One minute saree claims to solve your draping issues in under a minute with custom-stitched, ready-to-wear sarees and we say how cool and convenient that is!
Sasha Revankar, from Mumbai, who has prior experience running a business intercountry, founded one minute saree to solve saree draping woes. Though the market already had a few of the pre-stitched sarees, Sasha couldn't find one that stood true to the authenticity, elegance, and style of Indian sarees. She figured out the gap in the market, believed in her idea and started working on it. Today, they manufacture in Mumbai, while she manages everything else from New York.
Abhishansa Mathur was in a candid conversation with Sasha Revankar, founder of this unique saree brand, about her journey of starting One Minute Saree, challenges, and much more.
1. Can you tell us something about yourself?
I graduated from the MIT Sloan School of Business in 2008. I was born in Mumbai and raised in New York, and I have spent the last 20 years living and working across borders. After working for a few years in various e-commerce companies in New York City, I founded i2c World, Inc., a BPO in Mumbai. My father's company, ICC Worldwide (the first courier company to operate between New York and Mumbai), provided an excellent platform for my company to launch cross-border e-commerce ventures. And my new venture, One Minute Saree, is a ready-to-wear saree brand that is revolutionizing the whole concept of draping.
2. Please share the What, When, & How of One Minute Saree? Can you walk us through your journey so far?
I was inspired to create One Minute Saree after having a traumatic experience where I had to get ready for a function with my two children without guidance. I saw a friend wearing a pre-stitched saree and looked online and in stores for something similar, but the majority of items were limited in design to kiddish dresses or sarees that were skirts, which diminished their beauty and feel. After that, I immediately began working with the team to design the One Minute Saree and make it available online in a wide range of colours.
3. What are some challenges that you faced while running One Minute Saree?
We are currently exclusively online only and Direct to Consumers. The saree construction gets a little complicated since the saree length and pallu (drape over the shoulder) needs to be just right. It was challenging at first to get the proportions right, and we could not ask customers to give us so many detailed measurements.
4. Give us some background on your sourcing of raw materials and manufacturing of the final product?
We use authentic sarees of various materials and workmanship sourced from all over India. We use real sarees to keep the look and feel of a traditional 6-yard saree. Our entire production is in Mumbai, and all of our sales are currently online.
5. Pre-draped sarees are in trend right now, but few are still skeptical about hopping onto this one. Why do you think their consumption is on the rise, and why do you think there is still some reluctance?
People living abroad, in particular, face the problem of getting ready for an occasion, and One Minute Saree is a one-stop shop that solves this problem. People are still hesitant because they believe it is not an authentic saree, but the One Minute Saree is very authentic and does not detract from the charm of a saree; rather, it simply makes it easier to wear.
6. What, according to you, makes One Minute Saree stand out amongst other brands?
We empower anyone, regardless of geographic location or ethnic background, to wear a saree with ease and comfort without any prior training or know-how. We retain all the beautiful aspects of the saree, the flow, the drape, the pleats, and take out all the hassles- no pleating, no pins, no petticoat. Also, we try to stay true to the soul of the saree while at the same time making it more practical, especially for people who do not routinely wear sarees. As much as possible, we try to be size inclusive and are working on sourcing products to further broaden our size ranges. In a way, we are trying to preserve the art of wearing a saree.
7. How are you using Social Media to promote your homegrown brand?
We actively showcase our label on Instagram by posting reels and pictures, we also post reels focusing on draping sarees in a minute for the audience to understand our brand better. We try to feature people from all over the world wearing saree. There is a significant community of saree lovers online, and we are cultivating the next generation of ‘One Minute Saree’ lovers.
8. What is your 5-year plan for One Minute Saree?
Our mission is pretty simple, we want to enable anyone, anywhere, to wear a saree. We believe the One Minute Saree is the saree of the future, and once you wear one, it’s hard to go back to wearing a regular saree. We plan to be the go-to brand for One Minute Sarees and hope to be available off the shelf and in offline stores within the next 5 years.
9. Can you share your business model with us?
Right now, we are only based online, and all our sales are done through the website. We manufacture our sarees on a made-to-order basis at our Mumbai-based workshop.
10. One advice/suggestion you’d like to give aspiring entrepreneurs out there.
Never hesitate to do what moves you and excites you. It’s an immense feeling of satisfaction to see an idea come to life. Trust your instincts and know it won’t be easy, and many won’t share your passion, but do your homework and stay true to your vision. Perseverance is everything.
11. Any anecdotes you would like to share with us?
I ran our first-ever ad on Facebook in March 2020. The very next day, I received a message from my cousin with a screenshot of our ad, and it said, “Is this your company? My friend sent me this with the caption, ‘This is amazing, I need one!!’” I was amazed that one small ad had already gone public and came back to me, “when does that ever happen, I thought??” Although we had to delay our plans for almost 2 years because of the pandemic, I knew we had something special we had to bring to the world.