SupportBiz presents an exclusive chat with Manat and Prachi, the founders of No Strings Attached.
How long has No Strings Attached been in operation?
No Strings Attached has been in operation for about three months now.
What is your background? What were you doing prior to starting No Strings Attached?
We are accessory designers, graduated from NIFT Bangalore. When we started No Strings Attached, we were in our final year of college.
How did you come up with the idea of starting No Strings Attached?
Both of us have been very fond of fashion accessories and everything hand-made since childhood. Manat has been making jewellery on her own since she joined college, and after receiving appreciation and on getting to know about the flea markets in Bangalore, she decided to pursue her passion for jewellery-making further by converting into a business. She asked Prachi to join in, too, and together, it all fell in place.
What are the major kinds of products that you offer?
Both of us love necklaces, and so, that is our main product category. Along with that, we also offer other fashion accessories such as earrings and hair clips.
Which of your products are the most popular?
Our neckpieces are doing really well. We also have an exclusive range of earrings and neckpieces in feathers, which is really popular among the customers.
Do you create source any of your products from artisans?
At the moment, we do not source products from other artisans. We make all the fashion jewellery that we sell, and are involved in each and every process of its making, from sourcing to designing to assembling.
Do you have a retail outlet where you stock your products?
Currently, we do not have a retail outlet for our products, though we do intend to retail our products through different stores and a website soon. We presently sell our products through exhibitions and our page on Facebook.
How big is your team, presently?
Presently, it is only both of us who are doing everything - from sourcing and designing to taking orders.
We started off from Bangalore as our base, as both of us were studying together there. However, right now, Manat is operating from Delhi, whereas Prachi is taking care of all the events and activities in Bangalore.
At this point, we would like to add that our friends have been a great help, and extremely supportive.
What are your expansion plans in the near future?
In the near future, we plan to work on building a team, which can help us out with assembling the products and other office work, so that we can concentrate on making newer designs. We are also working on retailing through different stores nation-wide.
What are the major challenges that you face?
Due to the sudden division of target markets, co-ordination has become a bit difficult as we are still new in the market and need some time to build our audience base, which is our biggest challenge.
What have been your proudest moments as an entrepreneur?
Our proudest moment was at our second exhibition, which was at a flea market called Sunday Soul Sante in Bangalore in May 2012, when hordes of people came to our stall. They told us that our stall was one of the most recommended. It was a very proud feeling getting all those compliments!
What advice would you give to a prospective entrepreneur?
To a prospective employer, we would want to say: Always believe in yourself, and take every opportunity that comes your way. Also, always have a direction for the near future, and a plan of action, clearly specifying what you would be doing.