This brand creates tailor-made items according to the personality of the customers

A gift voucher is a gift that will remain in the recipient’s memory for years to come. Personalizing the gift is the best way to make sure, and shop tailor-made Deraj is here to help.

Founded by Priyashmita, Sanjukta and Nazneen in November 2020, this brand is operating in both Bengaluru and Kolkata.

Since its launch it has caught the attention of many, including politicians Shashi Tharoor wearing a custom Uttoriyo for a political event with the symbol of his party inlaid on it.

“Coming from the firm belief that each individual is unique, we focus on Inasmuch asDeraj ShopInasmuch as is to work with each client’s individuality, their stories and dreams and convert them into wearable pieces. Exclusivity is intrinsic to Deraj. We believe that every person should wear things that are unique and that define their personality, ”say the founders as they join YS Weekender to discuss their brand.

The idea

The founders bring different skills on board. Priyashmita has an MBA in Marketing, Sanjukta is a housewife, and Nazneen worked in customer service, before they got together for Deraj.

The idea of ​​Deraj was born from a simple fact. “Even after spending thousands of rupees, one may not be able to find something exclusive to wear that matches your personality and style. Shouldn’t everyone have something of their own in their wardrobe? This is why Deraj was born, ”explains Priyashmita.

Handmade sari by Deraj

Starting with unique pieces, they moved on to creating unique pieces for a few saree designs and ten pieces for certain types of jewelry. This small-scale production allowed the buyer to receive something completely unique.

Although they started out with women’s clothing, they plan to switch to men’s clothing, children’s clothing, and home decor soon.

Over time, as their services were appreciated and their work grew, so did the team and their vision. Now composed of 27 members in the design, production and promotion sectors; Deraj focuses on technology to create unique shopping experiences for its customers, while seeking to extend and improve quality control.

“Deraj has mainly developed through word of mouth. We have not yet ventured into any advertising or social media campaigns. When Mr. Tharoor tailored our item and tweeted about it, it gave us a boost. Likewise, when Lizzie Chapman of Inasmuch asZestMoneyInasmuch as shared the scarf we made for their logo launch, other companies wanted us to create similar items, ”says Sanjukta.

What is on offer?

Deraj has no offline presence. Most inquiries come from their website and the team makes contact to gather requirements and specifications. The initial groundwork is done through a questionnaire that gives them an idea of ​​the customer’s personality and provides basic information like their favorite color, memory, flower, location, clothing and what makes them happy. Material and budget preferences are also taken into account.

“We start talking to them to find out more about them or who they are giving it to. All of this information helps us personalize the item. We once made a periwinkle saree because the client’s favorite activity was to sit on her balcony every morning and look at her periwinkle tree while sipping tea. We also created a Gateway of India saree in Mumbai, when we learned that it was our client’s mother’s favorite place to visit with her parents when she was a child. Unable to travel during lockdown, she was stranded in Kuwait, and we thought it would be a good idea to recreate these precious memories for her. Our popular Mughal art saree was for a customer who loved history, ”says Nazneen.

While a lot of work goes into customizing orders, corporate articles follow a simpler methodology and are often based on conversations and requests such as the inclusion of the logo.

The team says their most popular article so far is the Night jasmine embroidered sari. They say, “We think this piece really marked our arrival. It caught people’s attention because it was designed very differently from most sarees. Many embroidered designs follow a pattern, every detail of which looks the same. However, with Night Jasmine, we created a pattern of flowers as it exists in nature, scattered across the ground with each flower a different shape and size – some broken, some complete. It made her look like real flowers.

Every now and then they also release festive and seasonal collections and recently released once for the New Year and the winter season. Other festive collections included those for Diwali / Durga Pujo and Valentine’s Day. These are limited editions and consist mainly of unique pieces.

The brand also offers sarees, stoles, dupattas, tops, blouses, jewelry and jackets for men. The price starts at a reasonable price of Rs 499 for a pair of brass earrings and goes up to Rs 39,999 for painted and handcrafted sarees.

Growth in numbers

According to IMARC Group’s latest report on Indian Handicrafts Market 2021-2026, India Handicrafts and Textiles Market is expected to continue its robust growth during the forecast period. The report states that the expanding e-commerce industry is primarily the driving force behind India’s handicrafts and textiles market, and Deraj appears to have entered the arena at the right time.

Having started with an approximate investment of Rs 40 lakh, the brand has seen growth of around 20-25% in revenue per month since its launch.

“We have 89 percent repeat purchases and at least 12 percent of our customers have purchased from us more than eight times,” the founders share.

They say the most rewarding part of their retail journey has been their inclusion in people’s stories. Sharing examples, they say, “From capturing a husband’s undying love for his doctor wife, to fulfilling a doctor’s wish to give his mother a special sari after conquering Covid, to creating the a woman’s last wish for a sari with historical significance that she wanted to wear before she breathed for the last time; we have become a part of people’s lives. It was almost like we had become a family!

Shinjini Kumar from Mumbai appreciates Deraj’s personalized customizations that set her apart. Lizzie Chapman, CEO and Co-Founder of ZestMoney, says, “In a world moving towards mass production, there is nothing more special than a one-of-a-kind piece that I know has was created especially for me. I am delighted to order more – knowing that I will always have something unique and personal – these pieces will become true heirlooms.

The team believe it’s the rejection of mass production that sets them apart from their competitors like Nalli Silks, Ritu Kumar and Karigari over smaller brands.

Upon signing, the founders say, “Not being able to visit friends / family for an extended period of time due to the lockdown has likely led to some change in mindset for many people. They wanted to gift more personalized items to their close friends and family – maybe emotions mattered more than money, and that’s why we received so much love and traction.

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