IndiNook isn’t Disha Khanse’s first foray into the fashion industry. Before IndiNook Disha ran a small business called Trinket Square that sold fashion jewellery and accessories. Trinket Square ran for four successful years but personal issues cropped up in Disha’s life and she had to take a break from everything business. Disha is quite vocal about her divorce and attributes it to the new perspective with which she revisited the fashion industry. She felt a need to start something of her own again but she knew that she needed something bigger yet more personal than accessories.
In December 2020, Disha launched IndiNook, a one-stop online shop for saris from all over the country. She thought of the name for her new venture overnight — ‘indi’ for India and ‘nook’ to symbolise all the ‘corners’ from where the saris are sourced.
Like any small business during the pandemic, sourcing was particularly difficult. Travel was restricted so visiting manufacturers and warehouses were out of the question. This prompted Disha to dig into online suppliers and establish a way to check quality control. She shares honestly that the initial days saw many trials and errors, especially because there weren’t many high-quality sari sources. Nevertheless, she kept her standards high and through friends and acquaintances on the ground began to create a network of good suppliers for IndiNook.
But how does Disha decide what goes onto IndiNook’s website? Disha’s aim is to include as many materials, fabric and weaves as possible. She shares that as she is the one handling everything at this stage, the collections IndiNook sells are small but hand-selected. Some of the sari photos on her website are of her! Disha has to take care of the website, the orders, the packaging and the collaborations, and this is just the top of her IndiNook to-do list. When asked about her favourite saris, Disha points to the organza collection.
“Out of all the saris, those Citrine and Alexandrite are my favourite saris. I have personally kept them aside for myself! These are high-quality organzas. Even though they are silk blends they are very good for the price.”
Sourcing aside, social media is where Disha’s vision really comes to life.
“I realised that nowadays a lot of young women are fond of wearing saris. In terms of business, I feel that the scope of my business is widening. More scope is more opportunity.”
IndiNook’s new hashtag #boldbeautifulandflawless aims to speak about the woman behind the sari. After all, it was with the intention of celebrating herself that she started IndiNook, so it was only fitting for her to share the celebration that she feels running her small business every day.
“IndiNook is a women-centric brand. I am working on creating different series of stories that are inspiring so that any woman can relate to IndiNook. The first post was posted by me, I spoke about women who have been through divorces and how we have to deal with issues from society but we keep ourselves strong and at peace. This hashtag is a campaign that focuses on celebrating every woman. That’s the message that I want IndiNook to revolve around.”
My favourite saris are the Bold Blue Soft Silk Sari and the Iron Grey Banarasi Cotton Chikankari Sari. Not only are the saris within a young professional’s budget, but they are also high quality too. Perhaps what struck me the most is the variety of designs available on the website. It’s astonishing to me that Disha has personally gone through thousands of saris and had to select a few, yet has somehow been able to accurately represent the diversity of saris available. The soft silk really is smooth — an important factor to me because I don’t like wearing bulky saris. And the shade of the iron-grey is formal yet graceful, the kind of beauty that I aim to emulate in my daily life as a working woman.
When asked about the next steps for IndiNook, Disha replies:
“IndiNook is my baby, and I would love to see it grow! I am a proud Indian, with a dream to make our Indian wear & jewellery more accessible and known to the World. This is a big dream, of course, and will require a team of people, the local artisans, weavers, manufacturers, logistics team, marketing and PR team, I can trust and work with – but, with the right kind of people and their support by my side, I believe, we can achieve it together!”
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