Meet the SHEROES - Mani Agarwal
Mani Agarwal quit her finance job at Deloitte & Touche to start a fashion line of her own. 'I wear my style' came up in 2012 a western wear label at affordable prices. Targeted at working women and college going teens, the label aims to bring high street fashion to your closet. Here is the story of Mani’s journey from accountancy to fashion -
Tell us more about yourself and what you do
I am a 26 year old accountant by profession. I have been born and brought up in New Delhi. I have previously worked for nearly 2.5 years with Deloitte and Touche (Hyderabad) and was given a full sponsorship to complete my CPA (Certified Public Accountancy) from the US. Post that I was working with a Start up M&A firm in Delhi for a year before realizing that corporate culture was not my cup of tea. I experimented with start up ideas for nearly three months before launching my own clothing label under the name of 'I WEAR MY STYLE'. ' I WEAR MY STYLE' is an online only - women's western wear label, incorporated in March of 2012. Since inception, we have witnessed a growth in sales by over a 100%. We import all our merchandise and sell to women between the age group of 21-35 years.
What is the story behind 'I wear my style’?
I WEAR MY STYLE was started from my bedroom with nearly zero initial investment. I started selling through facebook and within the first month only, we cracked sales of INR 60,000. Month on month through word of mouth and promotional offers on our facebook page, we gained traction and popularity. Today we stand strong at32,000 followers and still counting. While most e commerce companies burn lakhs on marketing month on month basis, we have only spent between INR 20,000-30,000 on marketing till date but through the right partners and strategies, we have retailed well over 10,000 orders and counting. Our average price range stands between INR 1000- INR 2500 and our designs (I can personally guarantee) are not easily available at any of the major malls or shops, reason why we sell well. We have had tie ups with over 25 e commerce companies in the past and have been in the top selling brands on over 30% of them. We also run our own website here which attracts decent traffic.
Message for all the SHEROES out there.
Entrepreneurship is an addictive hobby. You sleep, breath and think business. It does not come without hard work. I work at an average of 80 hours a week and am thankful to god that I get that much work to pull off so many hours. The biggest bliss while running a business, is to get work, so working hard can never be a complaint.
Passion and drive is not all that can drive you to become a good business woman. Strategy, targets and clear cut vision is what helps you deliver a successful one. You do not have to be an engineering student or a tech start up or have an out of the box idea to be an entrepreneur. You can sell anything under the sun and the only thing that counts is how you think out of the box to make that anything into something. There are so many brands that sell pens, shoes, clothes, toothpastes etc but what makes a PARKER or a NIKE or a ZARA or a COLGATE stand out is execution and strategy. Never be ashamed of what you're selling, even if it's something as small as a hand sanitizer but be sure you know how to sell it and to sell it well. Also staying abreast with competition and the industry is imperative and helps you steer your business in the right direction.
What is next for your label?
We plan to tie up with over 10 e-commerce websites within the next 2-3 months to increase volumes. We are also planning investment to foray offline and begin with exhibitions in Delhi. We are planning marketing spend to promote our website and facebook page as well. The venture stays entirely bootstrapped and currently we are not looking at outside funding. On a personal front, I am a commerce student and any day enjoy reading the Economic Times over a Cosmo. Would love to learn more and am looking at Executive MBA in the coming few years.