- Hi Sujata, Welcome to the interview session of Anamitra’s Blog. To start with, we would request you to tell us a few lines about yourself.
I am Sujata Chatterjee, the founder of www.twirl.store. I am based in Kolkata and am an engineer with degrees in management and marketing too. I am also the mother of 2 lovely kids, Ranabir and Anaya.
2. How did you get the idea of starting Twirl?
We live in an age of a Retail boom where everything is so easily available to us that we shop throughout the year, leading to overflowing wardrobes for most of us. At the same time, in the slums and villages of India, many people struggle to find basic clothing and many talented women need a decent source of livelihood.
The idea of Twirl came to bridge the gap between these 2 ends of society and solve the problems on both sides. At Twirl.store, we encourage you to send your unwanted clothes to us. Customers get rewarded with points which they can redeem to buy new things from us. And with all the old clothes that Twirl receives, Twirl either donates it or up-scales it as a fabric to make new wonders. This work of up-cycling or reusing fabrics is done by women primarily rural women thus giving them a source of livelihood.
3. Please also describe your journey of Twirl from the beginning till now?
Twirl.store is an eCommerce site that works on a totally different business model which had not been done in India before. So starting something unique was obviously an uphill task but we are honored by all the love we have received from customers and corporates across the country. We are thrilled to have been covered by a range of media and received felicitation from prestigious platforms. But our greatest achievement is the smiles on the faces of those less-fortunate whose lives we have been able to touch.
4. What challenges did you face as a woman entrepreneur and How did you overcome them?
Being a lady entrepreneur from Kolkata and attempting to start a new business model, people were initially very skeptical about my ideas. But I think as an entrepreneur you need to have the mental strength to take criticism and pick yourself up from every setback.
5. What is your USP?
Twirl.store is the only platform providing an easy solution to your wardrobe worries while also benefiting society and environment. We offer free home pickup of your unwanted clothing and free delivery of our unique up-cycled products across the country. So its never been easier to keep rotating your wardrobe while also doing a good deed.
6. Narrate some of your success stories.
Twirl serves customers across the country and also works in partnership with organisations. We are part of Start Up India and selected in NASSCOM 10000StartUps program. We were awarded Women on a Mission by Your Story, felicitated at the Tata Social Enterprise Challenge 2019 and recognized by DST, Govt of India and IIM Calcutta as one of the best ideas to transform India. Eastern Chamber of Commerce has also recognized our efforts and named us Swayam Siddha.
7. What are your future plans for Twirl?
We hope to get more and more people across the country involved in the Twirl circle and hope everyone joins our initiative to make fashion and retail a sustainable circle.
8. Your advice to those who wish to be an entrepreneur.
Believe in your dreams !