How this self-taught designer decided to live her entrepreneurial dream during the pandemic

In 2019, Rhea Bhattacharya shutting down his digital marketing company TattleTale to start working on his dream entrepreneurial project, Drawn– a brand of women’s clothing based in Gurugram.

Just as she had started backend work and placed orders for the first batch of products to manufacturers, she had to cancel them due to the COVID-19 outbreak and return home with a few parts already produced.

“The brand was supposed to launch in 2020 but I wasn’t sure how to launch a clothing brand when no one was shopping and everyone was sitting at home. Factories and manufacturing facilities were closed and there he general atmosphere was not very jovial, ”she said. recount His history, recalling the difficult start of his business.

However, as people got used to the new normal and overcome uncertainties stemming from the pandemic, so did his business.

Around September of last year, Rhea decided to try on the clothes herself, posted a few photos, and launched the brand amid positive responses from netizens. By November 2021, it had shipped approximately 2,500 orders limited designs and prints.

Living the dream

Rhea always wanted to be a designer and stayed close to her passion but only as a fashion journalist writing for magazines like Grazia and Cosmopolitan. She then turned to public relations and worked as a celebrity publicist, which kept her connected to the world of stylists and designers.

Through her digital marketing company TattleTale, she has helped several small brands create content.

“But I couldn’t see myself doing that after 10 or 20 years. After seeing the adequate backend work of fashion brands big and small, I decided to try my own brand of women’s clothing, ”she says.

As a self-taught entrepreneur and designer, Rhea didn’t set out to do anything “innovative”, but to provide comfortable everyday clothing for Indian women.

“We have so many outfits in the closet but the options, at least in my closet, are still quite limited to a white shirt and a pinstripe blue shirt. I noticed the gap and realized that many working women, especially those who are older and middle aged, are looking for everyday portable options that are so limited right now, ”he explains. -she.

Started with its savings, Drawn aims “to take very classic and simple silhouettes and come up with new and fun ways to make impressions.”

The 34-year-old entrepreneur started with a clear target audience in mind: active women like her between the ages of 28 and 45 whose earning capacities were high and stable at this age. However, Drawn found customers among young college students and even a 65-year-old woman for her clothes sold between Rs 3,500 and Rs 4,500.

Sold online through its website, Drawn products will launch in retail stores in New York City and multi-designer stores in India over the coming year.

(Designs by Drawn)

Start-up in the midst of a pandemic

Rhea says it was a challenge to find manufacturers who would work with small companies, producing smaller batches of product without charging outrageous prices. Even though Rhea started working with a manufacturer in its network, coordinating the logistics to virtually launch and ship the products was a challenge.

In 2020, India became the sixth largest market for women’s clothing in the world, according to Statista. The pandemic has seen many small businesses and local brands like Drawn, which share market space with established brands like Zara, H&M and Marks and Spencer, among others.

Drawn has relied on social media platforms for marketing. “When times were uncertain it was very difficult to try to convince people to be optimistic, happy and to shop when the general environment during the pandemic is demotivating,” Rhea said.

Now, the entrepreneur takes a conservative approach to growth and seeks to expand product categories based on sales and customer feedback, among other factors.

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