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Women Entrepreneur

60 days is all it took Archana Jha to set up and get a business running

Indrojit D. Chaudhuri
19th Dec 2015
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Shopping for clothes has evolved. From running to the neighbourhood market to pick up clothes, to fancy shops in malls, to now picking trendy clothes online in a jiffy. Most online portals cater to a wide range of fashion garments but none as exclusively catering to women’s leggings/lowers. Seizing an opportunity, 42 year old Archana Jha, a trained fashion designer from YWCA, a caring housewife and a responsible mother travelling 20kms one way to pick up her young kids from school, launched Legstylee. Legstylee is a portal devoted to handpicked lowers for women including leggings, denim pants, palazzo pants, harem pants, shorts, skirts, capris etc. “It is an idea which has only found encouragement from whoever I spoke with. The fact that my banker was also surprised that why no one thought of a portal like this before, only gave me faith in my work”, she shares.


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The family fashion guru

There was a time when Archana would be the go-to person in her family for getting fashion advice especially during special occasions. Archana shares enthusiastically, “I became a kind of a guide to my family members for dressing up. Depending on their body type, height, comfort levels and other factors, I would suggest to them what kind of clothes would look good on them. I would tell them that a particular drape would look good, the colours that would complement them, the prints and so on.” This passion for fabrics, colours, and style never left Archana while she completely immersed herself in her family. She would keep herself updated on the latest styles, trends and once when she was hard pressed for time she thought of buying some leggings for herself online. It was then that she realised that there was not a single portal catering to only leggings. Archana shares, “I saw an opportunity here and started to do more research about the ecommerce businesses and worked on developing the business idea. My husband supported me with the venture and helped me with funds adding to the sum that I had saved.”

Archana took a mix of the traditional and the contemporary route to set up her online portal in a record two months, this September. “To get my supplies in place, I registered myself on Indiamart.com and connected with suppliers of leggings. I would ask them for photographs of products on WhatsApp and ordered the products I liked. I even travelled to the Gujarat, Rajasthan and Ludhiana markets to get a feel of what was available and flying off the shelves. Besides the local designs, I got shortlisted products shipped from China and Hong Kong to give an international look to the portal,” she shares.

Bittersweet memories

Once Archana was confident of the supplies, she closed the payment and delivery loops by tying up with PayU money and ShipRocket. She says, “Most of our orders are on COD basis and we haven’t had problems receiving money or shipping orders on time.” Getting customers to her portal was the next step. Archana spent money on online mediums like Facebook and Google to attract customers and even placed small newspaper advertisements. “I went a step forward and tied up with other online portals like

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Amazon for greater visibility for my brand,” she says. While it hasn’t been very long since she started her enterprise, Archana already has her share of bittersweet memories of running her portal, “Once a lady from Maharashtra did not like what she had ordered and wanted to return the product. But I spoke with her in detail and eventually she bought two more designs but she still returned the one which she did not like.”Astute businesswoman

An unlikely entrepreneur, Archana has a strong business sense. She quickly hired two support staff to manage her operations and promotional marketing and she has her ears in the market and feet firmly on the ground. “I never lose an opportunity to speak with young girls and ladies to understand their perspective of fashion and requirements. While young girls share the trends for leggings and shorts, ladies speak about palazzo pants. This also helps me in spreading the word about my brand and encouraging them to buy,” she shares. In her spare time, Archana keeps improvising on her plan by increasing the available categories and inventory of the online store. Though having tasted success early with her concept and sales, Archana wants to go slow with her future plans of adding accessories and shoes to the portal and also setting up a retail outlet, where customers can come and try before buying her products. With her eye for detail, Archana is all geared up to take Legstylee to higher grounds.

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