If you now your Narayanpet from your Maheshwari, the Gadwal from the Coimbatore and the Kanjeevaram from Paithani, you will very well be on your way to starting your own saree business- and why not, considering that the new wave in India is to be promote Indian products and support weavers through the Make In India Project of the government. But, hyperbole is one aspect, and reality, quite another. While your love for sarees maybe restricted to making an unmatched wardrobe for a trousseau or to gift your wife the best in sarees, it’s a different kettle of fish or should one say- a different loom of thread, to begin a business that involves sarees. A great deal of investment in terms of research and monetary stability will be needed to delve into it seriously.
Middle class India is growing and as is their purchasing power and in most cases be it in small or large towns their preference strongly remains the traditional attire. While there are a large numbers who prefer the salwar kameez, a huge majority continue making saree as their special occasion wear and their gifting option. Considering this, getting ones teeth into the saree business truly is a great idea for anyone who wants to have a sustainable business.
However as with any other business, there is a great deal to know about the market:
The first step of course is to get to know the market and have an online presence in which you introduce yourself. The online presence will also drive traffic, help you launch new lines and of course get you onto sales subsequently. Keeping sarees for all season and all price ranges will attract more people to your shop. It is always to target the shopper and create a customer base by introducing yourself as somebody seriously into understanding the art of saree making.
This brings us to the next factor-while it is fine to procure your sarees from all over the country and there are weavers who readily supply you products, your knowledge on the material is critical-if a customer asks you the difference between Dharmavaram and and Pochampally or Sambhalpuri-you should not draw a blank. How can the client trust you to sell them good stuff if you yourself are unaware of the genuine nature of your sarees? Apart from this all important factr here are some more vital aspects of your store which you will have to seriously work towards-the display!
Here, in this showroom see the ambient lighting, the easy accessibility and showcases that have neat stacks of sarees that can be seen with ease by the customer.
Always have a display at the window of the shop-this part of the shop that makes up the façade, and is critical in showcasing some of your most wearable sarees and that can keep changing as per the season, the festival or the color of the month.
Using mannequins too is an option and there are professional mannequin dressers who come and create your unique displays each day. Celebrate each day as particular display day and they will do up the look accordingly.
Always keep a mix of sarees on display-from traditional to the most modern-so that initially you can attract a larger range of clientele.
Saree shops can do well to always allow enough numbers of low counters. In fact instead of counters that are laminated it is advised that counters are low and the customer does not still have to bend too much from her chair to see the saree well. At the same time the cloth gaddi or mattressing that the seller sits on must be clean.
Do remember to put up though your shop display not just the price ranges but also the style of saree, the weave-like Sambhalpuri should be different from Pochampally and Narayanpet to be different from Venkatgiri. Little banners with the essentials of the look of the saree could be placed-little bits of trivia and things like that.
Showroom design must be such that if you do not have mannequins at least have rails on which sarees are hung neatly with the pallu in front so as to display not just the fall of the saree fabric but also its soul-the pallu.
You can see the manner in which the sarees are made so accessible to all customers. In the picture below you can see the displays on rails and the gorgeous usage of wooden display shelves, focus lights and a very ethnic setting.
A showroom for your sarees can be a great magnet to attract all saree enthusiasts, which would translate into great business for you. And this will happen if the setting is right to make even the most ordinary saree look fabulous!
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