Starting up something of my own was always a part of my plan at a very young age. I got it from my mother who is super entrepreneurial and taught me to do what I love. As a child I was very lucky that my parents let me explore my options and did not just straight up ask me to join the family business.
The conception of Arabellaa started about 3 years ago when I left for London to pursue a master’s degree in Buying & Merchandising in Fashion from London College of fashion. While I was there I began researching on the markets I could tap into, where I could manufacture from and the works!
Side by side I was also learning a very important part of starting up a business in fashion that is merchandising effectively and being a strategic buyer. I got the opportunity to visit head offices of brands like Debenhams in London to understand their workflow. The degree I pursued helped me in a brilliant manner, which allowed me to apply everything I learnt practically.
Once I got back from London it was time to have the big talk with my parents, to explain them what I have in mind and how I want to take things forward. My parents were as excited as I am which I am extremely grateful for!
Soon I started travelling to various cities In India and abroad to meet manufacturers, the first city I visited was Jaipur to meet Mr. Ashish Goyal from Goyal Fashions. I was so blessed to have met him honestly; he plays a big role on how things turned out. Goyal Fashions is a mega manufacturer in the market today, they work with brands like H&M, Topshop, River Island you name it! Mr. Ashish is one of the nicest people you could meet, he patiently understood what I wanted to do, and treated me like a daughter and explained how I could take things forward. He saw how passionate I was about Arabellaa and showed faith in what I wanted to do. Although he wasn’t able to manufacture for me because A. I was a start up and my quantity requirements weren’t as high to match his machinery and B. the materials I was looking at weren’t widely available in India. He put me through some of his contacts for help, which is how things stirred ahead.
It took me months to figure out where I could manufacture from, but finally I went ahead and took a chance and my first production started in June 2015.
Now while the first collection was in production, from June 2015 to February 2016 I was basically going all around Mumbai finding an ideal spot for the Arabellaa store. This process was quite frustrating to be honest; getting a good property with an ideal location is quite a task in Mumbai. After visiting countless stores, I locked down Phoenix Marketcity because I thought a mall like this one is easily accessible and is just perfect for Arabellaa.
You all must be wondering why dint I just open an online store before taking the plunge and opening up a physical store, I did look at both these options and in fact I did think of opening up an online store first but after I did my research I understood how 80% of women prefer trying on clothes before actually buying them. An online store is of course a part of the plan too, and we are hoping to launch the online store very soon.
The month we launched was one of the craziest months of my life, its unreal how many things need to be taken into account to open up a store. I decided to launch the brand with a bang by having a fashion show at the party with a live performance by “Spud In The Box”. I wanted the show to be very Arabellaa and fun, which is exactly what it was. And the fact that Athiya walked the ramp for Arabellaa was just perfect as she completely represents the brand i.e. young, fun and trendy.
(Click to watch the show)
We are already a few months old and the love I’ve been receiving by you guys is just unreal. This is just the beginning for us but I am so grateful for how things have turned out.
Right now is where I would like thank some people, without whom Arabellaa wouldn’t turn out the way I wanted it to, Mr. Ashish Goyal & Mr. Sameer Bhoota for being my mentors before I started up, Roladex Interiors for creating the store of my dreams, Lubna Adams for putting together the most amazing first show I could’ve asked for and of course YOU guys for being so supportive about everything and accepting Arabellaa from day 1. THANK YOU!
Now that you know the story, I just want to quickly answer questions that I’ve been getting:
- What about blogging? Are you going to quit blogging?
- Never! I never started blogging with the idea of making a career out of it; I love fashion and expressing my thoughts, which doesn’t have to stop ever.
- What does Arabellaa mean and how did you come up with the name?
- Arabellaa means beautiful. I simply wanted a pretty word that defines the brand.
- Why aren’t you online yet!
- We will be online very soon, promise!
- How often do you get new stuff to the store?
- We have new things coming in every week!
- Are you still hiring?
- Yes we are! Shoot your resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org
(Fresher’s are welcome to apply)
Tips to starts a business:
Honestly its too soon for me to be giving out tips on starting a business but I would like to share a few do’s and don’t’s from my experience so far.
- Think! Think! And Think!
- When you have a brilliant idea in mind, all the negatives about the idea are blurred because you want the idea to work out for you.
- Any business needs time to flourish, give it a lot of love and time especially at its initial stages. With a ton of hard work and effort. You will see results soon in enough.
- It’s the only way you will know what mistakes to avoid
- Lastly, have fun while you’re at it
- You’re in for the long run so its best if you actually love what you do and always have fun doing what you do.
Glimpses from the launch & fashion show
Behind the scenes
Lots of love.