FableStreet - A Startup that is Making Tailored Fit Workwear for Women by Using Algorithm

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Female office goers often feel the boredom with kind of formal and semi-formal apparel that they have to wear to the office. Be it the style, cut or fit  there was not enough options available when it comes to office wear. To find a solution, and to offer interesting  work wear options to women, Ayushi Gudwani came up with FableStreet in 2016. FableStreet's unique algorithm ensures that every women looks stylish and feels comfortable irrespective of the size or shape of her body. This is how FableStreet came into being and how this startup is solving women's office wear dilemma.

FableStreet Highlights

Startup Name FableStreet
Headquarter Delhi NCR
Founder Ayushi Gudwani
Sector Apparel
Founded 2016
Parent Organization Fable Street Lifestyle Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
Website fablestreet.com

About FableStreet and How it Works
FableStreet - Target Market
FableStreet - Founders and team
How was FableStreet Started
FableStreet - Name, Tagline and Logo
FableStreet - Startup Launch
FableStreet - Business Model and Revenue Model
FableStreet - Startup Challenges
FableStreet - Competitors
FableStreet - Funding and Investors
FableStreet - Advisors and Mentors
FableStreet - Marketing Strategy
FableStreet - Awards & Recognitions
FableStreet - Growth / Revenue

About FableStreet and How it Works

FableStreet is a premium work-wear brand for women; offering timeless, versatile pieces, with fits tailored for your body measurements. The products are thoughtfully crafted with luxury fabrics and functional designs to give consumers a rich buying and wearing experience at affordable price points. FableStreet's  products can be purchased online, from all over the world.

Product of FableStreet
Product of FableStreet

FableStreet's USP is its 'FS Sizing Algorithm'. This proprietary fit algorithm has been developed by measuring Indian bodies- their data of more than 20000+ measurements helps them give women a great fit (much better than market) with only 3 measurements (chest, waist and hip) taken from customers during order placement.  By taking just 3 measurements from the customers, 'FS Sizing Algorithm' extrapolates the remaining measurements to 95 percent accuracy.

FableStreet Accessories
FableStreet Accessories

FableStreet's core aim is to build a need-based brand by solving women's workwear issues by offering anti-gape silhouettes, non-sheer styles, dress with pockets, comfortable styles and high-quality fabrics - all at tailored fits. They also offer one on one styling sessions at the FableStreet apparel house to clients looking for customized workwear solutions.

FableStreet Workwear
FableStreet Workwear

Also read: List of Successful Women Entrepreneurs in India


FableStreet - Target Market

There is a huge untapped women's western work-wear market in India. However, now, the industry is growing at an unprecedented pace with an increase in the number of women entering the workforce. It is the fundamental growth driver in the current economy. Besides, the industry is moving from an unorganized to the organized sector. Additionally, with the onset of social media and influencers, the e-commerce sector is fuelling growth in the retail sector.

As FableStreet CEO Ayushi Gudwani puts in, "women's western work-wear market is currently at 2 billion USD, growing at 20% YOY (in the organized sector) with limited branded players in the domestic arena. Globally, the market is significantly large and evolved in primary target geographies such as the USA and Europe where a lot of homegrown as well as premium work-wear brands cater to a growing community of working women in all fields. I am glad to say that we are one of the few Indian work-wear brands to extend our services to these global clients, especially in the USA, UK, Australia, Dubai and Singapore."
Workwear Jewelry by FableStreet
Workwear Jewelry by FableStreet

Also read: Success Story of DesignerPeople


FableStreet - Founders and team

FableStreet Founder Ayushi Gudwani
FableStreet Founder Ayushi Gudwani 

FableStreet founder Ayushi Gudwani, is an engineer by education. She is also an alumna of IIM Calcutta. Ayushi started her career in Lehman Brothers as a Senior Analyst. Later, she joined McKinsey & Company, where she worked in various positions from 2008-2015, before starting her own venture in 2016.

How was FableStreet Started

"FableStreet started as an idea to overcome THAT feeling of trying on a dress hoping it would look stunning on you, and then coming out of the trial room frustrated, promising yourself to become a perfect size the next time you shop," said the founder of FableStreet.

