While we continue writing stories about Indian entrepreneurs and their startups, we have also been trying to get you startup stories from beyond the country. Recently a New-York based venture that sells scarves, blankets and throws, reached out to us.
Votary, started by Luigi Bianco is a year old venture that sells all American scarves, blankets and throws. Bianco was laid off as a lawyer and had a tough time getting another job, despite applying to countless positions. He knew he had to find a new way to move ahead and therefore moved to Europe to turn entrepreneur. His choice of field was the fashion industry, which had also been his area of interest for a very long time. A year down the line, Votary has been a successful experiment in creating knitwear. Luigi claims to have sold 1 lakh units of his products and made over $200,000 in revenues last year.
When asked about his area of choice in the fashion industry, Luigi says: “I wanted to do something that has never been done before and there is a big market opportunity because we are the first to do reversible blankets and scarves, the designs are unique and the market size is worth $ 10 million.” The startup competes against the biggest names in the fashionosphere like Ralph Lauren, JCrew and Tommy Hilfiger to sell their product. However Luigi says that Votary firmly believes in making a lasting first impression and believes he can do that with the products he sells. Votary scarves, jackets and cardigans are designed and manufactured in U.S.A; made from Acrylic wool; is hypoallergenic and has a reversible design. The products are currently sold on Votaryny.com and through Japanese retailers.
The Votary team currently comprises five employees, who are based in NY and take care of different functions like manufacturing, design and factory. The startup relies on public relations to spread the word about its products and Luigi says he hopes to sell his products across the globe. He is currently working on developing a new line of products that uses lightweight material to develop a new line for the summer. And the biggest challenge he faces is raising capital to expand his line of products.Check out Votary’s oversized scarves and blankets here. And Also read about the other international startups we have covered: Lolabox, Wooz.