Everyone loves glamming up for a special event, but we don’t love the stress of buying a new outfit every occasion, especially if we don’t live close to a Little India that is filled with desi boutique store fronts and dhabas serving samosa chaats. Luckily, there’s ShopBollyWear, a North American-based e-commerce platform, and saving you from the South Asian fashion faux pas!
This fairly new venture carries affordable South Asian clothes—catering to the beauty queens and starlets inside of us. ShopBollyWear offers an array of South Asian wear, including casual kurtis that add a touch of South Asian flair to your otherwise western wardrobe, classic saris, menswear, tunics for kids, jewelry, and so much more.
ShopBollyWear prides itself in providing head-to-toe styling for the whole family. Second-generation and Indian-American founder, Nila Chakraborty, said she wants her company to cater to all those living in North America.
“It’s hard to search for just ethnic menswear, children’s clothing, jewelry and accessories. ShopBollywear.com brings Indian-Americans a fabulous array of fashion trends from India. It’s affordable and glamorous, which makes the brand unique. Our collection appeals to second-generation Indian-Americans and the mature Indian-American diaspora too,” she said.
Nila Chakraborty—was born in Kolkata and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania—said she grew up with an understanding of both Indian and American culture.
“I grew up watching Bollywood movies and was inspired by the Indian clothes actors and actresses wore,” Chakraborty said. “In the 80s especially, it was hard to acquire Indian clothes for weddings, parties or events unless one travelled to India.”
Even though she started her career in banking and finance, she later ran a wedding planning business, which is where she sought the idea of her company.
“I believe all experiences in life help you become who you are or who you want to be, professionally or personally,” she said. “You learn something even from past events, incidents, and lessons learned. So yes, I think my entire customer facing experience, whether it was as a restaurant hostess at 16 or as a banking and finance professional, or executive recruiting, it’s helped me become the entrepreneur I am today.”
While working as a wedding planner, she said she noticed second generation Indian-Americans liked dressing glamorously for festive events, especially weddings.
“I saw how second generation Indian-Americans wanted to dress like Bollywood stars for all festive events especially weddings, but didn’t have the time to travel to India to shop,” Chakraborty said.
So that’s when the idea sparked to start a website that provides Indian-Americans with a way of accessing “Bollywood-inspired” clothing in North America.
Nila said because she does not have a brick-and-mortar store and mostly sells her clothes online, she is able to keep her overhead costs relatively low. She said she loves the e-commerce business because she can reach large numbers of customers all over the world.
“Many of my customers don’t have time to shop when they travel to India and love ShopBollyWear for providing an option for shopping outside of India,” she mentioned.
Because of the array of Indian designers and retailers in India to choose from, Nila said she has a business development team that helps her choose her retailers. She verifies the quality of products before merchandise is featured on her website.
As far as sales go, Nila said her brand’s social media campaigns, word of mouth, and referrals have been her most effective methods of increasing sales.
Not everyone has easy access to the Indian neighborhoods of Edison, NJ or Jackson Heights, NY. So for those of us who don’t have the time or bandwidth to make an overseas trip, ShopBollyWear provides a unique opportunity to find clothes for your whole family that fit your style and stays within a budget.
In the future, Nila said she hopes to start a line called, “Nila’s Collection,” where she hopes to design her own apparel and accessories for her clientele.
Visit ShopBollyWear today and follow them via Facebook. Shoot them an email or call them: (Monday – Friday, 9am-5pm CST): 952-222-3601.
Sheena Pradhan is a 27-year-old actress, model, nutritionist, writer, and content creator. She always thought she would be a buyer for a big fashion brand, but in her winding journey, she has fallen in love with acting and modeling, which she does full-time alongside running her nutrition business, Nutritious Balance (www.nutritiousbalance.com). Check out Sheena’s work at www.sheenapradhan.com.