As Ayushi spoke with more and more women, she realized that the feeling was universal! When it came to office wear, most women faced issues in finding quality pieces that looked great, fit well and most importantly, are comfortable (think pockets, non-sheer, stretchable, etc.). So, the idea turned into an interesting concept to execute. FableStreet was started with a vision to offer quality work-wear that fits well and is affordable.

"Making a garment sounded simple until I started building one myself. We brought together best of experts in design, quality, fabrics and analytics to help build FableStreet. We spent a year doing extensive R&D on Indian body sizes, shapes, styles and quality fabrics to build a collection of what may seem simple, yet, highly technical garments - that fit well, look good and feel comfortable" says Ayushi explaining the initial stage of the company.

The FableStreet team measured over 1000 Indian women to understand the problems associated with the western work-wear options available in the market. After accumulating an invaluable data pool on the various types of body shapes, the team devised a 'Tailored Fit' algorithm that requires just 3 body measurements (chest, waist, and hip) along with height to extrapolate the remaining measurements with great accuracy. Ayushi even interned  over a course of six months in an apparel house to understand the construction and sizing of garments, before launching FableStreet.

FableStreet is not just about making great office wear, it's much more than that. At FableStreet, the team understands professional women - what matters to them and what they value- their stories, struggles, values, and aspirations. The FableStreet team wants to address and celebrate these "stories" or "fables" at a global level, hence the name FableStreet was given to the startup. The naming of the brand was a very thoughtful decision to ensure that women find meaning to the brand they are shopping. Globally, "Street" (as a word) is associated with shopping, for example, Oxford Street, 5th Avenue, etc. FableStreet is a place for women to be confident and happy about themselves by making them "tailor their story". Hence, the name "FableStreet" made the most sense during brand inception.

FableStreet Logo
FableStreet Logo

FableStreet - Startup Launch

The team launched FableStreet on 2nd September 2016. The brand launch was done by announcing the soft launch on Ayushi's personal Facebook page. The idea was to introduce the brand, subtly explain why she built it the way it is and to get feedback about the same from her friends and relevant consumers. Surprisingly,  the number of people associated with Ayushi's story turned out to be a lot more than what she had imagined. Her post was shared by more than 100 people and the traffic on the website shot from 0 to 100 concurrent users within minutes of the launch. And that's also how FableStreet got some of the initial bunch of customers.

FableStreet - Business Model and Revenue Model

FableStreet follows a just-in-time model. The company does not keep any inventory, and gets the outfits made as per order.The FableStreet business model operates on custom fits, strong brand equity and affinity among the customers with real-time feedback.  The main motive is to deliver a personalized experience and not just a product. From ordering to delivery to packaging to compliments the lady gets when she wears FableStreet is all considered a part of shopping from the brand.

Unlike domestic brands or designers, where the focus is primarily to design, the FableStreet team of skilled designers approaches product development through R&D on fabrics, fits, strength, etc. (in addition to design) which enables their garments to fit well, look great and last longer. The team's vision is to make women feel beautiful and confident about themselves, irrespective of shape or size. FableStreet is a celebration of such women, their achievements, contributions and professional successes.

FableStreet primarily sells online via its well-constructed website and has a strong customer base within India and internationally.  The US, Australia, UK, Dubai, and Singapore are some of the global destinations that FableStreet is successfully operating in.

A significant and organic word of mouth marketing and online advertising is successful in generating new customers for the company. FableStreet prices start from Rs.1495 and margins are usually between the industry standard, depending upon the style and fabric which amount to 60-65% Gross Margins.

FableStreet - Startup Challenges

Being a new comer in the apparel industry, there were many challenges Ayushi had to face . The first and foremost challenge for FableStreet was cracking the product development and apparel operations while being an industry outsider. At the onset, Ayushi knew that the vision would be "building a great product - a quality garment that is comfortable, functional and fits well" but without a pedigree in design or textile, building it was definitely a big challenge. Hiring the designers was not difficult, getting them to build an unmatchable product was. Hence, Ayushi decided to intern in a manufacturing unit for 6 months to learn the basics of apparel making. Secondly, she wanted to learn formulating the operations plan and just in time the product development approach.

