Nine years ago, when Rasika Wakalkar decided to launch Rudraksh- the first multi designer store in Pune, her business move seemed risky. However the novelty factor and great service worked well in their favour and Rudraksh carved a niche in the city.
Today, it has entered the e-commerce ecosystem, transformed itself into a studio that not only curates different Indian designer labels, but also advises and even acts as a personal shopper for both men and women.
We spoke to Rasika about the ethos of brand Rudraksh and her journey as a young entrepreneur.
Give us an insight into this interesting journey that you have had with Rudraksh.
It’s been incredible! I started this venture because somewhere I knew, that there were women who love fashion but wanted to be guided to look their best. Even celebrities consult with their stylists before turning up for an event. I am glad that we have positioned ourselves well in styling along with retailing. Moreover, we have clients regularly coming from Kolhapur, Nashik and Ahmednagar. Taking a step ahead in 2014, we launched a branch in Baroda. And, I am exhilirated about its steady growth.
There have been other stores in Pune that started on the similar lines and then shut. What propels Rudraksh to keep soaring ?
Our strength is definitely merchandising. We put in a lot of wisdom before picking up the apparel. If there are clients who ask for a certain designer’s outfit, we are happy to fulfill their wish. Also, I have always treated my clients with honesty and never took them for granted. When I am styling and feel that nothing in the studio will flatter their looks in the best way, I don’t hesitate to buy from other stores.
Who do you cater to?
I have clients from the age of 20 to 55. Size is not a bar. I take special care to choose the best ensemble that flatter the body type and are age appropriate.Going by the philosophy, we cater to people who are well travelled, know their mind and are ready to push the envelope of vogue and style..
There is obviously no dearth of people who are ready to shell out big money. But, is there any opportunity for the budget conscious to avail of your services?
Absoultely. We do provide consultation sessions. They can fix an appointment and I shall guide them on what kind of fabrics, colours and silhouettes would work for them. With the clarity, they would surely be able to find the best clothes anywhere without stepping out of their budget.
Do you think Pune will find a place in the list of fashion capitals anytime soon?
Honestly, No. Pune is a price sensitive city. I am not saying that people are not stylish here. In fact, many of them are. Nevertheless, a fashion capital has a strong business of fashion and presently, Pune lacks that.
Any fashion advice?
Take your clothes as an investment; Buy pieces that are timeless and versatile. Be mindful of the fabrics you choose. Be in sync with the season. It is wise to invest in ten good pieces that are of high quality and can be word for another decade.