Meticulously handcrafted, our bags are a testament to the virtuosity of our local artisans and their passion to bring forth an amalgamation of traditional fabric and modern form.
Take a voyage of over a hundred thousand years – Potli bags were used by Pandavas to carry their personal belongings during exile! The history of Indian Ethnic Potli bags is not unknown. But today, these potli bags have increased their canvas from being just a utility to a fashion statement for Bollywood, a stylish accessory for women and fashion connoisseurs.
Amyra is a brand that has created an ensemble of potli bags with a contemporary twist through edgy designs.
About the Founders: A sneak-peak
Priyanka is the designer at Amyra. Amyra is her brainchild and is a brand that grew out of a fascination for Indian textiles and an eagerness to convert them into tastefully designed, functional fashion accessories. She had been working since 2014 on designing bags for women. She has spent 5 initial years working with numerous clients, understanding the design sense, the trend etc. in addition to understanding the nuances of manufacturing the designs.
Jatin has 5 years of experience in data science consulting and the banking industry. His passion to embark on an entrepreneurial journey led him to join and run the business.
Their skillsets complemented each other so they decided to set up the corporate entity in March 2018 and take a shot at building a market for high-end fabric handbags.
Their versatility and design have have grown to become a gram’s favorite and how?
Here is what the founders of Amyra have to say about their journey in an exclusive conversation with Chennai Insider:
Chennai Insider: Amyra is a very interesting and unique name. How did you come up with it?
Amyra Founders: Amyra is an Arabic work meaning ‘of or belonging to a princess’.
Chennai Insider: What are the different product categories you are dealing with?
Amyra Founders: Our forte is Indian festive. Our collection of box clutches and potlis, comprises of delicate silk embroideries in lovely hues that are designed to complement your Indian and Indo-western wardrobe. Our specialization also lies in bespoke, where we can tweak our designs to suit our customer’s specific needs both in terms of look and functionality. Our bags have also been a part of many wedding celebrations, going out as mehndi favors for our clients. We also have a line of daily utility products like wallets and tote bags created from handloom ikats, kantha work fabrics and quirky prints, sourced from the best fabric looms all over the country. Meticulously handcrafted, our bags are a testament to the virtuosity of our local artisans and their passion to bring into being our design concepts that are an amalgamation of traditional fabric and modern form.
Chennai Insider: Your collection is pretty unique. What goes through your mind when you are curating your store?
Amyra Founders: Our philosophy is to stay true to our brand and not let trends that flood the market change our design process. While it’s important to keep up with the ever-changing world of fashion, authenticity is key! Extensive travel to source unique and the best of fabrics and embellishments has helped us launch new designs almost every other week giving our clients a wide collection to choose from. Our potlis have been a huge hit amongst women who love matching their bags to their sarees and other traditional Indian wear. The is an ongoing process to evolve our designs based on what our customers want. Customization and Bespoke tailoring help us achieve this because it gives us the customer’s perspective as they become a part of our design process.
Chennai Insider: Did you have any apprehensions before starting out this venture? What were they?
Amyra Founders: We were excited as we had a couple of unexplored territories when we were starting. Priyanka was already working on the design concept for a while. Jatin joined to give the business a firmer structure in terms of setting up online store, marketing, sales and operations. Since this is still a niche market, we were not very sure of how the market will react. But so far it has been good, and we have received an overwhelming response to our work.
Chennai Insider: What prompted you to take the e-commerce way?
Amyra Founders: Our products have been retailing through prominent boutiques in Chennai since 2014. We have also taken part in fashion exhibitions in multiple cities. There was a huge demand for our products online through just our social media presence so we decided to launch our website in Aug 2018. Our product collection was probably the only thing that we were most sure about, everything else had to be figured out. Priyanka has been designing for a while, so she understood the market quite well and most of the designs that we have had launched have been a quick sell out. We realized that in today’s world the first question everyone asks when you talk about your brand is – do you have a website? We wanted a global audience to be able to carry our products and allow them to shop from the comfort of their home. Though a lot of people are still apprehensive of shopping online we try to enhance their experience through our product visuals and customer support to help them make an informed choice.
Chennai Insider: How many local artisan’s expertise is involved?
Amyra Founders: When we started, we had 4 people working. Right now, we have about 10 artisans in house who we work with very closely. We constantly support them whether it comes to their children’s education or any other struggles they may face. Even in tough times like these we have ensured the financial impact of massive drop in revenue is limited to us and not our staff. We use a lot of traditional fabrics in our collections like Ikats and Banarasi fabrics that are sourced from weavers whose livelihoods are uplifted in the process. We also understand that manufacturing has a massive impact on the environment through the waste that is generated. We are always looking to upcycle our waste either in house or providing our scraps to those who work in the field of fabric upcycling.
Chennai Insider: You have more than 25K fans! How did you achieve this? What was the strategy?
Amyra Founders: Our designs speak for themselves and social media has been key for us. We use both Instagram and Facebook to tell our brand story and showcase our designs and the work that goes into it. It helps our clients identify and become a part of our brand and see what goes on in our studios, whose making the products, we take them through the designing and Instagram is great to get constant feedback that we later weave into our process. Good engaging content coupled with the right marketing has helped us grow quickly. Social media in today’s age is one of the central pillars for marketing and brand reach.
Chennai Insider: Would you like to share some challenges you dealt with or any suggestions for entrepreneurs looking to sell online?
Amyra Founders: Setting up a website is not that challenging today but building trust in customers to purchase online is still a challenge in India. A large part of our clientele is still conservative when it comes to online shopping as they worry about the quality and delivery assurance. The other major challenge we face is with logistics. We have constantly been testing out different strategies to ensure seamless deliveries, which constitutes a major and probably the most overlooked part of the online shopping experience. Almost everything in today’s gig economy pays as you use, so you need relatively less capital than before when you start. Although it is a good practice to start while having an alternate source of income to ensure you are aggressive when it comes to marketing and reaching out to potential customers. In the absence of capital, a salary is a fantastic substitute that helps one takes the necessary risk.
The journey of Amyra is an incredible story of how passion with a purpose drives your business to a virtuous cycle of growth and sustainability.
It’s time to grab your bag of dreams?
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