Rohini and Paavani, longtime friends and commerce graduates, decided to take their friendship to the next level by starting a handcrafted jewellery business together. Six months later, their partnership is stronger than ever and their business is growing faster than they anticipated. We spoke to Paavani to understand how they do it...
Paavani, tell us about yourself and your store.
Under the Feather is a brand for handcrafted jewellery, accessories and lifestyle products. We are a team of two, Rohini and Paavani. We are just about 6 months old in the industry, having started our venture earlier in 2015.
Only six months old and your selection is already so vast! Please tell us more about what you sell.
We have an assortment of eye-catching necklaces, pendants, earrings, finger rings, bracelets, anklets, hair jewellery, handchains, footchains, keychains and lots more. Our lifestyle series includes dreamcatchers, suncatchers and patterned wall frames.
How did you zero down on to this idea? And what’s the story behind the name ‘Under the Feather’?
Under the Feather was born out of our founder, Rohini's desire to own jewellery and accessories that were making headlines globally but were unavailable locally. Her love for feathers led to the creation of the first dreamcatcher and hence the name- Under the Feather!
We started small with just our own friend circle for customers. Now 6 months later, we sell on junglee.com and in kitschy boutique stores, participate in flea markets and fulfill orders from different parts of the country.
What raw materials do you work with? Are all your products handmade?
We handcraft every product with the intention of coming up with something new each time. We use charms, various metals, threads, feathers, stones, beads, wires, motifs, filigree and much more in creating our products. This allows us to offer a large range of products all in one place. We constantly experiment with new material and designs to ensure that every collection is different from the previous.
While the market for handmade is growing, the competition is also increasing every day. What is it that you think makes you stand out?
It is very important for us to create and maintain personal connections with our buyers. We make an effort to add a personal touch to every order we send out. Most of our customers say that's what they love about us. Another thing that makes us stand out from others is the affordability of our stuff. Our premium products are also very competitively priced.
How does a small business like yours promote their products and compete with big brands?
We have always allowed our products to do the talking for us. We also put in time and effort to understand what each customer wants and come up with something that they will be happy sporting. Recently, one of our regular customers told us that she loves the whole experience of shopping with us and it always makes her come back for more.
So, as I understand, it’s very important for you to be on top of current trends and incorporate them in your designs. How do you go about it?
So, at the moment, the Fringe Trend is huge and so is layering in jewellery. We incorporate such ongoing trends in our products but always with a touch of our own. For example, we use different materials for tassels in our earrings. We have a large and very popular collection of layered necklaces and bracelets.
Would you like to share any tips with our readers?
Our biggest and most important piece of advice for readers is to always be willing to try something new. Unless you go that extra mile, you'll never know what works for you.
Lastly, what is the best and the not-so-good thing about having a partner?
The best thing about having a partner is that although we have our individual roles to play, we always have the support of one another. It's about knowing that we're in this together. We are also our own and each other’s worst critics but that just ensures that we provide our customers with the very best.
Below is a snapshot of Under the Feather store on Junglee.com. Click on the image to check out their selection.