Who doesn’t like binge shopping at street-side shops or snapping up excellent bargains at a flea market? What if you could enjoy the same blissful retail therapy minus the crowds? Head to Streetbazaar.in, which allows you to do just that: shop for ethnic street fashion online. That makes them the pioneers of a whole new category – ethnic street fashion. The portal’s motto is to promote Indian fashion and bring local vendors onto an online platform.
Set up in October 2014 from Indore, Streetbazar.in is an online ethnic marketplace offering a wide range of regional products and Bollywood lookalike fashion sold by street vendors. What’s interesting is that the company began with selling only bags.In February 2015, the portal expanded to offer clothing, and in a just 10 months, got over 10,000 registered customers on board.
Why street fashion?
The company’s founders,26-year-old Neeraj Vani and 24-year-old Surbhi Vani, loved to binge-shop. “We were in Pune on some work and decided to go street shopping during our free time. But we couldn’t find any good street markets, possibly because we didn’t know if there were any or where they were. All we could find were shopping malls. That’s when we both felt the calling – to create an online street shopping store,” shares Neeraj.
Street shopping and ethnic ware
“We have seen many online shopping portals advertising great ethnic and regional products. However, they often compromise on quality while keeping prices high. So we thought we would provide customers original ethnic apparel at affordable rates,” explains Surbhi. For instance, casual kurtis on the site are priced as low as Rs 300. Even at the other end of the spectrum, like their Brindal Lounge, you can snap up a heavy designer lehenga set for under Rs 7,000.
Streetbazar encourages vendors from across the nation to connect with them and become a part of our Street bazaar family. “We want to provide foreign clients with the best of Indian culture and trends because ethnic clothing never goes out of fashion,” adds Neeraj.
Explains Surbhi: “The total market size of the ethnic wear is said to be more than Rs7,000 crore, with quite a few players in the space, such as Utsav Fashion, Cbazaar, and Craftsvilla. We aim to make the whole selling process more convenient, user-friendly and approachable for our buyers and sellers.”
The venture is currently bootstrapped and earns revenue through a commission they charge to their sellers.
Starting up and the usual opposition
Neeraj has a BE from IPS College, Indore, and a diploma in entrepreneurship from IIT Delhi. When he decided to start up Streetbazaar, most of his friends were skeptical. “Surbhi is also an MBA, and we both had to leave our jobs to start this business. Most of our friends told us it was a stupid decision. But we knew that we could succeed because only dead fish go with the flow,” recalls Neeraj.
Expanding the range on offer
In addition to bags, which they started with, the site also features a wide range of fashion jewellery, all priced in line with what you would pay in popular street side markets across the country – from a couple of hundred rupees to under a couple of thousand, on average.
“We plan to add more vendors, apart from expanding into new markets, including overseas. While our USP is original local fashion, keeping in mind market demands, we have also added Bollywood fashion replicas (including evening gowns),” adds Surbhi. These popular party-wear gowns are priced between Rs 2,899 and Rs 5,799.
“As H. Jackson Brown, Jr said, ‘The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today’.We want to give this our best shot with the help of local vendors and keeping up with steadily changing trends in the ethnic fashion segment,” adds Neeraj.