Bhavana MotwaniFounder of StitchMyFit Published On: Tuesday, January 19, 2016 Views 1305
"I don't count my sit-ups. I only start counting when it starts hurting. When I feel pain, that's when I start counting, because that's when it really counts."
After spending almost a decade in corporate world, she chose to take up a field she was hardly known for- Custom made fashion outfits. Yes, Bhavana Motwani is the one who brought women focused tailoring service to India with her unique venture StitchMyFit. The roots of this idea date back to her childhood when she was quite fond of sketching. She grew up becoming a techie with immense experience in startup development.
Prior to StitchMyFit, she headed the technology department of LocalBanya and was engineering manager at Rovi. Having faced the discomfort of finding good boutique herself, she was convinced to build StitchMyFit, which is an online tailoring service for customized ethnic wears. It was challenging enough initially but her clear goals won the trust of boutiques as well as customers and nothing could deter StitchMyFit to be India’s top custom tailoring portal. Read more about this young female entrepreneur of India in her interview.
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.
StitchMyFit.com is India’s first curated marketplace of boutiques providing made-to-measure ladies ethnic wear. In addition, Tailoring Services make it a one-stop shop for everything made-to-measure. It intends to disrupt the unorganized boutique sector and bring them online and hence increase their reach manifold. It is an all-woman venture trying to solve the biggest problem in women’s ethnic wear – misfit.
How It Works:
- Customer visits StitchMyFit.com and selects from a wide range of designer dresses offered by onboarded boutiques.
- She has the choice to customize the dress by choosing a different colour, neckline, bottom type, etc.
- Instead of selecting one of the standard sizes Small, Medium, Large, she books a free Stylist Session whereby one of StitchMyFit’s stylists will visit the customer, take all her measurements and upload them for her future orders as well.
- The design will be created by the boutique in the customer’s measurements. Dispatch and delivery will be taken care of by StitchMyFit.
- The customer can also avail only our Tailoring Services for her own material.
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
There are several women like me who are tech savvy and comfortable with online shopping for gadgets, accessories, etc but shy away from buying ready-to-wear clothes, especially ethnic wear, from online portals fearing a bad fit.
Indian women don’t easily fit into a standard size Small, Medium, Large and to add to it, even the “standard” sizes are not standardized across brands.
For a festive occasion, I was supposed to buy ethnic clothes for myself and I was dreading going to the overcrowded malls and scouring through mass produced clothes which would need alterations. Even finding a good tailor in my vicinity was a challenge. I wished there was a doorstep service where I could select designs, customize them to my preference and get them made to my measure.
And this is how the idea of StitchMyFit.com germinated!
What is your life mantra?
Never give a half-baked effort. Go all in or all out.
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
It took me some time to convince the first few boutiques to get onboarded on StitchMyFit’s platform. They had never heard of or done such a thing before.
How did you overcome those challenges?
I helped the boutiques click pictures of their designs and presented them on their behalf. When they realized that their reach was increasing manifold, without additional investment in marketing and customer acquisition, and has the potential to span across cities, they were convinced!
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
The venture is currently bootstrapped. The unit economics are profitable and we are getting good interest from investors.
How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?
We encourage people to take on creatively tough problems to keep them motivated. Our stylists love the uniqueness of their role.
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
Humility, common sense and perseverance
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
I use canva.com a lot for creatives that are required urgently. It is an amazing service with a lot of free design options.
Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.
Creating a To-Do list for the next day
Share any one habit which you wish to change in yourself.
The last tea of the day at midnight
Answer in less than 50 words
- One tip to success:
Listen to your customers.
- One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:
Getting arrogant at any point in life.
- One most important lesson that you have learnt till now:
Stay calm. You will get out of it alive.
What are your plans for next 3 years?
Currently we are focusing on getting our reach deeper into Mumbai. Word-of-mouth and BTL marketing are helping us with that. Then our focus will be to launch in Bangalore and Delhi NCR. Going forth, we would also like to foray into women’s western wear. We want to be the platform where every fashion designer is encouraged to showcase his/her talent without investing heavily in brick and mortar boutiques. We want to be the medium where women can enjoy the benefits of well fitting, designer clothes at the convenience of their home.
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
I would not change anything. I worked for a decade, most of it in early to mid stage tech startups and a couple of years in large corporates, before taking the plunge myself. Working in startups gives one deep insights into how a business is run and prepares your mental faculties for the same. My career so far has ranged from being the first employee of a startup to heading the tech team of 15 boys for a leading grocery ecommerce player. Each role has prepared me for my first entrepreneurial venture StitchMyFit.com!
What are your top three getaway destinations?
Goa, Kerala and Manali are my favourite destinations for respite.
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
“I don’t count my sit-ups. I only start counting when it starts hurting. When I feel pain, that’s when I start counting, because that’s when it really counts.” -Muhammad Ali