Rixi Bhatia, Attic, a contemporary, artsy, quirky Fashion and Lifestyle store in Mumbai
In conversation with Abhilasha Dafria for YourStory.in, Rixi Bhatia, shares her story of how imagination, creativity and spunk came together to launch Attic - a fashion and lifestyle store, that aims to promote art and design of every form.Rixi was one of the finalists at The British Council’s Young Creative Entrepreneur Awards in the Fashion Category in 2010. To know more about the Young Fashion Entrepreneur Awards, visit this page http://www.britishcouncil.org/india-arts-iyfey-fashion.htm - To follow the Young Creative Entrepreneur Awards on Facebook, check out http://www.facebook.com/YCEAwards
Tell us about your background and your start-up, Rixi. What exactly is Attic?
Attic is a fashion and lifestyle store located in Mumbai. It is platform for emerging talent, innovative ideas, a melting pot for creative sensibilities. The designs are contemporary, artsy, quirky, in an ambiance which lets you explore and discover.
Attic was co-founded by Shweta, Amrita Deliwala, Tinka Bhatia and me. Shweta and I are the in-house designers, with our own respective fashion labels- “Him, Her & the Apple”( run by Shweta) and Half Full(my label). Amrita and Tinka are responsible for the PR, management and marketing of the store.
So, why was Attic launched?
Attic is the result of our common love for out of the box ideas, quirky products, interesting finds. We wanted a space which could be more than a store, more of a whimsical experience and at the same time encouraging upcoming designers and artists, giving them an outlet to exhibit their work.
As a Fashion Entrepreneur, what were the initial challenges you faced while starting up?
Every new business faces challenges, at all stages, it's how you learn to grow. One of our main start up challenges was to position ourselves in the market. We wanted to bridge the gap between the high end designer stores and the large retail chains. In a market which is driven by fashion week names, we wanted to give opportunities to the immensely talented new designers from India, allowing them to enter the industry.
Today Attic is recognised as a portal of sorts between the designers, artists, customers and the community at large.
When was Attic launched?
Attic was launched in August 2008 at Santacruz(Mumbai). The team then consisted of the four of us, with us taking charge of every aspect of the store, including being the sales staff. The second outlet, Attic, Colaba was launched this April 2011, and the team has now grown to 15 people. We are constantly looking to hire individuals who are eager to learn, and want a fun, interactive working environment.
What is Attic’s USP?
The USP of Attic is being an interactive store, personalised attention to every customer, guidance and encouragement to the designers. It's an approachable friendly space, creating a unique shopping experience.Are there other players in the market doing similar things?
There are various stores that now promote new talent across the country, and it's a refreshing change! The abundance of fresh talent in India finally has outlets to express themselves.
At Attic, what were your highs and lows. What are your greatest challenges and how do you prepare to cope up with them?
Being recognised as one-of-a-kind store in Mumbai for all things artsy; a fun and friendly destination for shopping; and a business that has received kudos from the top fashion magazines of the country is definitely our high! The challenge for Attic is to maintain the store’s uniqueness and product exclusivity - scouting for the next wave of talent and striving for a fresh look, season after season, requires constant effort and expanding our boundaries on a regular basis.
Where and how do you see yourself going ‘bout this?
Having launched in 2008, we have now expanded to two outlets, showcasing over 50 designers, and the customer database has reached out all across the country. The next step is to go global, give our Indian designers and artists an international platform, and showcase foreign talent in the Indian retail industry.
Can you share with us some interesting trends about the market that you are trying to capture?
Being a fashion and lifestyle store, we try to constantly innovate and provide a fresh perspective to the market trends. For example, Bollywood/Hollywood inspired designs, contemporary Indian graphics transformed into art, attire, accessories.
Finally tell us a little about your experience at YCE!
YCE gave us the opportunity to explore various dimensions of our the industry, domestic and global. It created a platform to project our concept to a wider audience and interact with entrepreneurs, which only lead to more conversations, ideas, collaborations.
Do check out http://www.attic.in/ and next time you are around in Mumbai, drop by at Attic, and do share your experiences with us!