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The Chic Way

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Pooja Salvi & Jagruti Verma speak to Krati Valecha & Saakshi Mirchandani, the founders of designer label Chic House, to find out more about their fashionable website and what it’s like working together

The founders of Chic House, sisters Krati Valecha and Saakshi Mirchandani, are an enterprising duo equipped in fashion, design and business acumen. While their academic backgrounds give them the confidence to undertake a designer venture like this, starting a business from scratch is a balancing act that no school prepares you for. We spoke to the duo to find out more about their business venture and their working relationship.

Your combined education and work experience has been associated with several large, international brands such as BBC Good Homes India, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Banana Republic, Victorinox, Samsonite and Room to Read. Did that affect your journey in any way?
I think the work ethic that you learn and the drive that you acquire when you’re working with big brands is infectious. Everyone is motivated to succeed and extremely sincere about their quality of work, team communication and timelines, so you learn how to do things outside of the box. Also, big ideas are always appreciated. You’re working with people who have years of experience and are very good at what they do. Since I’ve worked outside the country as well, I knew that my exposure to international brands would be extremely valuable to my professional life.

You are both pretty young — still in your early twenties. Has age ever hindered the growth of Chic House?
That’s a great question! We don’t think so! Being young plays into our advantage several times; we aren’t constrained by any rules or concrete methods that we need to follow to be successful. Also, it helps us to solve problems faster; our team also consists of young professionals, and we love working with them. Their passion to learn new things is great. Considering that India is booming with startups today, it’s very inspiring to see that most entrepreneurs these days are our age.

As a young brand, what is your office environment like?
Our office environment is pretty laidback. Everyone sits in one large space, and there are no cubicles dividing the members of the team. We believe in creating an environment where everyone shares a space; it helps the team to get to know each other better and improves teamwork. You can see what the person next to you is working on, and this often peaks an employee’s interest as they learn additional skills that they would have never had the chance to in the past.

What inspired you to create your own company?
We were born into a family of entrepreneurs and visionaries. We’ve witnessed companies, which our parents and grandparents built, grow over time. So, starting our own business felt natural. It was a transition from what we were already doing and it is something we had planned to do eventually.

Before your started Chic House, neither of you were involved with the fashion industry. Has that ever been a problem, especially since you deal with several fashion brands now?
That we weren’t involved in the fashion industry never posed a problem, but it definitely felt daunting in the beginning. However, we’ve always been confident in our vision and sense of business. We may not have had our share of experience in the fashion industry, but we closely followed the inner workings of the fashion world due to genuine interest and passion for design, brands, retail trends and, of course, shopping! This was a huge plus point when we started Chic House.

If you have any differences in opinion when you’re working together, how do you sort them out?
We’d be lying if we said that there aren’t days when we disagree with each other. However, that’s only natural. We both know that we share a mutual goal towards the business and have its best interests at heart. Communication is the best way to sort it out. We are very open with each other, and if we have a disagreement, we explain our thought process and try to see it from the other person’s perspective as well.

What are your plans for the future. How do you plan on taking Chic House to the next level?
We plan on adding numerous designers on our site The website is doing phenomenally well and we can’t wait to bring more brands and designers under our umbrella. We’ve successfully had two pop-ups in Mumbai. Our plans now involve hosting pop-ups in cities such as Indore, Pune and Chandigarh!

Chic House, the brainchild of Krati Valecha and Saakshi Mirchandani, is a company trying to bridge the gap between online and offline shopping. They have successfully curated more than 35 brands from across India. Essentially, Chic House is an online store, but they also do pop-ups and exhibitions across India from time to time, which makes it different from other e-commerce stores.

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