India is home to several ancient art forms that mark their genesis several hundred years ago. Our culture is represented masterfully by the unique, glorious art forms that are littered across our nation’s landscape. Sadly, a lot of them are being forgotten with time as artists move on to greener pastures in life. One such case is that of Tribal art forms in India. Their craft has failed to find deserving commercial success due to a variety of reasons.
Loveleather is all set to change the past. They are employing tanneries from across India to create authentic, handcrafted Eco-friendly leather goods that contain the unique, exquisite artwork of tribals from the West Bengal area.
We had a chat with founder Abhimanyu Choudhary to find out more about Loveleather’s story.
- Give me a brief Introduction about your business idea and what makes it special?
At Love leather, We sell eco-friendly leather products to consumers with art designs from various tribal groups at an affordable cost. Consumers, (especially those who have a strong inclination towards Indian culture) love these products. We try to infuse quirky, funky elements in our products to suit the likes of the younger generation and reviving the art at the same time. All our products are handcrafted and hand painted with sustainable and natural materials like jute, bamboo, and canvas.
- Tell us about your products?
- What would you define as your business motto?
Loveleather was formed with two ideologies
- The 1st one was to revive traditional art forms and providing better employment opportunities as well as reduce migration of conventionally skilled artisans.
- The second was to provide eco-friendly leather products that are 100% genuine, manufactured with unparalleled dedication to authenticity and environmental sustainability.
We aim at creating a platform that provides a channel for artisans to showcase their skills to the global market.
- Tell us something about yourself?
I am a Photographer by profession with a strong interest in Art & Design. I have previously worked in various Media companies. I started this business after I got inspired by a friend who was working hard to revive traditional art forms. Before Love leather officially started in the ECommerce space, our team was doing some research on the tribal groups, along with the science behind present day leather and eco-friendly leather.
- What was the motivation behind going online?
Well, the future is online and all my target audience are online actively searching for things. This was primarily why I wanted to take my business online, so as to capitalize on the booming E-Commerce industry. Also, the kind of products I sell is widely appreciated across the world by art enthusiasts
- Who helped you start your business?
My family & friends have been a pillar of strength always inspiring me to go all out. My father who after serving the Indian Army for almost 4 decades ventured out single-handedly to set up his business. This inspired me to take the first steps of venturing into business myself. Coming from a complete organic background, the importance of going green is something I have believed in since childhood.
- Describe the challenges that you faced in your E-Commerce journey?
Initially, I had a lot of challenges.
To convince tribals to do the design for us was a tall order. Tribals were previously exploited for very low wages by bigger companies in this field.
They were in no mood to listen to us and it took a lot of time to convince them. The next challenge was creating awareness about our products. We recently launched ourselves on social media and have also tied up with other e-commerce platforms to get our name out in the market. This task never stops in reality, and we are still countering the challenge to create a community and cater to them exclusively.
- How did you spread the word about your E-Commerce business?
Most of our business happens through word of mouth marketing. We are building a community on social media and creating awareness about our products by explaining how it differs from other products and brands available in the market.
- Tell us a little about your target audience?
On a macro level, we target people in the age group of 20-50. On a micro level, we target people in the age group of 24-45. Since our products are tailor made for a very specific set of people who are looking for quirky, eco-friendly products, it becomes slightly simplified to reach them online.
- How many orders do you ship in a day?
As we have just started our business in the e-commerce space, I would like to refrain from revealing the actual numbers. Our current focus circles around creating awareness rather than generating sales.
- What’s the next plan for your business?
Right now, we have associated with tribals to provide Pattachitra Paintings on our products. Soon, we will be getting almost all tribal art forms onto our products. We are now traveling a lot and engaging with tribal groups around India. Soon, we will be expanding our product range also.
- Why should people come online to sell?
Marketers say “Find where your target audience are and cater to them right there”.
These days, we can witness a paradigm shift from offline to the digital world. This one reason itself is sufficient enough to start a business online.
Few other advantages being the costs involved in setting up a brick and mortar store.
- Any inspiring thoughts for aspiring e-commerce entrepreneurs?
“Go for it!”
If you truly want to do something in your life. Go for it. Along the way, you will witness failures, betrayal but you might also end up meeting wonderful people. Support can come from the most unexpected sources sometimes. So believe in yourself and what you do and ‘Just Do It ‘!
At Zepo, we have had the privilege of working with brands that are doing something offbeat and taking the path less trod upon. There is always a story behind every brand. Did you find anything inspiring from Loveleather’s story? Please tell us in the comments below.
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