Paroma Sen 16 Oct 2015 . 5 min read
We often have problems finding the “right fit” when shopping for clothes. Wouldn’t it be easier to just call a designer or tailor home and get customized, unique clothing at your convenience?
This is exactly what Bhavana Motwani’s venture StitchMyFit offers. Let’s read on to get to know her story today.
Tell us a little about yourself.
As a child, I have always been very studious, having taken a liking for computer programming very early on. Along with coding, I found an avenue in painting and sketching dresses to express myself.
I went on to secure rank 16 from Mumbai University in engineering and rank 1 in M.Tech from IIT Roorkee.
I have been associated with several early stage start-ups since 2008. I have led tech teams to scale up start-ups across several cities and services. But my artistic streak always made me want to open up a fashion boutique when I retire! Until I realized that there is no reason why my tech knowledge cannot help me do that today.
How did the idea of StitchMyFit.com come about?
StitchMyFit.com offers doorstep made-to-measure women’s Indian wear, offered by a curated list of boutiques on our platform. Customer can book a free stylist session to get her measurements taken at the comfort of her home! She can also customize the colour, neckline, sleeves and more.
Like so many modern women, I shop online for a variety of stuff like gadgets, accessories, books, etc. But clothes is something I have never been comfortable buying online. For the simple reason that i have always been wary of the fit.
Even the popular brands do not have the “standard” sizes S, M, L standardized across them. And for most of these I myself fall between a size M and L. While discussing this issue with my husband one day, I realized that so many women must be facing this issue. A perfect fit is an absolute must-have especially when it comes to Indian ethnic wear for women.
Like myself, most of the women who are not happy shopping for ethnic wear online fearing a bad fit, resort to offline stores like boutiques and tailors. Again you are restricted to the very few boutiques in your vicinity. And thus came about the next logical step, organizing the unorganized space of boutiques and tailors!
How long has it been since you started the venture and what were the initial challenges you faced?
I launched the website on 2nd August of this year, coincidentally on my 33rd birthday. The service was available in the pilot mode for friends and family to help streamline the operations and incorporate user feedback. It has been about a month since we started marketing a bit, and it is already seeing a lot of traction from the Mumbai women and boutiques seem to have been wanting such a platform where they could increase their reach without any investment in marketing, customer support and logistics. A customer from South Mumbai can now place an order from a boutique located in a remote location in North Mumbai!
But all of this was not devoid of any challenges. We had to convince our first few boutique partners a lot to help them realize the potential of going online. Some of them expressed concern over not getting credit for their designs, which was quickly put to rest by showcasing their logo with their creations, because ultimately every creative person thrives on recognition!
What is a typical work-day like for you?
For me, StitchMyFit is all about customer care and satisfaction. I make it a point to personally meet 2-3 new customers every day accompanying the stylist for their measurements session. Every such visit gives me more perspective to the customer’s requirements and further fortifies my belief that such a service was long awaited for!
Besides this, I call/meet up with new potential boutiques from across Mumbai. I help the new boutiques right from choosing the designs to upload to taking pictures of those designs and finally uploading their data.
The rest of the day is spent in planning marketing strategies and getting cool tech features incorporated!
What core products / services do you hope to add in the future?
Like boutiques, we are also aggregating tailors to provide pure stitching services. While we are already doing that, we shall be formally presenting this on our website soon!
Launching in Bangalore by this year end is something we are aggressively working on. Just imagine how cool it would be for a customer in Bangalore to get something created in her fit from a boutique in Mumbai!
Beyond that, by popular demand, we shall also foray into women’s Western wear.
Where do you see the company in the next 5 years?
In the next 5 years, we see Indian women stopping to compromise on their clothes’ fit. We see Indian women realizing that the clothes that make them feel the most comfortable are the ones that fit them correctly.
In the next 5 years, we expect every designer to set up a boutique on our platform without worrying about spending on a fancy showroom.
Can you leave our readers with some thoughts?
Often one wishes to do several things “when one retires”, when one has earned enough to start living his/her own life. I say don’t wait, the time is now.