Gifting women comfort at work
Pooja Mahesh, March 18, 2017, DHNS 0:08 IST
Many women have the trouble finding work wear that fits them well, particularly Western formals. It was this thought that fuelled Ayushi Gudwani’s entrepreneurial dream. After seven years with a leading financial company, the former consultant’s urge to fashion a new path became strong. “I stepped out of my comfort zone at the right time and it allowed me to figure out what I wanted to do next,” says Ayushi.
And thus she set out on the exciting journey of building something from scratch. Although the competition has been cut-throat, Ayushi has managed to carve herself a niche in the industry.
Comfort for women
Though skirts and pant suits are generally more comfortable, the inability to customise the clothing to fit leaves many women apprehensive about trying them.
Ayushi faced this problem herself. “There was no good brand that offered what I needed – comfort, quality, style and fit,” she says. “Every time I travelled to a foreign country, I went shopping and picked up suits, pants and shirts. Textiles abroad were of a much better quality than what I found at home,” she recalls. “This made me wonder why a country with a tremendously increasing number of working women doesn’t have a decent source of comfortable clothing.”
And thus, she started FableStreet to cater to the apparel needs of professional women. Ayushi figured out her first steps through extensive research, which she says is the key to building a successful business in any sector. Through her brand, she hopes to make women feel confident and beautiful, no matter what their shape may be.
Taking smart steps
While the two-and-a-half-year journey so far has been far from easy, Ayushi admits that she has learned a lot. “It is important to invest time to build a good brand, have a clear vision to live up to, be street smart to work around difficulties and get your hands dirty,” she says. “With this understanding, I was able to guide my team to deliver the products we are looking for.”
However, this would not have been possible if she had not asked herself two key questions before plunging into FableStreet: “First, I thought about it from a business perspective. Did my plan make sense? Could I really build a business out of this concept? Secondly, I asked myself ‘What is your real passion? Why are you really doing this?’” Ayushi recalls.
This introspection gave her immense confidence, something that was evident during our short telephonic interaction. Ayushi knows where she wants to go and is keen to expand her business in the future.
By taking calculated risks and putting much of her financial training to good use, she has built a brand that addresses an ever-growing demand within a short span of time. What’s more, all this effort has paid off as she has received many positive comments from her customers. Many women have in fact written to her personally about how such an initiative was much needed.
A winning wardrobe
However, as the concept of work wear is constantly evolving, Ayushi says, elaborating on what goes into making the perfect wardrobe. “It is important to have a good selection of work wear as these will build your image, your network and your success story. Therefore, it is necessary to have a mix of quality basic, edgy and classic work clothes that suit you well,” she advices.
However, you will need to shop according to the corporate environment you work in. This will take time and cannot be rushed, she adds. This is why she emphasises on buying quality and durable outfits.
So, what are some of the must-haves? “A variety of white shirts, a pair of black, grey and navy trousers, and a few edgy pieces,” she states.
Much of what she has been able to achieve today, she says, is thanks to her experience in consulting. Without it, the company would perhaps not be as great it is. A learning that has flowed into her current business is having the best of the best.
“While we are a small company. Our goal is to provide the best in terms of product quality, service and everything else to the customer,” says Ayushi. “I have to figure out how to make the best use of the funds at my disposal and ensure optimum quality. At this stage of the business, there is no room for compromise.”
In fact, this isn’t the only transferable skill that she has taken with her: having a clear vision; maintaining an organisation that is honest, transparent and has values; and good mentoring skills are a few more.
In a matter of two years, Ayushi has able to take her company to great heights, create a strong customer base and also spread awareness about the need for comfortable work wear.