Boutique owners usually come in the form of women. The reason is simple. Women like clothes. They like dressing up and they certainly love art and creativity.

Here’s the story of Karabi, a talented software professional, who started a boutique of her own, aptly named Gaon by Dakshayaeni. Her ideals, beliefs and creativity all merge under this new banner, whilst inspiring people who wear her clothes.

Let’s hear Karabi’s side of the story, in a conversation with Paroma Sen-Basu

What inspired you to start a boutique?

I always wanted to start something of my own wherein I could be my own boss. Over the years, I had thought of several options. However, it seemed to me that for whatever I wanted to do, I needed to harness my own competencies and skills. This was so that I need not bank on other people’s experience and competency.

My first few thoughts involved starting a home delivery service, as I am a good cook, but the scale of operation bothered me.

I thought of starting a consultancy service, as I had worked as a senior project manager in software industry, I could have operated my own software firm. But that meant that I wouldn’t make use of any other skills.

Then I thought of launching a handloom boutique. I did not wish to have a standalone boutique or store. I wanted to target direct manufacturing instead. This would help me sustain myself in the industry, knowing that my retail capabilities are not that good.

I zeroed in on the third option after considerable thought. Clothes are non perishable items, hence even if one invests money, and does not get immediate returns; it doesn’t matter in the short run. Interest in clothing is always high in the market, and eventually I knew I would make good returns.

The only challenge was to create my own unique selling point (USP) and to stand out in the crowd.

I opted for manufacturing handloom fabrics. This helps me create sustainable jobs for our weavers, who are highly skilled. On the other hand, I offer quality clothes to people. The plus point of this business is that there is a high demand for natural fabrics, and handloom goods in the market.