Eves24 Easy Jewellry was born this one fine day, when Rahul Banka, while getting ready for a cousin’s reception, stumbled upon the problem that every woman, no matter what her age, always faces – ‘I have the perfect dress, but without the perfect jewellry, it still isn’t a perfect outfit!’
It was about 4 years ago, that S. Prithvirajan, K.P. Jayashree, and Sanjay Dattatri came up with a novel idea to open the first-of-its-kind store in India which would focus exclusively on fulfilling the needs of the senior citizens of India.
Shivani and Yatin Sharma, the proud owners of 1Click Arts, have created a marketplace for all the artists who have their art to showcase before each and every art lover.
Shivani puts it across beautifully, when she says, “It’s not about Hussain or Souza or Raza, it’s about thousands of them gone unnoticed – They never found a name because they never were found.”
Inner Cover is a dream of Mr. Ajay Malhotra and his wife, Mrs. Kavita Gupta Malhotra, which they gave wings to about a year ago.
They want to remove the taboo from the society regarding innerwear. They claim to be “one of its kind lingerie store which sells innerwear for the whole family.”
The Drum Circle has been a one-of-it’s-kind, kind of venture – bringing together the love for music, the experience of drumming, and people engagement, while creating an environment of excitement, and oddly leading to the relaxation of mind.
With an Undergraduate degree from FLAME, Pune, and a Masters in Business Design, from DOMUS Academy, Milan (Italy), Rujul Vora took his next step by joining his dad’s construction firm. But before he knew it, he was bit by the startup bug.
Abhishek Bhowmick, the proud owner of petsGOnuts, is an ardent animal lover, belonging to the city of Mumbai. Not only is he an Animal Welfare officer attached to the Bombay High Court, but he’s also been the 2011 winner of the Godfrey Phillip Bravery Award.
The Idea, The Drive – The Beginning
Even though he could have easily gone for a retail pet store, Abhishek chose to go the e-commerce way, as he wanted to reach out a larger sect of our target audience across different geographical locations of India. petsGOnuts sells some of the finest accessories for dogs and cats. And these products are often restricted to people living in the metros. But since they are catering online today, they can reach out to people in remote places, like Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh as well. Moreover, we know that by 2020 almost 80% of retail stores are going to close down and only cater online. This was also an inclination for Abhishek to start an online pet store.
Can you guess the magnitude of contribution of fashion industry in today’s e-commerce scenario? Out of the estimated USD 11bn worth of e-commerce market in India, the fashion industry alone contributes a whopping USD 559 million. Numerous large, medium and small enterprises come together to huge sector, one such contributor is Priyanka Swahney who owns LolasCloset.in.
Priyanka has had a special inclination towards art from the start.
She loves dancing and fine arts. She has studied accounting and finance but felt the need to do something more creative and out of the box. Hence, she started working at a social media marketing firm after graduation and eventually found Lola’s Closet a year later.
When asked about her love for fashion, Priyanka says “Ever since I was a child I had a keen interest in fashion and I’ve always been experimental with my style. I’ve always been into high street fashion and street style fashion. Though I appreciate the designs and fashion that luxury brands and high-end designers have to offer, everyday high street fashion is more my thing”.
It usually takes an extraordinary idea with a perfect blend of talent and investors to launch a start-up venture. Travel and exploration were the igniters that led Shalini Manish, an ex-defence officer, to start an entrepreneurial venture. Shalini is a travel enthusiast who wants to make a difference in the world of art and culture. She says “In our travels across India, my husband and I have come across a plethora of unique crafts, products that would suit the taste of a connoisseur and yet be reasonably priced”. She found great artisans in remote villages making amazing handicrafts, apparel and curios, and that’s how she felt the need to bring them to her friends. Thus, Wowshoppe was created.
