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From Humble Beginnings to Handmade Triumph: The Inspiring Journey of Chowkhat

Updated on: 29 May,2024 05:37 PM IST  |  Mumbai
BrandMedia |

From a Modest Investment to Multi-Crore Revenues, Chowkhat Redefines Success in the Apparel Industry

From Humble Beginnings to Handmade Triumph: The Inspiring Journey of Chowkhat


What began with a modest investment of just 1 lakh INR has blossomed into a flourishing business generating 40-50 lakhs in revenue per month. This is the story of Chowkhat, a brand committed to making handmade apparel affordable and accessible, while uplifting thousands of artisans along the way.

Chowkhat’s journey began with a strategic focus on their first collection. Most of the initial investment was dedicated to sourcing and manufacturing, ensuring high-quality craftsmanship from the outset. Marketing, photography, and promotional activities were undertaken in-house, leveraging the skills and support of friends and family. This grassroots approach laid a strong foundation for the brand, emphasizing authenticity and community involvement.

“Our first collection was a labor of love, not just from us but from everyone around us,” recalls Anuja, who founded Chowkhat with her sister Pratanksha in 2020. “We didn’t have a big budget, so we relied on the generosity and talents of our friends and family. It made the process even more special.”

Starting with a humble 20,000 INR in monthly sales, Chowkhat's growth trajectory has been nothing short of remarkable. The company hit its stride in the last financial year, jumping from an annual revenue of 50 lakhs to achieving the same figure monthly. This leap was driven by an enhanced collection, targeted marketing efforts, and a dedicated team. Today, Chowkhat is poised to reach a projected revenue of 15 crores in the upcoming fiscal year.

“We always knew there was potential, but seeing our revenue jump like this has been incredible,” says Anuja. “It's all because of the hard work of our team and the quality of our products.”

Chowkhat’s best-selling products are Chikankari kurtis made from fabrics like Modal, Mul Cotton, and Cotton, which are perfect for summer and daily wear. These products are a testament to the skill of the artisans they work with, who are mainly based in and around Lucknow. The brand is connected with over 3000+ artisans, providing them with timely payments and financial support in emergencies. This support is crucial for the artisans, ensuring they can continue their craft and support their families.

“We are in touch with over 3000 artisans,” Anuja explains. “Most of them live in old Lucknow or on its outskirts. Our aim is to support them not just financially but also to preserve their traditional skills.”

Chowkhat employs over 40 women in its Noida team, many of whom were previously working as house helps. These women have been trained and now earn better salaries, which allow them to support their families and improve their living conditions.

“Most of the women we employ had tough lives,” Anuja shares. “Now, they are able to educate their children, afford basic amenities, and have a sense of pride in their work. It’s incredibly rewarding to see their transformation.”

Chowkhat’s success is deeply intertwined with its commitment to social impact. The company employs over 40 women and 5 men, providing opportunities and training to many who previously worked as domestic helpers. This empowerment extends to the 5000+ artisans, primarily from Lucknow, who are the backbone of Chowkhat's handmade collections. The brand ensures timely payments and financial support, fostering a sustainable livelihood for these artisans.

“It's about more than just creating beautiful clothes,” explains Anuja. “It's about creating opportunities and supporting communities. We’re proud to be a part of that change.”

The journey has not been without its challenges. Founders Anuja and Pratanksha faced significant personal and professional hurdles, including leaving well-paying jobs and learning the ropes of running a business from scratch. Coming from a middle-class background, their determination and innovative problem-solving have been key drivers of Chowkhat’s success.

“We had to make a lot of sacrifices,” Anuja reflects. “But every challenge has taught us something valuable. It’s all part of the journey.”

Customer satisfaction is a cornerstone of Chowkhat’s business philosophy. The brand offers a no-questions-asked return and exchange policy, and provides personalized support through multiple channels. In a testament to their commitment, the team has even hand-delivered orders to customers, fostering direct relationships and gathering invaluable feedback.

“We treat our customers like family,” Anuja says. “Their feedback helps us improve and grow. It’s important to us that they feel valued and heard.”

For aspiring women entrepreneurs, Chowkhat’s story offers a powerful lesson in perseverance. “Consistency is the key to success,” advises Anuja. “You might fall, you might get slow, you might want to stop, but if you keep going, you'll achieve every success in life.”

As they continue to grow, the brand remains focused on their mission: supporting artisans, providing high-quality handmade apparel, and proving that with the right mix of passion and perseverance, even the most modest beginnings can lead to extraordinary success.

“We're proud of how far we've come,” Anuja concludes. “But we’re even more excited about where we’re headed. This is just the beginning for Chowkhat.”

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