Priya Wagh, Director and Co-Founder of MavenChic tells me that she has a background in Electronics Engineering and Management. I however find it difficult to believe her, given the passion with which she speaks about fashion and her role at India’s first digital image makeover startup.
“MavenChic is an attempt to make ladies across all sectors feel good about themselves with an image makeover. Given that one-on-one sessions usually are time consuming and not all women are blessed with so much spare time, we decided to offer this consultation online,” she says of the innovative service at MavenChic, an E-commerce cum fashion advisory website.
So from a corporate woman to a student to a housewife and a banker, anyone can now have an image makeover just by following simple tips from the experts.
Priya’s career makeover
I have loved fashion my entire life, and I truly believe that every woman – short or tall, stout or thin, young or old – can style her persona in a way that makes her feel confident and look fabulous. Not everyone would look glamorous in something that is the fad. Therefore the idea is to make them feel confident and happy in the way they carry themselves,
says Priya, born and brought up in the fashion capital Mumbai.
For someone who spent six years in Marketing and Sales, she was feeling less and less passionate about her work with every passing day. In the year 2009 she got married and started her family after a couple of years. That is when she took a sabbatical to take care of her daughter and got thinking.
“My husband knew very well that I was not enjoying my work. We used to have endless discussions about other options but could come up with nothing viable,” Priya confesses.
Image makeover for the masses
One fine day, her husband showed her an article in the newspaper, which spoke about a course being offered by the institute, ICBI. It was he who suggested Priya take this up as a business opportunity and she got herself registered for the course. From then on, Priya started thinking on the lines of entrepreneurship and ended up starting up MavenChic, the online counseling section of which went live a month ago.
As she took up this course full time, trainers at ICBI discussed career opportunities with her post her completion. One thing which bugged Priya big time was the limited options after this course – trainings and consultations, corporate or individual on the three pillars of image management – Appearance, Behaviour and Communication.
By this time Priya too was convinced that the scope in this sector is huge but the market is niche as Image Consultants usually charge a bomb for their services.
“When I conceptualized it, image consultation was largely restricted to the classes, I thought of getting it to the masses. It had to be economical and convenient at the same time for the modern woman who is continuously multi-tasking – managing home, family and work,” says Priya.
Then the idea developed when Priya was in her fifth session of training. She started thinking of getting this process online in order to reach all women.
Inspiration in her brother
Priya’s brother, sitting in Singapore, quit his well-paying job and started his own e-commerce venture in the travel sector and that managed to greatly inspire Priya.
With able support from her husband, Bhalchandra K Wagh, who has now quit his job in the Purchase sector to join MavenChic as its CEO, Priya jumped in to the bandwagon. Now she has her hands full with small detailing and handling everything on her own.
Entrepreneurship has been an awesome experience for Priya though she had to face the initial hurdles.
There is no short cut and it is immense hard work, but you are content at the end of it,
says 33-year-old Priya, who has been working on this concept for the last eight months. She now has a team of 30 consultants across India to consult women online.
This service is not meant to be restricted to women alone, MavenChic intends to include men too in the coming days.
“At the end of the day, fashion is not about what you wear, it is about how you wear it,” says Priya who is happy donning the role of a style guru and playing mother to her 4-year-old kid when she is not working.