Founded by Chini Chouhan, her eponymous brand specialises in women's footwear. Chouhan shares with Fibre2Fashion the impact of the pandemic on boutique brands and her plans as she looks ahead.
When was the brand established? What was the inspiration that led to founding of the brand?
Chini Chouhan always wanted to be an independent woman. So, after finishing her BSc in fashion designing from SNDT, Mumbai, followed by a study of shoe designing from London College of Fashion, she established her footwear brand Chini C in 2017, which offers high-end shoes with quality designs and services at affordable prices.
What has been the impact of Covid in terms of sales, staff cutdown, rentals, stocks etc?
There has been 30 per cent sales reduction and 20 per cent staff cut down due to the pandemic.
What is your growth story in the last three years (excluding 2020)?
We have grown by 30 per cent year-on-year (YOY).
Coming back to your brand, who are your target audience?
Women aged between 18-40.
What is the USP of your products?
Our designs are handcrafted and hand-embroidered with a sense of unique style for every occasion. Our online store specialises in women's shoes that are comfortable and embellished with the most amazing patterns. One can find everything from dainty colourful designs to traditional bridalwear.
Which category sells the most?
Flats and heels.
What are the price points of your shoes?
The price points are as follows:
flats - ?1,500-2,500; heels - ?2,000-3,000; bridal - ?4,000-5,500
What is your brand's online presence?
We sell through our own website and on e-commerce portals like Aza Fashions, Aashni & Co, Carma Online, Myntra, Ajio, Tata Cliq etc.
What is your market positioning like?
Customers looking for affordable designer footwear at affordable pricing.
Which other product categories do you plan to move into future?
Where are your manufacturing facilities based at?
Our products are manufactured in Mumbai.
How does your supply chain network work? What regions of the world are part of your supply chain?
Factory->Company Warehouse->Dispatched to Customer.
Our supply chains are in India, Japan, and China.
What is the annual production capacity?
30,000 units per year.
How is the supply chain expected to change with increasing digitisation, AI, VR etc? And how is this going to impact the business of sourcing?
It has affected everyone but also led to more options of raw material.
What kind of machinery does your manufacturing facility boast of?
Our facility boasts of the following machines -- leather splitting machine, counter moulding machine, shoe vamp crimping machine, leather sewing machine, flat bed sewing machine, post bed sewing machine, cylinder bed sewing machine, heat setter & chiller machine, hydraulic clicker travelling head cutting machine, grinding machine setup, hydraulic and non-hydraulic pasting machine, heel nailing machine, and foil and brand emboss machine.
Sustainability and circularity are the buzz words today. How do you incorporate them into your product lines?
At Chini C, we truly believe that the future of fashion is sustainability. In our efforts, we have tried to minimise our carbon footprint and have made our packaging as recyclable as possible with minimum use of plastic. Instead of outsourcing, we work closely with local karigars to provide fair pay employment opportunities.
Overall, at Chini C we are trying to walk the path of ethical fashion and practices. In future we want to give back to the environment through eco-friendly packaging and plantable postcards, goodies with each order. (PC)
This article was first published in the?February 2021?edition of the print magazine.
Published on: 17/03/2021
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