Bagging Design with functionality
Here's the story behind the homegrown 100% PeTA approved vegan lifestyle brand
Post IIMA, when Disha Singh wanted to startup, she knew she wanted to do something in the lifestyle and fashion space. In fact, she spent some time working with a boutique fashion house and working with a designer for Lakme Fashion Week, before starting Zouk.
The idea of Zouk was born when Disha visited Kutch for an IIMA course. She saw that her friends loved the local handicraft items but did not buy any, given they were not functional. That's when she studied multiple markets in the lifestyle and fashion space. "I saw a gap for a brand that is inspired from our homeland but is modern and world-class. Thus, my IIMA batchmate, husband Pradeep and I set out on the mission of bringing to customers stylish and functional products with an essence of India," shares Disha.
After an initial few lakhs of sales, distribution can make or break the growth of your business. If you want to create a large brand, you have to go to where the customer is and not say that you will wait for them to come to you when the time is right. Based on its first year of offline experience while selling in 50+ exhibitions, Zouk kickstarted its journey online. Today, Zouk is an online-only brand at the moment selling through its own website as well as platforms like Amazon, Myntra and other marketplaces. The brand also keeps doing a few bespoke orders for its customers abroad. The 100% PeTA approved vegan lifestyle brand, in July this year, raised INR 11.75 crore / USD 1.5 million in pre-series A led by Stellaris Venture Partners, Titan Capital and the founders of Mamaearth, Wow Skin Sciences and Beardo. The 15 people team has so far served 60,000 customers and has grown 4x in 2021.
In her Zouk journey, the part Disha is most proud of is that as a woman, she has been able to upskill and support over 200 expert artisans, who make Zouk's Proudly Indian products. As Disha concludes, "To scale a business, you need some of your products to do really well. So, your ability to create lots of new products doesn't help. What helps scale up is to make a few great products that your customers want."