“Think local, go global” is a powerful thought that can potentially transform the way startups run in India. Indian fabrics and textiles are deeply ingrained in the collective consciousness of Indians across the globe. So, how about celebrating the notion of “Made in India” with the help of skilled Indian artisans coming from some of the most backward regions of our country!
Taking this idea forward is an IT Sales Professional turned entrepreneur Divya, who aims to capture the spellbinding charm of Indian weaves through her dream venture Jhakhas. Launched in 2016, Jhakhas.com is an e-commerce startup of ethnic traditional Indian wear coming directly from the diverse sub-states of India. It recognizes the enduring appeal of a myriad of Indian weaves and collaborates with local artisans to come up with well-crafted sarees, salwar suits and more products of premium quality at affordable prices.
That’s quite a name!
The word “Jhakas” has a Bollywood vibe to it and is often used in a friendly and informal way to compliment someone looking beautiful and classy. However, since it risks being considered a slang in some cultures, Divya decided to play it safe by replacing “kas” with “khas” which means special so its “JHAKHAS”. Quite evidently, the classy and quirky collection justifies the unique and thoughtful name accorded to it. The brand strives to make “every individual look Jhakhas, i.e. beautiful and special” with its perfect combination of striking designs, exceptional craftsmanship, superior quality and affordability.
Why not give it a try?
As a child, Divya had her interests in designs and creations, but destiny took her the corporate way. She nailed it there too. Yet, when confronted with the choice of starting her career again, she had to give in to her childhood dream. In fact, Divya’s startup journey shatters the age-old myth that a woman’s dreams take a backseat after motherhood takes over. She believes “Motherhood provides a momentum to do something meaningful with your life.” The self-motivated Engineering & MBA graduate had been heading the marketing and sales department in an IT company for nearly 15 years. She quit her job soon after the birth of her baby boy in 2013 to raise him well, and later continued consulting many startups in IT domain, thus breaking the stereotype of what women can do and cannot do .
Thanks to an intuitive sense of fashion, she could always innately tell what worked and what didn’t. As Divya says “I love fashion, so I thought of giving it a try.” The maternity gap was the opportune moment to chase her long-cherished dream. Hence, armed with a sharp marketing acumen and immense self-belief, she ventured into entrepreneurship and established Jhakhas.
One step at a time..
For centuries, Indian women have nurtured their love for these priceless weaves, collecting them as exquisite family treasures to be passed on to the next generation. However, in today’s times, finding the authentic fabric from an authentic seller is a mammoth task. Divya understood the challenges of scouting out traditional Indian outfits from different regions. One would have to travel across the length and breadth of the country to get authentic Maheshwari, Laheriya, Bandhini, Banarasi, Chikankari and Chanderi. That wasn’t practically possible. Moreover, the decline in purchase of handloom textiles concerned her.
Divya decided to address such problems by collaborating with local weavers who had to leave their hometowns and travel to distant cities to sell their artworks. The feisty entreprenuer proposed her business idea to some of the handloom exhibitors who gladly accepted the collaboration. Thus began the adventure! The most satisfying aspect of the journey was the opportunity to empower skilled weavers through technical training (email, WhatsApp to even Inventory software, shipping software) so that they could directly ship their handmade products to the customers. Due to the robust training by Jhakhas team to zero technology friendly weavers, they were able to tide over the uncertainty during the lockdown period.
What’s So Special About Jhakhas!
Jhakhas offers an astounding range (4000+) of Indian sarees and suits, each of them carefully handwoven by seasoned artisans from all over India. The brand’s tie-up with these talented weavers ensures you get the most authentic pieces of Benarasi, Maheshwari, Chanderi, Kanjeevaram , jaipuri , chanderi ,chikankari and kota doriya sarees and suits .
Here you’re spoilt for choice while picking up some of the most distinguished pieces of Jaipur Gotapati, Lucknowi Chikankari, ghatcholas, marwadi dupattas, Kolkata’s linen sarees and embroidered lehengas. Divya mentions “Since we source directly from the weavers of the respective states, our price range is quite reasonable. We cater to kids too and have a separate line of clothing for them.”
Jhakhas has its own weaving and embroidery workshops operating across different parts of the country. Every “Jhakhas Product” is handcrafted at the authentic region where the handloom arts belong to. Divya points out “Our fabric is handpicked and hand dyed in our own color lab, and goes through strong quality check before getting it into production or ensemble making or heavy embroidery work on customized orders.”
Customizable is available here. If you’ve got a particular pattern in mind, rest assured it’ll be incorporated in the outfit. Jhakhas’s online service ensures easy access to the rich textiles of India.
Feel JHAKHAS, Look JHAKHAS & Be JHAKHAS
Thanks to Jhakhas, lakhs of Indian women can finally get their choice of traditional weaves without a worry. Furthermore, Jhakhas is providing local artisans with a platform to showcase their craftsmanship on a bigger scale all over the world and emerge as winners in the cut-throat competitive world of machine-made clothing.
Divya plans to set up a physical store in every city so that customers can physically experience all sorts of rare weaves available under one roof. Merely buying is not enough. One needs to understand the dedication and effort that goes into creating each product. That respect and appreciation for Indian weaves and its weavers is what Jhakhas aspires to achieve.
Website – https://jhakhas.com/
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/jhakhas_com/
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