Ramona Saboo, Director of Forty Red Bangles(FRB), who hails from Australia has a fascinating story to tell. Her journey began from Melbourne, where she met her husband, the eldest son of a traditional Rajasthan family in India, and then she found herself in Jodhpur, being enthralled by the nuances of the family life in Rajasthan. She travelled throughout this overwhelming nation and finally settled in Mumbai, but this journey of her’s and the experiences she gathered, inspired her to open up Forty Red Bangles. Jubin Mehta from YourStory.in caught up with her to know more about this exciting new venture.Can you give us an insight into what does FRB deal with?
The company is a “marriage” of sustainability and design. Innovative and creative concepts translated into eco-friendly lifestyle products. The name was inspired by Ramona's forty red wedding bangles. The bangles came to symbolize Ramona's journey from Melbourne to Jodhpur and then, Mumbai. They helped her connect with her roots and find her own identity in this vast and overwhelming country.
What kind of products does FRB provide?
Forty Red Bangles is a complete lifestyle brand with an entire collection of organic, natural and handmade products. All our materials are sustainably sourced and recycled. Forty Red Bangles also reaches out to local designers and NGOs to produce one-of-a-kind items.
Tell us more about the kind of materials you use.
To site examples, we have a range of women’s t-shirts and kurta-pyjama for kids that are made from certified organic cotton and printed with low impact GOTS certified dyes. We also have many home décor items made from recycled tins and old bicycle chains. All these materials are processed with a minimum negative impact on the earth. They are sourced from certified manufacturers and NGOs that are committed to high quality, sustainable and ethical practices.
You've worked with a lot of NGO's. How was the experience?
During our travels across India, we visited many local NGOs and met some truly wonderful and talented people. These people were not only the keepers of traditional artistic skills but also had many unique life stories. We wanted to share these with the world and so we collaborated with these organizations to develop one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted pieces that tell the stories of their makers and form a connection with them.Who are your target customers and how do you plan to reach out to them?
Forty Red Bangles is targeted towards socially conscious individuals who would like to own something of value. We currently retail worldwide through our online store at www.fortyredbangles.com. Apart from that, we will also be available in strategically selected stores across the country. We hope to make responsible shopping easily accessible to all.
What is the size of the market that you are trying to capture?
Our experience thus far and feedback from our consumers tells us that we have broad appeal. Therefore it is difficult to ascertain the exact size of our market. We believe we have a strong connection and product offering for the domestic consumers, NRI’s and also the global market.
Who are your competitors?
There are a few labels that deal with eco-friendly clothing, but we feel that there is room for everyone as we are all committed to the same cause. We believe we are unique as we focus equally on the marriage of “sustainability” and “design” as an integral part of our concept. Our collection also encompasses our junior label “Four Red Bangles” and many other lifestyle products.
Are you looking at having physical presence as well?
We have started with an on-line store and will also continue to be part of events and exhibitions which are in-line with our philosophy, thus raising awareness about our brand. We are headed towards becoming a complete lifestyle brand and in the near future we will have our concept store with an organic café as well. We are in talks with stores in major cities across the country and Forty Red Bangles should be on the shelves in next few weeks.
What kind of brand image are you trying to build?
We hope to project an image of “sustainable luxury”; High-quality goods, produced in a sustainable manner and hand-crafted from planet friendly materials. Although our products do have an element of luxury, there is something for everyone as our products range from Rs100 to Rs5000.We aim to make ethical shopping easily accessible to all so that at the end of the day, people are able to make a more responsible choice.
What do you expect from the readers of YourStory.in?
YourStory.in is a great platform for us to share our unique story and spread awareness about our cause. We hope that readers will get a taste of Forty Red Bangles and start to explore the different ways in which they can make a difference - from simply wearing an organic t-shirt to using natural candles made by NGOs. We also believe that this will generate more interest in alternative products and lifestyles that have a positive impact on the community and the planet.
Do check out http://www.fortyredbangles.com/ for more details.