When Shikha Sinha moved from Delhi to Bengaluru after her wedding in January 2014, she struggled for a year to find a tailor who could offer quality stitching and deliver the tailored clothes on time. This pushed her to start Fabstitch.com on January 21, 2015, to deliver hassle-free online tailoring services within the stipulated time.
Fabstitch offers all kinds of stitching needs for women and kids -- salwar suits, patialas, designer blouses, gowns, western wear, lehenga, blazers, shrugs, frocks, and palazzos etc. It also offers a wide range of dress materials and accessories to choose from and takes seven working days to stitch, finish, and deliver the order.
Shikha says, “Fabstitch is a one-stop solution for all kinds of stitching work. We offer free measurement, pick-up and on-time delivery services.”
Sikha started Fabstitch with a capital of Rs 10,000 which was very meagre considering she had to build and promote the website. Moreover, she had to visit various boutiques convincing them to work for her and personally visited customers’ homes to take measurements.
Today, the startup has more than 20 tailors, five designers and has tied up with boutiques across Bengaluru. According to Shikha, Fabstitch receives more than 1,000 orders per month and she is expecting around 40-50 per cent more order in the coming months due to the festive season.
To book a stitch on Fabstitch, one has to select a service option, fill in details, select a preferred date and time and place the order. On the selected date and time, a lady designer will visit the customer’s place for measurement carrying a designer booklet with her. “If the customer wants us to buy the fabric as per their choice, our designers provide them the fabric. They also upload the pattern of fabric on the web page or share the picture of the pattern of fabric or accessories via WhatsApp,” says Shikha.
The startup follows certain criteria to employ the tailors and designers. Shikha gets the material stitched by them for herself first, and if she is satisfied with the stitching, she appoints the tailor or the designer.
Currently, Fabstitch is operating from Bengaluru but there are plans to expand to other metropolitan cities like Mumbai, Chennai, and Hyderabad soon. The startup also aims to launch its own mobile app and target a turnover of Rs. 25 lakhs.
Shikha says, “Since last month, we have grown by 20 per cent in terms of adding new customers. Moreover, some investors have shown interest, so I am expecting Fabstitch to become a brand in the next couple of years.”
According to a joint study by Assocham and Grant Thornton, online shoppers in India are expected to touch 40 million by 2016. In this busy professional world today, people have become used to availing everything at their doorstep, starting from grocery, house cleaning services to beauty services without any hassle.
If India’s online shopping spree lets consumers buy almost everything online, there is no doubt that they will also go online for tailoring services. However, e-tailoring services as a market has a long way to go because consumers still choose the traditional way of going to the regular tailor in their vicinity.
Startups always appear to be one step ahead when it comes to cracking a particular business model. In this competitive startup world, one would end up finding a pool of ‘me too’ services even in the niche market. Tailorman, Urban Tailor, MyNextDoor Tailor, Corporate Collars and more are the few startups that have forayed in this space. The current value of ready-to-stitch segment in India is Rs 39,820 crore growing at an annual rate of 5.5 per cent. But this segment is yet to draw the attention of investors.