When it comes to clothing, there is no such thing as one-size-fits all. Consequently, people who don’t fall in the standard size categories have a hard time finding the clothes that look good on them. Ankita Mantri Lahoty and Srishti Nadhani, two fashion conscious girls from Mumbai & Kolkata, had this notion bothering them for a long time, which ultimately result into a very constructive outcome – a startup called StoreUntold.
StoreUntold is a one of its kind online store that offers a complete fashion solution to women who don’t fall in the typical size 8 category. With StoreUntold, Ankita & Srishti want to create an online fashion space that enables women to make no compromise when choosing the outfit that suits them well.
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.
StoreUntold is an e-store for fashion progressive women, selling products from lesser-known, eclectic fashion labels curated from across India. Our idea is to offer people a handpicked set of products that are well-styled and handcrafted in order to preserve the unique identity of each product. Every piece is an original design, and hence, most products are limited edition items, which cannot be replicated. The materials used are either natural or artisan.
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
We were quite frustrated with the ‘conformist’ fashion products and styles available in the market. StoreUntold is our attempt to put together highly styled looks for sale for the individualistic woman out there.
We both are not the ‘ideal’ size 8 and have tried to break that stereotype by styling all the products on themselves to give people a better idea of how a product would look on them.
Ankita is a size 6 while Srishti fluctuates between a size 12-14. Both of us are unstoppable (and create no boundaries) when it comes to experimenting with fashion.
We believe in NOT drowning into a pool of gazillion products, hence we come up with Thematic Collections at intervals with a limited number of products and pieces in each. We have launched two Thematic Curated Collections till now. The latest collection is called #WearYourEmotion and our first collection was called Penniless Fashion Extremists.
What is your life mantra?
Never conform to a theory, you have your own story to tell so use fashion to say it loud.
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
We operate from two different cities, that would sometime affect decision making speed.
Lack of funds for marketing was another challenge. We are a completely bootstrapped company and hence we have financial constraints. Even though we know and have been told that the exercise we undertook had a lot more potential if marked well, we unfortunately operated with very small marketing budgets and that affected our visibility and reach.
How did you overcome those challenges?
We now operate with different areas of responsibility and hence take decisions quicker without having to wait for each other’s approvals.
For marketing, we work closely with a consultancy firm that is working closely with us on financial terms agreeable to both and is helping us take our project forward.
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
We are a completely boot strapped venture.
How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?
Learning a new skill. It gives a good break and stimulates your brain to bounce back.
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
- Celebrating failure
- Quickly pivoting
- Taking your creative break periodically
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
We use lots of whatsapp, gmail office tools, and photoshop.
Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.
Clearly defined roles and operations.
Share any one habit which you wish to change in yourself.
Being more aggressive would help.
Answer in less than 50 words
One tip to success:
Listen and learn all the times.
One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:
Not allowing yourself to go beyond your comfort zone. Real success lies only beyond your comfortable boundaries.
One most important lesson that you have learnt till now:
No time put in your work is wasted, it’s invested. Key is to use that new learning to your advantage.
What are your plans for next 3 years?
Make more sales and create a good brand name.
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
What are your top three getaway destinations?
Rajasthan – as it is culturally stimulating.
North East – as it allows you to slow down.
Goa – for the amazing people you come across all the time.
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
‘’If you find yourself constantly trying to prove your worth to someone, you have already forgotten your value.’’