Soon India will come up with a new national problem directed from the millennials. That will be “I have nothing to wear”. But the irony to this can be found in this statement “where do I keep my clothes, I have less space.” These days fashion has taken itself on an ineffable level. People are facing this problem and it has become like an epidemic. All of us have clothes in our wardrobe that don’t fit us but are too good to discard; hence they just lie in the closet. Once we have worn a dress or say a wedding outfit, we prefer not to repeat it. Thanks to the constant “click and post on social media” habit. We find ourselves almost everyday on a no-cloth to wear spree. Even after the wardrobe is flooded with clothes we end up in a frenzy situation. Imagine what good we can do to us and those sadly-odd one-ignored-clothes in our closet, when we find the right alteration pit stop solution for this. Refittings is one such top for all of us. They alter the clothes that fit us and the ones that don’t for as low as Rs. 99/garment. To get their service schedule a free pick-up of your garments through their website. A refit agent collects a dress that fits you and all the ones that need alterations from your door step. The refit experts work their magic on your dresses and ensure that you get the best fit in one go. Their refit agent once again visits you at a scheduled time to deliver the dresses and collect the payment. This startup idea came to the founder’s mind when she faced a challenge while searching for a tailor to alter her clothes. Yamika Mehra along with her co-founder Goutam Rath hinged upon this idea. Yamika is an avid reader and she juggles between two responsibilities, of a CEO and a mother. From finding the right tailor to creating assets in form of strong, lasting clientele relationships, Yamika along with the dynamic team has stood against all the odds. Let us walk into their entrepreneurial journey. And yes don’t forget to visit their website for your clothes alterations issues.
1.What is the Name of Your Venture? Any specific reason for this name?
Our venture is called Refittings.com. We chose this name as it resonates with the service that we offer i.e. on-demand clothing alteration services.
2.Who is your target Audience/clients?
We cater to both B2B and B2C. In B2C, our customers are people looking for alteration of their clothes which are too good to be thrown but can’t be worn without a refit or repair. In B2B, our customers are brand stores and boutiques where customer serviceability can be increased if alteration services are offered at the store.
3.Where is your venture based (city, state, country) & What are your geographical target areas?
We have started our venture from Kolkata and plan to expand it soon to other metros across India.
4.What problems does your venture resolve? What are your products or services?
All of us have clothes in our wardrobe that don’t fit us but are too good to discard, hence they just lie in the closet. Local tailors are always reluctant to do alteration jobs and most of the times quality becomes an issue, specially in the case of expensive garments. We offer on-demand clothing alteration services with doorstep pickup and delivery for both men and women.
5.Share the idea or story behind the venture. How did it came to an existence? What motivated you to start your own venture?
So not being able to find a good enough (and willing) tailor to alter my clothes was a problem when I shifted to Kolkata few years back. It occurred to me that this must be a problem for a lot of other people as well. This thought motivated me to startup. I launched a basic website to test the market and got a massive response. We never looked back. However, there is another side to our startup story. The challenges started pouring in once we started up. The biggest challenge was finding a tailor willing enough to do the alteration jobs for us. The solution to this challenge is today our greatest motivation. We have identified women tailor partners who stitch from home, are very willing and highly responsible about their work. We in turn bring in a ‘stable’ source of work (and income) for them creating a win-win situation.
6.Who are your biggest competitors and how do you differentiate yourself from them?
We experience very less competition as the services that we offer are niche. Its only a matter of making people aware that a service like this is available in the market. Additionally, we focus on customer experience and work towards professional quality services.
7.How did you identify your co-founder? Tell us some thing about your co-founder/s
It is so important to have the right co-founder (who is as passionate about the business as you are). It was good karma that brought me into contact with my co-founder, Goutam. I contacted him for helping a friend (with his startup) and one thing led to another and we realised there’s a lot of synergy in our thoughts and we got together to grow this venture.
8.How did you hired your first team members? What skills Do you want in your employees/team?
Hiring the right talent, specially early on, is very important. Our first hire was for our customer engagement profile and it was super challenging as we had to find a girl who was willing to travel across the city for us and had the personality to engage with our customers coz at the end of the day our biggest asset is the deep engagement with the customer that we are creating.
9.What expansion plans are you looking for the next 2 years, next 5 years?
In the next 2 years , we aim to expand to all the major metros and in the next 5 years we plan to expand outside India.
10.Where do you want to see yourself in next 10 years?
Our aim to become a one stop shop for all the customers clothing alteration needs and we want to stand true to our mantra – Think Alterations. Think Refittings.
11.What are your goals over the next 1, 3, 6 and 12 months?
We want to grow slowly and steadily. Scale one city at a time and capture the niche marlet that we are operating in.
12.Have you raised any funding? Or have any plans for the funding?
We are bootstrapped till now. We aim to grow this way to some more time before we begin seeking external funding.
13.What were the problems you faced during the starting days and how did you resolve them?
The problems were regarding finding the right tailor partner who would willingly do a professional job. We mitigated this problem by tying up with women tailor partners.
14.What was the most challenging part of your journey till now? How did you overcome those challenges?
The most challenging part of our journey so far has been the growth beyond pilot phase. We have overcome this by putting in focused efforts to expand the customer base.
15.Are you married, single or in a relationship?
I am a mother to a two year old.
16.What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?
I love reading but with my super busy work schedules, I hardly get time for the same currently.
17.Whats your favorite food & holiday destination?
Favorite food is keema matar. I am an explorer and love to travel across the world.
18.Whom do you consider your idol or biggest motivator?
Shraddha Sharma of YourStory and Sheryl Sandburg of Facebook
19.What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
Entrepreneurs are thinkers, believers, doers and creators.
20.If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
Absolutely nothing. Each step has been a learning experience over the last 10 years and is instrumental in shaping “me’.
21.How has being an entrepreneur affected your family & Social life?
It is impossible to succeed as an entrepreneur without the unconditional support of your family. This journey has strengthened the bond between me and my family who all are my co-founders in this journey.
22.Anything, you would like to say to our readers or upcoming entrepreneurs?
Believe in your ideas and be fearless to create.
23.Tell us something about your education & family background.
I am a B.Tech Computer Science and was born and brought up in Allahabad. The small town upbringing keeps me grounded.
24.What is your USP which makes it unique & different from other start-ups in similar domains.
We offer a unique service to a niche audience. We are doing something that no one else is. Plus we are solving a ‘real’ problem.
25. What do you think is the biggest threat to the success of small businesses & Start-ups today?
The non-initiative by individuals. We need leaders who initiate and a society and family that supports them. We can create grand successes with these things in place.
26. Do you consider yourself successful and by what means do you measure success?
To be happy in whatever you do is what I consider as being the measure of success. My family and my work gives me the feeling of success.
27.Please share complete name, address, phone number, email id & website of Your Business & Contact Person