orange, red, pink, white – Akhila Shaha outfits come in a range of eye-catching colours.
Each of her dresses seems to bear a message of its own, a message for the wearer to feel bold and beautiful in it. That is essentially the brand's motto "Be bold, be brave, be you."
Together with her friend Preanka, Akhila has another clothing brand called 'Yours, Mammamia' which specialises in comfortable maternity clothes.
Soft fabrics in pretty colours are used and the designs are created keeping in mind the needs of both pregnant and nursing mothers.
All the outfits have customising options and they can be ordered from the Facebook pages 'Akhila Shaha' and 'Yours, Mammamia'.
Who is Akhila Shaha? We asked her at the end of our conversation.
"I am an entrepreneur. I design, I create digital content, I coordinate fashion shoots, I write articles, I interview people from different backgrounds. I do everything I love," she answered.