Fashion Blogger to Fashion Store Entrepreneur – Aanam Chashmawala of WhatWhenWear.in
A quote by the great inventor Thomas Edison struck us when we came to know the story of the cheerfully jovial – Miss Aanam Chashmawala.
“Success comes to those, who HUSTLE while they wait.”
A fashion blogger and the brain behind WhatWhenWear.in, Aanam put in a good two and a half years of hard work into her fashion blog. She made sure that when she launched her online store, there was already a demand not only for her products but also her styling advice.
And that is what set her store apart in the crowd of fashion stores catering to the in-vogue Indian consumer, hungry for a trendy concoction of Western and Indian fashion. We had a conversation with Aanam recently, to know more about her Fashion Store WhatWhenWear.in.
Before we begin, can you tell us a bit more about your brand, WHATWHENWEAR? How did you conceptualize the brand?
I have been wanting to start my online store for almost a couple of years. But I waited, so that I could build a client base first. I wanted to make use of the fact that I was a fashion blogger and that is why I waited for a while. I basically wanted to make fashionable shopping reachable for my readers and my buyers. So this was the thought behind the brand and when I felt I was ready to take the plunge – I went for it !
“All along I have been genuinely talking about what I am passionate about.”
About the product categories you are currently dealing with?
We sell everything from clothes, accessories, jewelry. Everything apart from shoes.
What prompted you to take the e-commerce way? How have you ensured that your store stands out of the crowd ?
I have always been active online. I am a Blogger. I also freelance for various digital agencies and platforms. All my readers and customers also come from the Internet savvy generation who are very active digitally. So it came as a natural decision to take my business online instead of retail. E-commerce was the only way to ensure that I could provide my services to all my clients across the country. E-commerce was the first and the only option.
Did you capitalize on the blog following you already had? Did you reach out to your followers when you launched your store?
Yes! absolutely. Like I said, the reason I waited for almost 2 years before I launched my store is because I wanted to wait till I was ready and my readers were ready. I always wanted to make use of the fact that my credibility is out there and I must build on it.
So the differentiating factor of your store right when it launched was that it was being run by Aanam herself. Right?
Definitely, the moment you have a face attached to a brand there is immediate connectivity. I have always been one of the bloggers who has been listening and replying to my readers within a few hours most of the time.
Your store’s USP is “everything within $100” which is essentially something around Rs 6500. Do you have a lot of sales coming from overseas? How do you see the demand of Indian fashion abroad?
The fact is that majority of my products are within the Rs 5500 mark. The reason behind the $100 proposition is that I feel a lot of Indian consumers and my target audience frequently shop online and have started to buy internationally. People also go and shop abroad and that is where we come in and offer the same international brands at reasonable costs.
Online marketing Channels- You have more than 30K fans! How did you achieve this? What was the strategy?
Honestly, I just stayed true to my content over the years. I am about to complete 3-years of digital presence, this December. The success is because of the content and frequency of my posts. All along I have been genuinely talking about what I am passionate about. I understand, know and connect with the kind of consumers I am catering to. This really helped.
I try to mix and match my content. I do videos, celebrity style, outfit posts and also brand collaborations. The variety has helped me.
Image marketing – Your Pinterest and Instagram channels are equally vibrant. You got any suggestions for entrepreneurs wanting to improve their presence in these platforms?
One needs to understand the difference between generic posting on Facebook and something like Instagram, which is a much more engaging platform. You need to carefully decide upon where you want to engage with your customers. Everything else will follow suit!
Your collection is pretty unique. What goes through your mind when you are curating your store? Like what to include , keeping your customer in mind. Who is a typical customer for you?
Well, I like to cater to anybody who wants to be more stylish. My store is highly western influenced. At the same time I am pretty much aware that I am catering to an Indian consumer so many of my products are India themed. So I like to keep a balance.
You did mention that you are solely selling online. Any other channels you’re looking at?
I can definitely look at the opportunities if something interesting comes up.
How has the Zepo support been?
It is really good. I also wrote a testimonial stating my views, because I feel its a very good platform for a lot of young startups. Because its not just about the helpful team, but I also find it very pocket friendly. It definitely helped me setup my business.
Any particular customer feedback you would like to share? Something which made you feel awesome about your brand and your work ?
Yeah! I had two customers who were friends. One from Ghaziabad and another from Patna. I didn’t know for a long time that they were best of friends and they were sending gifts to each other through my website. There was this one time when one of them called up for some sizing issues and she told me that you know that you’re the only online store that we can call anytime and we know that you would respond and help!
There have been times when she called for help and I have even told her that this isn’t the right fit, since I have your details from the last purchases! And my customer loved the honest feedback! So, I have always ensured that its not just about the sales but also about my customer getting the best of the budget and requirements. This incident really moved me and I felt that I am on the right track and my hard work is going towards the right direction.
Would you like to share some challenges you dealt with while opening up the online store, or any suggestions for entrepreneurs looking to sell online?
Getting the word out about my store was the most challenging part. I wanted a lot of people to land up on the website and check out the look and feel.
I used Facebook ads for this. It was particularly difficult to make the customers understand that a lot of brands that I was selling, already have their online stores.However, I on the other hand showed people how to style them. This specialty of my store, helped me create a niche.
You can check out Aanam’s vibrant online store at Whatwhenwear.in! Thank you Aanam, for sharing the truly impressive vision of your brand.
Zepo wishes the best for WhatWhenWear !
Are you a patient hustler too? Well, then you have all the right qualities to be an entrepreneur! Its time to harness your potential and start you own business. Try Zepo and start your own online store in the next 5 mins.