Shalini has an amusing but realistic approach to being an “Entrepreneur”. According to her, women are born entrepreneurs, even those whom we address as ‘housewives’. Women as “housewives” handle finances and budget of the house, education and sports of children, housekeeping and garden, provide lip-smacking and healthy food to their family, manage travels and vacations, laundry and its upkeep, renovation and maintenance of house, playing the welcoming hostess at parties, attending parent-teacher meets as part of social relationship, They deal with perhaps the most difficult employees i.e the maids, local vendors etc. And still they find time for all the family members. Shalini says that “The sense of responsibility and multi-tasking comes naturally to every woman. That’s why women entrepreneurs are even more successful than men.”
The WOW Team!!
The WOW team consists of defence personnel, her family members and aspiring women who are enthusiastic and seek work-life balance. Taruna Verma who is a food blogger at easyfoodsmith.com, Shivi Ahluwalia and Sucheta Bannerjee who conduct craft classes. Mrs Swadesh Wahi and Mrs Renu Bidani, who are above 70 but their art and craft speak for them. Jessica is just 18 and she handles the exhibition team. Shalini says,“Jessica’s ideas are innovative and fresh. Namita and Rinku represent the Namrin brand of WowShoppe. Jagrutiben is an artist from the JJ School of Arts. The team is yet growing.”
In future Shalini plans to have artisans on-board from every state of India, and WowShoppe having a recognition for its quality nationally and internationally.
E-Shop as well as Offline Stores
The WowShoppe team has 3 dimensions of sales i.e. physical stores, exhibitions and an online store, all complementing each other to boost the sales. WowShoppe has 2 physical stores in Nashik, one in Deolali Army Camp as a factory outlet and the other in Soma Winery, Nashik, as a Franchise Store. Shalini says, “We are soon coming up with Franchise Stores in other locations too. We have an online store, physical stores and we conduct exhibitions in various places. The response is so overwhelming that at the end of the day we are rejuvenated to try and do more and more.”
About Online Handicrafts Industry
Shalini thinks that e-commerce will complement the handicraft industry and will benefit the buyers and artisans. Most of the artisans are still limited to their place of work. They don’t get the exposure and the right price for their art. The buyers don’t have the option to search and buy the handicraft easily. The only few stores which are available, cater to a particular demography.
She says, “The artisans and the buyers both are happy with the revolution in this field and it has a lot of untapped potential. E-commerce and handicrafts’ trend has made it convenient to reach even the international market.”
Partnership with www.easyfoodsmith.com
When asked about the collaboration with easyfoodsmith.com, Shalini went on to praise Taruna Varma and said, “Taruna Verma from our team is an MBA, she handles social media and various vendors, but her skills are limitless. She is a writer, an artist, a photographer, a chef and a food blogger at easyfoodsmith.com. The cuisine website is hers and she has been felicitated with many awards by national and international food fraternities, which is commendable”. Shalini feels that adding easyfoodsmith.com to her website has aided her in sharing easy and healthy food recipes with all viewers and readers.
For a Social Cause
The WowShoppe team promotes tribal art, products by blind schools and artisans from rural areas. The artists from Wow Team provide training to the women from economically backward sections and help them in earning with pride. Thus, they are also doing their bit to support our Honourable Prime Minister’s “Made in India, Make in India” drive.
The WOW team also conducts exhibitions for social cause and provides part of the profits to NGOs.
Kudos to Buildabazaar.com
Shalini says, “Whenever anyone starts a new business, everyone wants the best. I had read and studied about all the e-commerce platforms, had spoken to so many entrepreneurs already in this field, analysed and compared the services and pricing and finally I decided to go for Buildabazaar. Life is much easier after that as I get good support from the team, I have a dedicated project manager to handle my account.”
When asked Why BuildaBazaar, Shalini candidly says, “BuildaBazaar was my first and the only choice as every other platform lacked something or the other. BuildaBazaar provides the complete solution right from designing to post selling. Their team has developers to logistics experts and a great back end support.”
While signing off we asked Shalini if she had any words of motivation for other aspiring women entrepreneurs and to that, she said, “Follow your heart, go for it”. Her mantra for motivation goes as “Khudee ko kar buland itna, ke har taqdeer se pehle, Khuda bandey se khud poochhey, bataa teri razaa kya hai” which means ‘Elevate yourself so high that even God, before issuing every decree of destiny, should ask you: Tell me, what is your intent?’