Though it is common knowledge that the world of online retail has more competitors in it than ever before, what’s heartening is that some entrepreneurs believe that there is still enough space for them to create a niche. Founded by the quartet of Poonam Rai, Shivani Chemjong, Venisha Thapa, and Shiwani Mukhia ,Fashion GarageD is an online retail store which offers the latest in clothing, online. It captures the essence of street fashion and also makes high end looks available to mainstream shoppers at a fraction of the price of designer brands. Fashion GarageD is a one-stop shopping destination which intends to use the lower pricings to capture their own share of the market. What is also unique about Fashion GarageD is that they are a bootstrap venture using Facebook as a testing ground for their concepts.The foursome are new comers to entrepreneurship but their inventiveness more than makes up for their lack of experience.
Poonam explains how their use of Facebook has counteracted many of the risks that an online venture poses saying “All the partners running Fashion GarageD are working professions. We do not have any extensive entrepreneurial background as such. We had an idea/concept we thought might work. We felt that the most difficult thing was to get out there and start validating our idea. It was hard because we, as humans, have the fear of failure. It was difficult for us to get out and start testing. In the beginning, we didn’t necessarily want to go out to sell our idea. We really wanted to test it. Facebook with its popularity and penetration in India (third largest user base in the world) was the perfect platform for us to test this idea. We wanted to understand the science and art around our experiment before going and selling it. We wanted to understand the dynamics in running an online store."
They spoke about their startup and the reception their concept has received saying "We offer a wide range of apparels, bags, shoes, accessories under one roof. Fashion GarageD is committed to offering customers with a range of latest clothing online and a consistently great shopping experience. Fashion GarageD is a non-complicated shopping experience at your convenience, from any place in India. S
Since its inception in July, 2012 we now stand with over 800 members on Facebook." The entire venture came about as a solution to their own needs. As working women they found that between the house and the office not much time was left over for some serious shopping. The offerings online were also steeply priced and they decided that it was time someone did something about it. Also they added "We’ve always wanted to do something on our own, add to that the perk of not having to work for a boss and it was truly overwhelming! Make sure that you are delivering something that adds real values and solve real problems. The way to solve those problems is to get into your users’ shoes."
FashionGarageD is a boot-strapped start up with the initial funding from the four founding partners. They felt that in keeping up with the fast growing
trend of online shopping, the best time to lay their foundation in the online bazaar is now. They believe that it is easier to woo customers through an online store which one can visit and shop without any hassles.
The need to make their startup stand out is paramount to their survival. In an overcrowded space occupied by big labels and bigger sites they have decided to capitalise on their plus points. They reason that "The objective behind Fashion GarageD is to make quality products available to mainstream shoppers at a price point which is highly competitive with those of designer brands. With this objective in mind we source products from around the world and provide it to customers in India. This allows us to provide our customers with world class products at lower rates which otherwise would cost them more time and money, not to mention the risks associated with the transaction."
Their ace in the hole is a belief that they have their fingers on the pulse of our generation. Poonam says "We believe that if your product is for people between a certain age, before you go out and start selling it, you should understand people in that age group. You should understand their needs, their wants, their desires, their willingness to buy as well as their ability to buy. We at FashionGarageD are certain that we are better placed than the larger eCommerce players in this regard.
"We like to stay connected to our customers. FashionGarageD has a blog which we keep updating so it makes it easier for our members to know the latest in the world of fashion. We consistently advertise our products on Facebook and we are very active on Twitter as well."
Poonam also says FashionGarageD is in for exciting days and that they have decided to scale up and have several areas that they have identified for progress. How this pans out for them; we will have to wait and watch. Until then, here is another choice for the fashionable online shopper.