This Entrepreneur Has Built India's Top Leather-Accessory Store Stitch-by-stitch

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Stitching his way to success Gautam Sinha offers your usual accessories with an unusual twist. Who doesn’t like a new twist to the most ancient fashion article – leather? Gautam Sinha’s Naapa Dori, which experiments with different textures and material along with leather, has perfectly blended cool with class.

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A typical ‘Make in India’ story going global, Sinha’s profound styling has helped him find a niche market among the most well-known leather brands. In other words, his customer is a person who is comfortable with his individuality. As a designer, he gets inspiration from everyday things, most of which he picks while he is travelling.

Sinha is very careful about how his products are displayed in the store, or how Instagram showcases them and whether it carries the brand identity. Gautam experimented with a collection of shoes last year. He is soon planning to launch another one, as the line was well received among his target customers. Talking about the inception of brand Naapa Dori, which means leather and thread, Sinha says, “Naapa Dori happened in 2010, when I was experimenting with a lot of different products, while I was designing for a Scandinavian company. When you are designing for someone else, you have to respond to his/her creativity. Whatever you create, it’s for someone else. It is not yours. So, I wanted to do something of my own.”

Gautam feels, both creativity and business run in his blood. His mother runs her own export house

and his brother has an advertising agency. However, new to entrepreneurship, Gautam is inclined

towards designing and he feels striking a balance between creativity and business is the biggest challenge right now. So far, Gautam has expanded his business using his own savings. He further said, he is open to fund raising and might look at it in the near future.

The leather and other raw materials are sourced from different parts of India, but he still imports some hardware. In the near future, he is also looking at crafting fully leather products. From just bags, Naapa Dori has moved to become a lifestyle brand. It is already finding many takers for backpacks, and stationary. Always having a creative bent, Gautam studied at the NIFT. Currently, he is displaying his products overseas too, at just the right places. Gautam aims at opening a global store very soon. Balancing creativity with entrepreneurship is not easy. In his own words, “It’s a tug of war and you have to keep the right balance.

(This article was first published in the November issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)