Meet three amazing mompreneurs with interesting products in the apparel segment.
Every year, we set aside a day to appreciate our mothers’ roles and significance in our lives even though we are aware of the same every day of the year. While ensuring the physical and emotional well-being of their children and shaping their personality and character, many mothers also make a mark at work, following their own dreams and passions, thus balancing motherhood with personal aspirations. Many of them embark on their entrepreneurial journeys as well, establishing their brands while juggling nappy changes and PTA meetings.
As Mother’s Day falls on May 14 this year, YourStory spoke to a few amazing mompreneurs who are making an impact in the apparel segment.
Crosstitch is a New Delhi-based formal wear brand for women co-founded by Teji Joher and her daughter Sahiba. Apart from their retail store, Crosstitch products are listed on most e-commerce portals like Flipkart and Amazon. While working as an associate at a leading audit firm, Sahiba realised the lack of smart formal wear for women in the market though there were plenty of options when it comes to ethnic wear or party outfits. She says, “I believed this segment had huge potential and thus decided to quit my job and come up with a label that catered to the needs of working women.”
Crosstitch has a range of women's shirts in bright and vibrant colours and prints that help make a fashionable statement at the workplace. They also have a range of hand-painted silk scarves.
Sahiba’s mother is a Lady Shri Ram College graduate and also holds an LLB degree from Delhi university. The young entrepreneur proudly says, “My mother was always the enterprising woman in her family. She always had the zing to work and wanted to build a business of her own. Having a strong inclination towards fashion she started her export business by the name of TJ Exports in 2010.”
A couple of years later, in 2012, when Sahiba decided to set up her workwear brand, her mother was the obvious choice for the co-founder. “My mother has always encouraged me to be an independent woman and when I went to her with my idea of starting Crosstitch, she was very supportive and didn't give it a second thought. With all her expertise in the field, I couldn't have asked for a better business partner than my mother.”
BonOrganik is a relationship clothing brand that was started in 2012 by Niharika Verma along with her husband Puneet as a baby and kids wear brand. The story of how they got into relationship clothing is an interesting one.
Niharika and Puneet were participating in various exhibitions across the country to promote the brand and on one such occasion, most of the stock got sold out just before the exhibition.
Niharika was anxious about getting enough stock in a short time frame. Refurnishing her house at the time, she visited a home furnishing shop where they showed her swatches of fabric and promised to send the stitched drapes home. The idea struck her, and after one sleepless night, she made one pair of dad and son shirts and compiled all the stock fabrics in a swatch book for the customers to choose from. It was a huge hit and BonOrganik has now come a long way.
Designing, manufacturing, and retailing matching apparels in six main categories, Niharika claims BonOrganik clothing was bought by over a million families in 2016. Currently delivering over 10,000 average orders per month, with an average order value of Rs 1,432, BonOrganik brings in revenues of Rs 1.4 crore per month.
As the mother of a two-year-old, this is what Niharika has to say about her approach to parenting as a working mother:
If I have to give a tip I would say—explain! People will understand and help. I have had my daughter attend meetings, go sourcing with me, and even done photoshoots along with her. My team works from my home whenever required.
“I follow an army routine for seven days a week, have some clear rules for her time but even when nothing seems to fall in place, I just hug her and that make our life perfect.”
BonOrganik is aiming to reach Rs 100 crore in revenues by March 2020 by building a superior technology platform, and instituting unique partnerships.
Motherhood is one of the most challenging times in the lifetime of a woman. She undergoes tremendous physical and psychological stress both pre and post the baby’s birth. In addition, she worries for the good health of the kid and has to be careful to prevent infection in a newborn.
Namita Saxena started Baby Essentials, a range of clothing made from lab-tested, disposable, and biodegradable fabric for newborns in 2015. An IT professional herself, she jumped on the entrepreneurial bandwagon after she became a mother herself and realised first-hand how there is an utter lack of such products in the market.
Namita explains, “Being a mother is not an easy job for any woman in this world, be it the pre-delivery days or the postnatal period. The most difficult task of them all is protecting the newborn from infections and disease-causing microbes for the first crucial month.” Baby Essentials products are made from an engineered fabric called Néonatale Tissu, which acts as a barrier to bacterial infection and microbes.
Namita hopes her products can further contribute in taking care of the high incidence of infant mortality prevalent in our country. While having the texture, feel, and certain good properties of a typical textile, it is a great barrier to lint, which is the main source of infection, since bacteria often use it as a carrier.
The nappies are sterilised with EO sterility and are packed in a medical-grade peel-open pouch to ensure maximum safety against disease-causing microbes. Namita, a first-generation entrepreneur, credits her daughter with helping start her entrepreneurial journey.
The stories of these three women of substance can be an inspiration for other mothers looking to balance motherhood and career.