Famous quotes are often repeated and recounted in relation to specific cases. You must have heard of the evergreen quote that “behind every successful man is a woman, behind her is his wife”. But it seldom happens that the general public quotes it vice-versa. This is the success story of that woman, who expresses her gratitude for her success to her man, her husband! We bring to you the story of a famous and magnificently successful Indian clothing brand Fashion Floor India (FFI), the woman behind it and the people behind her and with her for the same.
Mrs. Shweta Patel completed her under graduation in electronics & communication and has a work experience of 6-7 years as an I.T. engineer. She has worked on various projects based in Netherland, U.S.A., U.K., Norway and many more related to I.T. field. All this exposure and experience was at the end rendering her a good earning. Gradually she had the blessing of becoming a mother and gave birth to the apple of her eyes. But just as in case of every working mother, it became difficult for Mrs. Patel to establish a harmony and balance between her high demanding work profile (escalation & priority checks) and taking care of her kid. Eventually, her company granted her the permission to continue her work from home but even that was seeming like an unfeasible possibility. As a result, she resigned. After having worked for straight 6-7 years actively, this change in the environment of staying at home was entirely new for her.
Most of her time at home, she used to look after her kid and still used to have sufficient time in her hand. Progressively, she started paper quilting. Mrs. Shweta used to make frames, gift cards, invites and was indeed good at it. She used to get praises from people on her choice of color scheme and designs too. But in due course, she had to give up that art too as her baby used to hamper her pieces while growing up just like any other growing kid.
When a woman experiences the jubilation of motherhood, everything else takes a backseat. From a career-oriented woman, one makes a drastic switch to being the woman of the house and this role in itself comes with innumerable roles and responsibilities. And what ever free time you have left in your hand, social media serves as an escape. Shweta used to see numerous people posting on Facebook in order to sell products like kurtis, sarees or something in electronics. This gave her an idea of starting a business at home which would generate considerate amount of side income. Shweta approached those people who used to post on Facebook and got in touch with some manufacturers. These manufacturers were the one who used to monitor the distribution process and supply chain via WhatsApp groups. The players of this supply chain were no retailers but resellers, who were college students, mothers, housewives etc.; just like Shweta who wanted to work for some amount of extra income. So, she became a reseller and started selling. Successively, she came in contact with further more manufacturers and even importers dealing in western and Indian clothing. But a major problem that she used to faced while being a reseller was that the manufacturers used to dispatch the product directly to the customer and customers used to complain about poor quality, duplication and falsification of the product delivered.
One can say that Shweta was never a business minded person but she did fall into the category of avant-garde. Seeing the problems that majority of the resellers were going through and keeping in mind all the loop holes, she started to buy fabrics and curating designs for the same. The quantity of the fabric procurement was never in bulk but in small figures of 5m to 10m. Shweta knew a home-based tailor or in India as people call a cutting master who had a family devoted to this work but had comparatively less work in hand. She used to give them the designs and fabrics and used to pay them accordingly. They started getting orders and were dealing directly with the resellers and not the retailers, just like a manufacturer. They were providing the resellers with good quality products, no duplication, no falsification and less margins and thus started getting good number of orders.
Initially, they had no brand name. Stitching, ironing and packaging of all the products to be dispatched was done by Shweta only. Due to their pristine ethical work process, the number of orders were increasing day by day and her husband used to help her with all the back-end processes after his work time. The orders were increasing at such a rate that Mrs. Patel was unable to manage it all by herself. She rented a small office, hired two freshers and trained them for delivering customer support services. The orders increased so much so that it became difficult for even the cutting master team to produce the required quantity in a day. They decided to set up a small factory for the production purpose with 8-10 sewing machines and with a greater number of tailors, karigars and masters. All this while, it was her husband who guided her and helped her to manage the entire business process and finally open up a small factory. With a new beginning, they started working with all determination and same ethics. Their orders increased exceptionally and they were processing a minimum of 500 orders per day!
Earlier they used to ask someone they know to pose for them in their design and shoot with a mobile camera. With this big scale production, they started initiating professional photoshoots and professional product presentation. They developed their own website, accessed retail market through the website and took to Instagram and Facebook marketing. Mrs. Patel says that her I.T. background has helped her a lot in online branding, brand development, website development, digital marketing and business collaborations. After all, the things which are learned in the entire course of time never goes in vain.
They have worked in collaboration with 500 plus brands (Indian, foreign, resellers, multi designer studios) and 100 plus influencers and celebrities. Shweta and her team have worked with Tamil celebrity actress Shivani Narayanan, Indian television actress Sonal Vengurlekar and Fenil Umrigar, Bengali actress and producer Ritabhari Chakraborty, big time influencers like Sowbhagya Venkitesh, Nikita Sharma, Ruma Sharmaa, Devika Madhavan Anbu, Nupur Munot and many more.
Mrs. Shweta Patel is a firm follower of the concept of “Make In India”. All the fabric that they use are handloom made and that through natural Indian methods of kalamkari, block printing, ikkat, khadi etc. All the products are produced in India from scratch by the people of India.
Without even a penny of investment, Shweta started from zero. She started from producing one piece out of a bare minimum of 5m fabric and now its her team which is dispatching 500 plus orders per day. She is thankful to her entire team for making this possible, her husband for standing strong behind and beside her for her success and her family for their endless support.
They are planning for the launch of a mobile application of their brand for resellers and also for providing 24*7 customer support. At present the manual customer service working hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. which clashes with worldwide time zone as they have a good number of foreign resellers as well. Further supporting the “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” campaign started recently by the government of India, they are planning to provide support and work to home based workers, more college students and women who can make themselves independent.
One should never underestimate the strength of restrictions imposed by the act of motherhood. Being a mother rather doubles up your strength as it’s not just you but the strength of your child with you too. You don’t need to have a full proof idea of the concept but just your realization that you can make yourself bloom under that concept. The moment you have an idea, know that today or tomorrow you can do it. Only if you can do it, then only you think about it. No idea will ever go in vain when that idea is watered with your determination and sheer will. Mrs. Shweta Patel proves that there’s no time, age or profession perfect for you to rule over a particular idea but your belief in yourself that this will happen.
Only when you start dreaming, then only you can look above for reaching out to the sky. And as everyone knows, for the sky, there’s no limit. You just need to take a launch and after that, there is no turning back!
- Team Satyavachan