Ayushi then built the first collection for FableStreet from scratch - sourcing the fabrics, deciding silhouettes, customer trials and working with masters and tailors to even sewing the buttons. In a mature industry, she still struggled with sizing and blindly copying western sizes was a challenge to dream of great sizes/fits for Indian bodies. The FableStreet team needed an affordable and convenient "good fit option" and build that for Indian Women. Thus, the FableStreet proprietary fit algorithm has been developed by measuring Indian bodies backed by data of more than 20000+ measurements.

After all these, came the issue of hiring the right team.

"Your first few hires look up to you and your credibility and ability to convince them to join you. So, you need to be able to demonstrate the commitment towards their success and passion for the business. This took time, but given my strength in people, I could manage these." says Ayushi explaining the initial hiring challenges.
"The current challenge is building the culture of the organisation and being true to the mission as we scale up. The only way, I believe to crack this, is to get the next set of leaders to define the vision and mission with you and giving them the ownership and freedom to set that up."  Ayushi adds

FableStreet - Competitors

Though FableStreet has a USP of offering tailor sized comfort and style to women purchasing formal wear from the brand, it still faces direct competition from international brands. Top competitors of FableStreet are Vero Moda, W, Aurelia, Biba, Only, FabIndia, H&M to only name a few. Online platforms like Myntra, Shein also poses to be a great competition to FableStreet.

FableStreet - Funding and Investors

FableStreet has raised 2 rounds of funding till date.

Date Stage Amount Investors
July, 2017 Seed - Kanwaljit Singh, Fusion Tech Ventures, Pameela Pattabiraman & Harmeet Bajaj
December, 2019 Series A Rs 210 Million Fireside Ventures, Dilipkumar Khandelwal, Suhail Sameer & Praveen Parameswaran

Also read: Have a look at the Indian Startup Funding Data


FableStreet - Advisors and Mentors

Kanwaljit Singh has been an investor and a mentor throughout the whole process. Similarly, Harmeet Bajaj, who is a fashion Industry veteran is also associated with FableStreet as a mentor since the inception and has also invested subsequently.

FableStreet - Marketing Strategy

After acquiring the first 100 consumers, the FableStreet team approached marketing and brand building systematically. The team started with a paid marketing approach, sharing the story and the products, via Facebook. They also built the social media presence, sharing relevant products and customer stories.

As brand awareness increased, organic traffic also started increasing. Given the uniqueness of the FableStreet business model and product, they garnered significant press in the early launch days itself. This press attention added to increasing awareness. During the 3 year journey, FableStreet has also tied up with complementary brands to make the clients aware of their existing and new products.

A mantra which helped me in my entrepreneurial journey was a strong focus on holistic business- building. By that I mean the impact of different decisions you take, on various perspectives of the business, such as the impact on marketing, product-market fit and operational bits, etc. Taking risks and having a “global” perspective also helps in brand-building.

FableStreet - Awards & Recognitions

FableStreet has received significant awards and strong press given the strong brand and unique business models at the early stages.

  • Business World - Young Entrepreneur Award, 2019
  • TimesShe Utd awards -2019
  • Star Retailer - Upcoming Etailer of the year
  • India Today Cover Story - 10 Women changing SME landscape
  • BT Coolest Startups 2018 (Business Today)
  • FICCI Young Leaders 2019

Also Read: Top Fashion Startups in 2020


FableStreet - Growth / Revenue

FableStreet has been growing at 200% plus year on year for the last 3 years. The team has served more than 25,000 customers to date and an Average Order Value of Rs 4500 plus crores which are generated purely online. FableStreet also has significant brand traction. More than 50% of their monthly revenue is from repeat loyal customers. Till November 2018, FableStreet  reported revenue worth around $400,000.

In the journey so far, FableStreet has dressed the CEOs, CXOs and top tier women professionals across industries from technology and consultation to sports and Bollywood. Some of these leading ladies dressed by FableStreet include Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Smriti Mandhana, Mel Jones, PV Sindhu, Yami Gautam, Gauhar Khan, etc.

Moving forward, the team plans to scale faster. Also, an offline store is in the pipeline. FableStreet will also be adding a new range of footwear and bags to the existing categories of the products that they are offering.

Classy yet comfortable formal wear for women was like a dream. Ayushi Gudwani took this simple insight and built a meaningful brand out of it. FableStreet not only provides great formal wear but apparel that make the women feel happy and satisfied in their own skin.

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