Ritika and Shruti, the duo behind address chic, met in a Jain temple and their mutual interest in vegan food and fashion connected them. Although Shruti belongs to finance and Ritika belongs to IT and Marketing, but their passion connected them and gave way for starting Address Chic.
When Ritika and Shruti were looking for a quality vegan magazine that could compare to its non-vegan counterparts, the absence of such a magazine led the duo to start Address Chic. The magazine and fashion store brings an incomparable expertise in vegetarian fashion with an approach to make vegetarian fashion approachable and style attainable while maintaining the standards of quality.
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.
Address Chic is a premier vegan online magazine and online store that makes ethical lifestyle covetable through its curated stories and products. We have readers who are not vegans or vegetarians, but love our stories because of the quality and unbiased content. What makes us different is every product we talk about, recommend or sell has passed through a stringent quality check where our team of experts have tested the product, understood the manufacturing process and in most cases interacted with brand owners to see if the product meets the quality and vision that Address Chic looks out for. We don’t sell a story, we give honest, unbiased opinion.
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
We were inspired by the simple fact that we couldn’t find a quality vegan magazine or online store that could compare the their non-vegan counterparts. Somehow the talk about veganism limited to only food, but food is just one part of compassionate lifestyle. Moreover most ethical lifestyle publications were not stylish enough – just because you are vegan doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on style or luxury. We wanted to change that and hence we launched Address Chic – where style and ethics are not oxymoron!
What is your life mantra?
“What your mind can conceive and believe, you can achieve. ” Napoléon Hill
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
Shruti: The most challenging part was taking the conscious decision to finally take the plunge and follow my dream. As for after the plunge, definitely working in a new field – from finance to fashion and e-commerce – does throw challenges at every step but that’s the beauty of being an entrepreneur. As a start-up we have to learn everything from scratch and explore new areas that we have never experienced before. This is the most exciting and challenging part of running a business that motivates me to put in that extra effort every single day. I’d be bored if it were any different!
Ritika: The biggest challenge I think is targeting to the Europe and US audience, sitting in India and Dubai. Understand the customers and system of those markets is challenging, but that’s what I like the most. But we travel extensively to meet designers, vegan influencers and to attend trade shows to understand our target market.
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
We are currently self-funded and are first gearing up for the next level of growth before we think about getting investments from outside. When we do, more than investments we would look for a partner who can help us change the face of ethical fashion and beauty with Address Chic.
How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?
IT is infamous for it’s attrition rate and while it may not be possible to change this scenario completely, especially if you are a start-up, but taking small but effective measures can make a difference. Creating a workplace that encourages creativity, recognizing employees’ efforts and success, offering them the opportunity to think out of the box, offering competitive compensation and benefits and most importantly hiring people that share the same vision, ethics and passion does help to keep the talent!
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
Shruti: Perseverance, Integrity & Passion
Ritika: Commitment, Dedication and optimism
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
We rely a lot on social media for promoting our brand and tools like Hootsuite that allows you to post and schedule on multiple social media channel via one platform is really a blessing! Google Alerts is another of our favorites; and of course we absolutely love Slack for communicating with the team smoothly. Did we mention TED talks? Its an invaluable resource for new ideas, meet passionate people for that extra kick and of course be inspired from the change people are bringing in this world in all spheres of life.
Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.
Shruti: “Have a planner and listing all the tasks for the day, a video call with Ritika where we discuss the goals for the day and run through the numbers and see how far or close we are to our goals and what’s the next course of action”.
Ritika: “Planning the day in advance and being focused on one thing.”
Share any one habit which you wish to change in yourself.
Shruti: “I really want to start waking up early.”
Ritika: “I’ve been told I’m married to my computer and phone. It’s a kind of addiction and although I love my work I do need to spend more time without these two”
Answer in less than 50 words
Never give up -‘there are no failures only learnings’. It’s human to make mistakes, but we need to get up everyday and work with the same passion which led to the start of this journey. We both believe success is not measured by money or valuations but by the difference you made in this world.
- One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:
‘Sticking to the wrong decision and not accepting that you have gone wrong.’ There would be times when you have to be realistic and not emotional or egoistic and realise you’re pushing into a brick wall you’re never going to break through.
- One most important lesson that you have learnt till now:
Shruti: You may be brimming with ideas and these constant flow of new ideas may make you lose sleep, but you can’t do everything and especially not all at once. So plan your short term, medium term and long term goals and work towards achieving them step-by-step. But also don’t ignore the ideas, as they can be the next catalyst of your growth. Note them down, discuss them with your key team and adopt the ones that can help or improvise your current journey.
Ritika: You don’t have to be perfect at everything, sometimes getting things done is more important than perfection.
What are your plans for next 3 years?
In next three years we want to be the best vegan online fashion and beauty store, introduce a line of stylish and chic clothing and accessories line and be the most widely read “ethical magazine” in the world!
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
Shruti Jain: I believe however things spanned in life it happened for a reason, and learning from them and living in present while preparing for the future should be the focus rather than looking back and thinking what I could have done differently, because it won’t happen.
Ritika Jain: I am loving what I am doing and there’s nothing I would change.
What are your top three getaway destinations?
Shruti: Scandinavia in winters for the Northern lights, Petra and Bahamas
Ritika: I want to go on a world tour and discover vegan places everywhere!
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
Shruti: ‘Be the change that you wish to see in the world.’ (Mahatma Gandhi)
Ritika: “There is no luck in business. There is only drive, determination, and more drive.”