Women On Top
This Woman’s Startup Story Will Make You Want To Follow Your Heart
There’s an inspiring saying that goes, ‘Turn your passion into your career and you won’t have to work a day in your life!’ And that’s precisely what Nehal Raicha, founder of Kites Clothing Co. did. After pursuing her MBA in retail management along with her degree in fashion technology, Nehal embarked upon her dream of being an entrepreneur!
It was only when her son was born, that she stumbled upon a massive gap in the children’s clothing market, and she was aware that her knowledge could definitely fill it. That’s when Kites Clothing was born – an ethnic apparel brand for boys that was fun, and vibrant, AND totally mom-approved!
We caught up with Nehal, and found out about the challenges she faced as woman entrepreneur, and what kept her going on her eventful journey that is Kites Clothing.
1. Tell us a little more about your business.
I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur, especially since I come from a business family. It was my dream to start something of my own.
I had worked with a couple of brands like Anita Dongre and Killer Jeans. And that pushed me to get as much experience from each of the brands, as both had different business models.
Soon after, I decided to go on a sabbatical when my son was born. At that time, I started looking for ethnic wear for him, and I realised there was nothing available apart from Fab India. Although they had beautiful fabrics, I felt they lacked vibrancy.
That’s what sparked the idea for Kites Clothing. I began doing market research – on price, the demand in the market, whether the actual gap was, and it made me want to create a brand of clothes that was of mom-approved quality!
2. How long did it take to kick-start your project?
It took approximately 6 months of research, wherein I found that there were hardly any big retailers selling ethnic wear for children.
At first, I did come across a brand by Pantaloons that had really cute prints. But, when I went looking for them a while later, I couldn’t find any more. I visited a lot of exhibitions and trade fairs as well, and there were these local brands that did have ethnic wear, but the fabric was mostly synthetic and really heavy for children.
The figures also showed that the Kids category was growing rapidly, and there was a huge gap for the urbanised retailers, especially when it came to ethnic wear.
3. What has the journey been like?
It has been a rollercoaster ride! There were a lot of challenges and a lot of learnings at the same time. The two things that I believe got me here are hard work and perseverance.
Being a female entrepreneur also posed challenges. A lot of places were a little apprehensive, although they liked my product. Thankfully, over time that has changed.
4. How have customers responded to your brand?
One thing I really believe in is customer service, and I take care of it directly. Most of our customers come back with great reviews, and it’s thrilling to know that they’re loving the product. That’s what motivates me to work harder and give them something new.
5. What has been your inspiration on this journey?
One thing that really inspired me was the Pink Power contest at Inorbit Mall Malad, which was all about promoting women entrepreneurs. The winner got a retail space to sell their product in the mall for 9 months. I stumbled upon the first edition of the contest, and it really motivated me to do something. As luck would have it, I won the third edition of Pink Power.
For me, that was the turning point for my business, as it came even before one year of my brand. Though people buy a lot online, retail still does have a lot of potential! I now have a store in Inorbit Mall!
6. What’s the biggest piece of advice you’d like to share with our readers?
I believe in perseverance. Even if you have to do that same job five times, you shouldn’t give up on getting it done! That is, and always has been, my mantra for success.
7. Where do you see your brand in 5 years?
We would love to have our brand across India. The journey has already begun, as we are starting wholesale across various regions. We also really wish to get into a few known large format stores in the near future!
For more information, make sure to visit their Facebook page to know more!