Have you ever found yourself shopping for clothes online, adding styles you love to your ‘shopping cart’, but then leaving them in the cart because you were unsure how they would look or fit?
If you are like many women, the idea of shopping online is daunting. Many concerns arise: “Will it look great?” “If only the sleeve could be a bit longer to cover my arms, or the hem a little bit shorter to show off my legs.” The desire to look distinctive and feel gorgeous, while confident and empowered when shopping for new clothes is something we all share - but is not always fulfilled.
That is where eShakti comes in. A completely unique online fashion business that not only offers great retro-modern and trendy styles of dresses, skirts, tops, sweaters and jackets in standard sizes, eShakti also empowers women by allowing them to modify original fashions to suit their personal style and fit requirements, ensuring a look that is completely their own. Alter a neckline, shorten the length or change a sleeve style; the options are endless. eShakti allows women to customize their own looks by bringing off the rack and made-to-measure clothing to women of all shapes and sizes, from petite to plus size (size 0-36W) for the best fit available online. A company committed to high quality with terrific affordability, all products range from $39.95 - $129. I speak directly to CEO, BG Krishnan and get the details on how eShakti as well as the expected trends for this spring/summer 2013 season. Read full interview below:
Examiner (Anthony Bowles): Congratulations on your continued growth over the last three years, how does that make you feel about eShakti.com?
BG Krishnan: “It is our understanding that the majority of American women don't get their size, leave alone their preferred style, and hence there is a gap between demand and supply. Since eShakti is perhaps the only company that seeks to fill that gap through full size selections from 0-36W and through custom sizes and custom styles, there is a lot of interest in us and that translates into growth.”
Examiner (Anthony Bowles): How important was it to give “control” to women to create their own custom look?
BG Krishnan: “eShakti means the power of the Net since Shakti means power in Sanskrit. For us it is about empowering women, giving them a choice. We never have to say: 'Sorry we don't carry your size'. Clothes are an important way women express themselves and each time they shop there is the hope that their new purchase is going make them look their best - it’s personal and there is an emotional connect. So when eShakti says: 'You like this dress but don't think the sleeves work for you, so would you like it to be sleeveless or a cap sleeve?’ it's a big deal. When we started offering pockets as an option in our dresses, we were surprised by how thrilled our customers were. Women have worked out what works for them, and to be able get it is like a dream come true.”
Examiner (Anthony Bowles): eShakti.com has made shopping online clothes fun again, but how do you stay up to date with the trends of current fashion?
BG Krishnan: “Like any fashion house we stay tuned in, including tracking the fashion trend reports and the shows in Paris, Milan, London and New York. Our office in New York sits right on Fashion Avenue and we see what's on the street and on the shelves. And beyond that we are able to quickly turn it around depending on which trends pan out since we can design and make in real time, and don't need to do it several months ahead of the season.”
Examiner (Anthony Bowles): I think it’s great that you have a huge range of sizes, but do you think that you will incorporate children’s sizes in the future?
BG Krishnan: “Given that we are committed to give every woman clothes that are made just for her - her style, her shape, her size - we have the expertise to serve all kinds of body sizes. Technically, we could do children's clothes. But from the point of view of understanding that market and making sure we provide the right products for it, we are not ready just yet and have a lot to do in our present product-market.”
Examiner (Anthony Bowles): What kind of woman do you envision shopping one Shakti.com and making the best of her experience?
BG Krishnan: “We like to say that we are in the business of real fashion for real people. Are there many women out there who think they get what they'd like in fabric, design, fit and drape? eShakti addresses all these and specially the size and fit areas and we see that pretty much the majority of the market is interested.”
Examiner (Anthony Bowles): Do you have plans to open a physical boutique/store in the future?
BG Krishnan: “Can't say we do right now.”
Examiner (Anthony Bowles): How would you say the quality of eShakti.com differ from other online retailers?
BG Krishnan: “Well our fashion has this rather well-defined retro-modern quality now. And the fact that we give customers the option to change the styling - the sleeve or neckline or length - makes it unique. And of course we work very hard to get the fit right - and right sizing is such a mix of art and science, we feel we will keep working and keep improving - but we are unique in this respect already.”
Examiner (Anthony Bowles): Men are very much into fashion as well, can shoppers expect a Men’s section on eShakti.comanytime soon?
BG Krishnan: “Well this is one thing we can categorically say right away - we are not thinking of men's clothing as part of our business.”
Examiner (Anthony Bowles): As New York Fashion Week is wrapping up, what expected trends will you incorporate for shoppers?
BG Krishnan: We will have black and white prints and patterns, stripes, patchwork and color blocking in new fun combinations, Asian inspired prints, seersucker plaids and ginghams and a larger selection of printed and solid chambray. We have also seen a demand for knits, and so, we are increasing our offerings in this area.”
Examiner (Anthony Bowles): Lastly, what new and exciting items can shoppers look forward to as we head into Spring/Summer of 2013?
BG Krishnan: For summer 2013, we will offer bohemian tops and more ethnic inspired prints which we have not done so far. Our forte is creativity...beautiful embroideries and handwork. We will be showcasing these by summer.”
eShakti’s straightforward measuring tools enable customers to record their own measurements from the comfort of their own home. The brand regularly receives positive feedback from women who appreciate the site’s custom sizing tools. As eShakti’s customer, Alison Trude, says, “I appreciate being able to customize different aspects of the clothing, not just the size, but also the length of the dresses and the different sleeve options. I have taken advantage of these customization options several times so that the garments better suit my wardrobe needs.”