This woman entrepreneur took her customised outfits from Faridabad to overseas in just 3 years
India’s apparel industry is expected to cross $60 billion in a few years and that would make the country the sixth-largest in the world. In a country where mass-produced fashion brands are disrupting the local apparel industry, some small businesses are shining the spotlight on bespoke, tailored clothing with a personal touch. Take, Faridabad-based Rengé, for example, whose Founder, Sheena Uppal, believes in staving off high-street fashion to stand apart and provide a unique experience to the Indian woman.
I do not believe in mass production of clothes and competing with high street brands. We want to create a personalised experience for our customers and deliver them their desired outfits within seven days of the order placed,” Sheena Uppal tells SMBStory.
Pursuing her love for fashion, Sheena started Rengé in February 2016 in Faridabad with her personal savings.
Sheena’s family has been in the textile and manufacturing business for over three decades, and she grew up learning about fabrics and dreaming of creating her own designs. After completing her graduation at London College of Fashion, she returned to Delhi to start Rengé, which is lotus flower in Japanese.
Beginning of Rengé
Rengé bloomed at a trying time fraught with personal crisis for Sheena. After returning to Delhi, she moved to Mumbai for a brief period where she started outsourcing the fabric and designed each outfit on her own. However, she soon realised that she needs to launch her own brand.
I never thought of myself as an entrepreneur. I started designing dresses as a hobby, and as an outlet. This outlet of creative energy gave me the push and confidence I needed to launch my own brand.”
With her boutique, Sheena aspired to create gorgeous outfits that meld vintage styles and modern aesthetics, making women feel feminine and empowered.
Rengé’s mission, Sheena explains, is to deliver fashion to women in an ethical, compassionate, and sustainable manner. To this end, each collection offered at Rengé is made in limited quantities and can be made to order. From conception to production, everything is done under one roof.
Rengé has its unit set up in Faridabad and employs eight people from the local area. It sources raw materials like cotton blends, tassel, linen, moda, and more from Delhi, with Sheena taking care of the designs.
Playing a different online game
Sheena launched the brand’s website in March 2017 and has since been receiving orders from across the world. Besides, she has also displayed her products in Pernia’s Pop Up Shop and Rock N Shop in Delhi. A limited collection is also listed on Singapore-based Indiigo Culture’s platform.
After launching our website, we focussed on the Singapore market as we have a niche audience there. Rengé is more of a boutique and resort wear brand and custom made. Hence, we did not list the brand on Myntra, Flipkart, or Jabong. However, I am planning to launch a new collection soon on these ecommerce portals in the next three to six months,” Sheena tells SMBStory
Rengé’s collection ranges from Rs 4,500 to Rs 8,500 and it receives an average of 50-100 orders in a month.
According to Sheena, while designing and making clothing come with their own set of challenges, it really gets tricky while marketing and promoting them.
She says social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook have helped her create awareness about Rengé, but to stand out among the thousands of existing brands in a highly cluttered market is quite challenging. She has found it difficult to market and create awareness about the brand in the past.
Sheena is now focussed on growing internationally in Southeast Asia and North America and wants to list the brand on the US-based sites revolve.com and shopbop.com. She says she is looking forward to the challenge of establishing herself in highly competitive markets where various brands battle it out for customer attention and loyalty. She also wants to open a Rengé flagship store in Delhi and Mumbai.
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