LoveThisStuff - Growth Story Backed an Online Marketplace Which Connects Artisans with Consumers
From hand-painted shoes, wooden sunglasses, upcycled home decor to personalized passport covers, every product on the site is uniquely crafted and breaks the norms of the mass market.
LoveThisStuff (LTS) is an online marketplace where creative entrepreneurs, designers, hobbyists, and artists can sell their creations and curious consumers can buy original and handmade products that break the norms of the mass market. The startup has the largest collection of personalized products spanning across categories. Be it bathing towels, passport covers or even notebooks, the platform offers a wide range of products that can be personalized.
While speaking about the idea generation, Vatsala Kothari, Founder, LoveThisStuff.com said, “I started Bee Happy in 2010 which offered personalised gifting solutions. However, for emerging entrepreneurs like me, there were many challenges of scaling up a creative business with limited avenues for marketing. This is where the idea behind LoveThisStuff (LTS) germinated and thereafter I went on to pursue an MBA. My keenness to grasp the nuances of starting up made me join TaxiForSure.com. I spearheaded the marketing activities and mentored a team of 5. Later, as the Brand Evangelist at Zivame, I undertook a diverse set of responsibilities from digital communication and catalog building to launching their first physical store, which in turn gave me a full flavour of consumer commerce. I also had the opportunity to work directly with the founders, understanding the intricacies of building and scaling an online business as well as the softer aspects of entrepreneurship. Then finally, with about 8 years of experience in entrepreneurship, marketing, and branding, I started LTS in October 2016.”
India has a highly fragmented market of over 7 million creative entrepreneurs, artisans, and designers. They usually operate as a one-person-show selling through Facebook pages, Whatsapp, and offline exhibitions. This model can often stagnate when it comes to scaling a business and building a brand in today’s dynamic market. On the other hand, in an era of mass-manufactured goods, customers are always seeking something unique that resonates with their personality. With LTS, a customer does not simply find, rather ‘discovers’ products that they never knew existed. From hand-painted shoes, wooden sunglasses, upcycled home decor to personalized passport covers, every product on the site is uniquely crafted and breaks the norms of the mass market.
LTS is backed by Growth Story, the venture-builder platform founded by K Ganesh and Meena Ganesh. The startup has a seller-aligned business model. “We currently earn commission on sales only. Our ATV stands at INR 1400 and we have 500+ designers registered offering more than 15000+ distinct items from across the country. Our promise to the growing generation of entrepreneurs is simple - “You do what you do best; design awesome products. We will take care of the rest; marketing, sales, logistics and everything in between”. With big brands occupying the bulk of consumers’ mind space, it is very difficult for small scale designers to get exposure. The inability to manage multiple functions has led to challenges n scalability for small-scale businesses. We aim to channelize consumerism such that original creations take the centre stage,” added Vatsala Kothari.
LTS' technological prowess is demonstrated by the fact that each designer is empowered with personalized storefronts with an intuitive UI that they can independently manage. LTS is a free and fair marketplace. Designers can have their store up and running in less than 5 minutes; whether it is uploading their inventory, managing prices or orders, they enjoy flexibility of work with part time, full time or vacation mode. This is the game changer as, unlike other marketplaces, it places complete control in the hands of the designer. As a fair marketplace, LTS allows sellers to set up their own shop policies that are transparent to the consumer while buying a product. Moreover, all of these services are absolutely free for the entrepreneur!
“We believe that every product made passionately by the seller has a consumer and we aim to give exposure to a diverse set of products from different sellers, rather than focusing on just the best-selling products. Our most rewarding moments are when sellers tell us they are expanding their team to keep up with the demand at LTS. About 90% of the designers on board our team are women and 70% of them are full-time creative entrepreneurs. Another 20% currently part-time are willing to convert to full-time on finding a sustainable platform. With the rise in small batch manufacturing and entrepreneurship, and the growing trend of conscious purchase, LTS aims to foster change at the grassroots level, giving designers the audience they deserve,” mentioned Vatsala.
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