EthnicShack: Buy The Best Handmade Products

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EthnicShack™ is India’s most loved brand for Handmade, Handwoven & Handcrafted products. An initiative to celebrate finest crafts & to bring back handcrafted products in our daily life.

EthnicShack was born out of sheer love and passion for Hand made, Hand woven and Hand crafted products. The brand makes lively and exclusive hand crafted products that caters to the taste of new age highly stylized women, kids and men.

The products from EthnicShack restore the old glory of our past by appreciating and popularizing forgotten Indian Handicrafts. Breaking the stereotypes that Ethnic is only for special occasions and handcrafted products are boring and costly, the brand has an extensive range of uber stylish products developed in collaboration with rural artisans and fashion enthusiasts that are affordable and can be part of our daily life.

Techaloo got an opportunity to have a chit chat with Srijata Bhatnagar, Co-Founder @ EthnicShack. Let’s have a walk-through her journey of success.

Techaloo: When did you start your journey?

We started working on the Brand EthnicShack from August 2013, with our maiden exhibition on last year Independence Day, with a mission to bring the old glory of our forgotten rural arts and crafts back in our daily life.
We launched our online portal, www.ethnicshack.com in September 2013. Since then it has been an overwhelming journey.

Techaloo: What motivated you to start EthnicShack?

I would say my passion for doing something different, love for handmade products and certain tough circumstances made me realize this childhood dream, to become an entrepreneur. And that’s how EthnicShack was born.

Techaloo: You have experience of working with various big E-Commerce brands. How did it help to start EthnicShack?

Well, I do have an extensive experience of working on Big Internet Companies for almost 10 years with the likes of ESPN Digital Media, Consim Group (Former BharatMatrimony Group), Sulekha Group etc as well as worked in small time start-ups.
Though I do not have a first-hand experience in working for e-commerce companies, my extensive experience in Dot com and Start-ups helped me a lot while starting up. When I took the plunge I was already aware of the nuances of the Dot com world and this knowledge was efficiently and adequately applied.

Techaloo: What was your vision/mission while starting EthnicShack?

Our mission is to modernize the traditional arts and crafts to suit the needs of today’s generation. We wanted to Produce and market Fashionable Handmade products which can be used in our daily life.

This would help popularize the old forgotten arts and crafts to revive its glory, at the same time be usable by everyone on for their daily Fashion needs.

Techaloo: Why the name “EthnicShack”?

EthnicShackFullLogoWithTaglineWhiteBG (1) (1)The Brand name ‘Ethnic’ was obvious; there were no alternative. It is what we wanted to bring to you in the purest form possible. But, we had to bring the modern, cool yet casual aspect into the Brand and that’s how ‘Shack’ was infused. The ‘EthnicShack’ name was born.

The font used in ‘EthnicShack’ text in the logo symbolizes the smooth, curvy, bright yet classy feel of Ethnic. Don’t we love the curvy and roundness in anything we see, use and feel? The ‘S’ symbolizes The Great White Royal Swan which is a symbol of beauty, artistic inspiration, purity par excellence, peace, god and the vehicle of Goddess Saraswati as per Indian Mythology. In fact, its reference is available in many other mythologies, depiction in coins of many countries and recognition as the national bird for countries like Finland, Denmark and Russia. According to Indian mythology, the swan if offered a mixture of milk and water is said to be able to drink the milk alone. Goddess Saraswati the goddess of knowledge is seen riding the swan because the swan symbolizes “Viveka” i.e. prudence and discrimination between the good and the bad. This is taken as a great quality.

The circle around ‘S’ stands for the world. The design patterns in the circle symbolize Rich, Vibrant, Traditional, Simple, Royal, Natural, Classy, Modern, and Dynamic. The Swan in the logo also has the letter ‘E’ – Ethnic (observe the tail of the swan) and ‘S’ – Shack.

We as a brand wanted to be known for all the above qualities and therefore the name EthnicShack seemed just perfect.

Techaloo: Why did you target “Handloom/ Handicraft” section only?

Because, that is where our passion lies. Plus this sector has been long neglected by mainstream Corporate and Fashion folks.

Techaloo: What hurdles did you face while starting?
After we jumped into action the journey has been thrilling, full of adventures and quite fulfilling. In the process we discovered some forgotten arts and crafts from rural parts of India and met with passionate tribal and village artisans who are struggling to keep their art alive. Learnt about different natural materials, colors, time intensive processes used to make just one piece of these arts and craft products; learnt how majority of these artisans are village women, who have acquired these skills from their mothers and grandmothers since childhood and are trying to keep it alive simply for the love of it.

