KNYA is one of such startups, which is making it really successful with quality, brand language & customer service. In an interaction with team Bizztor, Vanshika Choudhary, Co-Founder at KNYA – a luxury fashion brand for working professionals shared their success sauce.
What inspired you to start KNYA?
I started working on the concept for KNYA while I was pursuing my undergrad at Lasalle College of the Arts, Singapore. This gave me a chance to validate and develop my idea into a full business model with the guidance of many professional women and lecturers.
While researching further, I soon realized that there was a huge gap in the market of Indian brands doing western wear clothes, particularly work wear. Young professionals were forced to choose between low-quality, mass-market brands and overpriced designer brands.
I knew there had to be a way to make chic work wear in India that could seamlessly transition women through their work as well as post work commitments. I launched the company a year after graduation after gaining experience in the Textile sector.
What has been the biggest challenge of starting KNYA?
I’ve learned that the real work starts only after you launch your business. You have to be extremely flexible and willing to change your initial plan once launched – because only after you have entered the market can you really know about it.
The biggest challenge in starting KNYA was diving headfirst into an industry that I knew very little about. It’s a steep learning curve in trying to figure out all the blocks to building the foundation of your business – from production to merchandising to building a website and even hiring.
Cost cutting is most crucial for any startup, so that is something we have been very cautious about. One of the best and worst things about starting a business is that the learning never stops.
While one year ago the biggest challenge for me was product development, today it is understanding and negotiating store leases. Every day is a new day and the learning is immense.
But along with the challenges comes the reward. For us, the reward is seeing the satisfaction and empowerment that our clothes bring to the women who wear them.
What can we expect from KNYA in future?
We want to continue to work on other pieces, such as blazers and other types of outerwear to complete the look for all seasons and occasions since currently, we are lacking that in our collection.
We’re also looking to increase our physical presence and dive into Tier 2 and 3 cities.
How do you plan to sustain your place in the market?
The only way a brand can sustain itself is by creating a product or experience that brings the same people back to it.
Fortunately, we have been able to create repeat customers given our short period of existence until now. Every decision in our company is made keeping in mind the average working women.
Starting from the design process, marketing strategy, placement of pop-ups and even the convenience of our website design.
The key thing that has played a crucial role in the overall growth of the business?
Quality –Quality in our fabrics, our stitching, our brand language and customer service. We make it a point that from every product sold to every email sent from our official email ID’s represents the brand and speaks quality.
We’ve noticed KNYA does quite a few Pop-Up events. Do you feel it’s important for E-commerce companies to have a Physical presence?
Correct, we do a lot of Pop up Events. I love getting to meet our customers and gathering feedback from them.
After our first pop-up event, I realized that our customers really needed to feel the difference in material, compared to what’s currently on the market, and try on the pieces to see for themselves just how flattering they are.
We know our demographic can take a while to warm up to a new brand, but we didn’t anticipate how major the difference would be when women could meet us and try everything on.
As a result, we’ve shifted our strategy and goals by planning more long-term pop-ups.
What advice do you have for other women who hope to start their own businesses?
It’s so tempting for many of us type-A planners to think 10 steps ahead and map out the next 30 years of our careers.
When I was launching KNYA I definitely was not 100% ready, and trust me no one ever is! You just have to start it and keep working for it every single day. Just make sure that you start a company that does something that you’re passionate about.
There are some days that I feel like a struggle, and the only thing that gets me through is hearing from customers about how we outfitted them for an important interview or a huge presentation.