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Masoom Minawala is not your average 20-year old. She’s got a blog that’s super popular, a fashion e-commerce site that sells the choicest of things and a job listing site that has the fashion industry wrapped around her little finger. From traveling to the hippest cities to shopping from the coolest places, Masoom keeps her life busy and bright
Check out How Masoom Minawala Made Her Fashion Blog A Business Success
With her college exams done and out of the way, Masoom Minawala is excited, but not perhaps for the reasons a regular 20 year old would be. “During my exams, I would study from my office, but now I’ll go back to working full-time,” says the head of a mini online empire, one that’s made up of an e-commerce store, a popular fashion blog, a job listings site, and a work-in-progress fashion helpline. “I want people to believe you don’t have to spend too much money to be stylish,” says Minawala, who will soon be armed with a degree in Commerce from H. R. College that’s probably late in the coming.
The daughter of a Gujarati jeweller, Minawala, makes for a somewhat atypical aspiring fashion moghul. She admits that she can’t tell the difference “between Georgette and polyester”, yet somehow she has managed to make her six-month-old e-commerce site Style Fiesta a profitable venture. “I first interned with a fashion designer, who is my cousin, and I hated it,” says Minawala, who has been hard at work since she was 17 when she launched her fashion blog Style Fiesta Diaries. “I hated the design part, and I didn’t find any long-lost connection to fabric. But what did attract me was the business side of fashion.”
To learn about how to make her a blog a business, she took short courses at Central Saint Martins and London College of Fashion. Soon after, she started selling clothes and accessories that she picked up on her travels via her blog. “If I put up 20 things, all 20 things would sell,” says Minawala, who by then had garnered an online following by posting pictures of herself styled in flouncy skirts and pretty jumpsuits, and uploading tutorials on topics such as “working a little black dress” and “how to wear florals” on her YouTube channel.
Unlike other similar fashion sites, Minawala brands all her product under her Style Fiesta label; rather than sourcing from various designers, she works directly with manufacturers, giving them inputs on changing certain styles or sizes (till recently the site only stocked one size). This allows Minawala to keep the prices low enough to attract people from “small towns who don’t have exposure to high street brands” while constantly updating stock with on-trend designs. And while the inventory isn’t particularly large – about 200 products across all categories – they flit through every current trend – neon, lace, velvet, retro, statement.
Minawala says she’s managed to turn a profit (but declined to say how much) without advertising because Style Fiesta has a high conversion rate – that is, the number of people who become buyers after visiting. Like all canny online entrepreneurs, Minawala – who was once featured on the Teen Vogue website as the “best-dressed reader of the day” - has already declined a buy-out. “This is my baby, I can probably marry her off when she’s older, but not right now,” says Minawala, who plans to also focus on building Fashion Jobs India, a sort of lo-tech job listings website for the fashion industry. “I’m young, my ideas are freestyle,” she says. “I don’t even know what I’m doing tomorrow.”
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