Techaloo: Which geographies are you providing your services in?
Presently our products are been targeted to Indian consumers through our own website and other major Indian e-commerce portals.
We get most of our orders from Tier 2 cities, which validate how tier 2 cities are catching up with the needs and demands of Metro consumers. And we love this phenomenon.

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Techaloo: How are you different from your competitors in various segments?
We do not source and sell. We are not just an Ethnic wear brand. We are not a marketplace like Flipkart or Craftsvilla. We work with rural and marginal artisans very closely and co-create these products with the help of our team of qualified designers from NIFT, NID and other esteemed design institutes. We aspire to be the leading brand for handmade products yet with a modern outlook.
We do a lot of research on trends and preferences of our target market and based on our brainstorming sessions come up with designs, cuts, products that may suit today’s multi-tasking generation. Therefore, all our products bear exclusive prints and cuts, best quality material and very affordable pricing. You will also see a lot of Fusion.

Techaloo: Do you provide any claim/ guarantee to the customers?

Our products are not of real high value for us to provide claim or guarantee. However, we do make sure each time a product is dispatched the users get the products in right condition.
And if there is a damage during transit, we take full responsibility of the same.

Techaloo: How is the response till now?
We have received overwhelming response so far, and we are trying our best to cope with the same. (smiles)

Techaloo: You recently launched kids section, how did it get accepted across market?

The kids collection is produced using natural Cotton dyed in natural and organic colors that are easy on the skin. Though we were testing the market with just a small collection, response have been good so far.
I think all parents who would wish their kid to sport natural and harmless products would appreciate this one of a kind collection.

Techaloo: Have you got any sort of funding?

So far we have been running comfortably in bootstrapped mode. However, we are looking at funding since we want to accelerate our business growth. We have aggressive plans.

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Techaloo: What are your plans for next 3 years?

With an over-whelming demand and acceptance, we are currently spreading our presence and being available at all leading marketplaces. Coming days seems to be much more exciting, and we are excited and optimistic about the outcomes. We are planning to extend our collaboration with more artisans/craftsmen, increase our product offering and obviously looking at generating 3 times revenue than last year.
Presently we are helping the small scale and grassroots level artisans in rural areas of Andhra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, West Bengal etc. by working with them directly. In the coming days we would like to touch lives of our artisan friends based in North Eastern States, Far South, Up North etc, by increasing the number of artisans we work with and widening the spectrum of our offerings.
We are also looking for people with similar interest and passion to join us in the journey.

The long term vision is to make EthnicShack a global Brand for anything handmade.

Techaloo: What about support from your family, while starting?

Family’s support played an integral part of this journey. It is my ever enthusiastic husband who gives me daily dose of encouragement. He also plays a very important role of “Chief Venting Officer” in one of those low impact days. My daughter’s smile and hug is what helps me rejuvenate at the end of everyday. And last but not the least, its my parents and in-laws who hold the fort for me at home when I am out on work.
It is all their support that gives me the courage to keep walking in the path I have chosen for myself.

Techaloo: What will be your advice for budding entrepreneurs?

Failure comes at par with entrepreneurship. I think it’s important we realize that failure teaches us more than success, and we should embrace failure more gracefully. Even Thomas Edison failed more than 10000 times before being able to successfully create the electric bulb.

People starting up on bootstrapping should remember that if you don’t have sufficient amount of savings and/or other source of income and/or a partner to back up for your expenses; it’s going to be extremely tough to survive.
Entrepreneurship can be very demanding and challenging, jump into it only if you are absolutely sure about it. It is a roller coaster ride and lot of people find it difficult to adapt themselves with the constant change throughout the journey.

Techaloo: What do you think about techaloo.com?

I consider and follow, Techaloo.com as a portal wherein I get updates of new ventures and industries.
It is a portal which highlights all industries and assists people with intellectual information on start – up techniques.

Meet Srijata

She has over 10 years of experience in the Online Space and contributed in various capacities in Product Management and Marketing. Prior to EthnicShack, she has been associated with Sulekha, ClickJobs, BharatMatrimony, IndiaProperty, ESPNCricinfo and other startups.

A respected artrepreneur by identity, a devoted homemaker, and a well-known product designer by profession and passion she has shown prudent foresight by using her creativity and innovative ideas. Srijata holds a Master Degree in Business Administration and a Bachelors Degree on Commerce.She had considerable amount of experience with start-up as well as MNCs.

 

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Mohit Bansal(23) is B.Tech in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, India. He has interest in business and entrepreneurship and has published couple of research articles. He is also associated with various NGOs. He is with Techaloo when it was just in concept stage. The Techaloo site was not existing even then. Currently Mohit is working with Mu Sigma as a Business Analyst Profile.

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