This woman entrepreneur pitched her detachable sleeves on Shark Tank India and won Rs 25 lakh in funding
During the pandemic, Riya Khattar observed that people were not spending much money, especially on new clothes. They were making do with clothes they already had.
She was then struck by an idea of creating a niche product that could be paired with existing clothes to create a whole new look, feel, and style.
This led to the launch of her brand, which has now gained immense popularity after Riya pitched her idea at Shark Tank India and received Rs Rs 25 lakh in funds from investors Vineeta Singh and Anupam Mittal.
“While Heart Up My Sleeves was ideated during the pandemic, it also solves a different problem. Most girls and women complain of having too many clothes but yet nothing to wear. We wanted to change this by giving every outfit a glamourous take,” she says.
A graduate in psychology, Riya comes from a family that has an apparel business, which perhaps sparked her love for fashion and entrepreneurship.
The purpose behind Heart Up My Sleeves is simple – to raise the glam quotient of a woman’s outfit or entire wardrobe with detachable sleeves, thereby giving a sleek and chic look. It also includes brooches and capes for a complete makeover.
“Women love fashion and who doesn’t love to wear new outfits? Amidst the pandemic, I learnt the importance of a sustainable lifestyle and the intent behind Heart Up My Sleeves was to offer a collectible that will give you many options to reuse your outfits without feeling like you are repeating them,” she says.
The sleeves, capes, and brooches are manufactured in her father’s factory in Delhi where she has employed two tailors.
A sleeve for every occasion
Rhea breaks down the concept by explaining how these can be used.
“These statement sleeves compliment every outfit whether ethnic or western. You can turn your day outfit of a basic white tee and jeans into a party look just by adding any of these sleeves and a pair of heels. To reuse any of your old sarees, throw a pair of dazzling sleeves and your favourite jewellery to look glamorous in seconds! Accentuating your monochrome outfit can simply be done by including some contrasting statement sleeves, ” she says.
Some sleeves are eye-catching, while others magnify elegance.
“Bodycon sleeveless dresses look exceptional with lace variants. To style with pants and work outfits, add a pair of neutral- coloured sleeves and you are good to go! From sequins to frills and balloons to flair, sleeves are available in every size, cloth, and colour for a wholesome choice. We also go that extra mile with customisation options and round-the-clock support for a more refined outcome,” Rhea says.
Rhea’s co-founder is her elder sister, Chandani Khattar, who has a master’s from New York City. She has a strong business background and is also an expert in fashion.
Heart Up My Sleeve targets a global audience – women between the ages of 18-33.
It also has many influencers sporting its sleeves. Hansika Motwani used them in one of Tony Kakkar's music videos. Komal Pandey, Niki Mehra, Bandagi Kalra, and Ankita Tiwari have also been styling the sleeves in multiple ways.
Heart Up My Sleeves was started with an initial investment of Rs 10,000 and has clocked Rs 15 lakh in sales so far. Recently, Rhea raised Rs 25 lakh in funding for 30 percent equity from investors Anupam Mittal and Vineeta Singh by pitching on Shark Tank India.
The current revenue model is D2C, with products being sold through its website. Rhea aims to list the brand on all ecommerce platforms in the future. Rhea claims that the brand is the first to launch these products in India and going ahead, they are looking forward to some healthy competition in the market.
“I believe Heart Up My Sleeves is a revolutionary brand. Going forward, we also intend to launch detachable collars and a whole new line of clothing. We will take this brand to the next level with our newest additions to the family: Anupam Mittal and Vineeta Singh. We believe their expertise and experience will definitely help us to scale up this business,” Rhea says.
Edited by Teja Lele Desai