L’affaire Cashmere, French for ‘the case of cashmere’, is an e-commerce site retailing premium quality cashmere and wool scarves, stoles and shawls. Started by Nisha Singal, a postgraduate in English Literature and a certified professional from NIFT and IIM – Calcutta, the venture has a good market in US and Australia targeting women from young and middle age group. Nisha shares her business concept, “We prefer to deal in niche selected category, rather than giving the customer different type of goods. The emphasis is on quality and presentation. The goods are sourced from Kashmir and Nepal and recently from Mongolia and we travel to these sources and have the goods manufactured as per our design.”
L’affaire Cashmere is not the first tryst of Nisha with entrepreneurship. She had founded the Navrang International in 1989, an apparel manufacturing company, giving direct employment to more than 1000, having a turnover of 6 million USD before she winded it up in 2008. Nisha shares with us her motivation for start-up and the French connection, “My passion for colors, fabrics and textures and my strong desire to be financially independent were the push behind L’affaire Cashmere. Further, my connection with clients like Zara, IKKS (France), Liberto (France), DDP (France), Tenue D’ Soiree, Lee Cooper (France) owing to my previous venture gave me the necessary confidence. I have been to France a number of times and I love the country, the language, the people and their fashion sense. Hence, I named it L’ affaire Cashmere.” Having gone through many ups and downs in life, she wishes to start the second innings of her life through L’affaire Cashmere. L’affaire markets its products in more than one way through international fashion blogs, affiliation with known sites like faboverfifty.com, through the social media channels and google adwords.
L’affaire Cashmere has a team of 6 members taking care of logistics and operational work. It outsources the SEO work to a company based out of Ahmedabad. She banks on her family members for any technical issues, all of whom are graduates of elite institutions like IIT and IIM. Nisha shares her revenue strategy and market, “Since it is purely an e-commerce site, we get direct payments through PayPal and Amazon etc. Right now, our reach is more in US and Australia. We offer free international delivery.”
Having done a quality control course from NIFT, Nisha is very conscious about quality of the fabrics. Having visited Kashmir recently, she delineates her experience, “It was fascinating to see the weavers do up the intricate ‘kani’ work on a cashmere shawl. It takes a workman nearly a week to weave one and a half inch of floral design with this technique.” Nisha envisions giving more value to the customer in terms of quality, delivery and presentation, as the visits and sale would follow.
Website: L’affaire Cashmere