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Unveiling the Secrets of Success: Insights from Arne Boutique's Entrepreneurial Journey

Arya, Owner of Arne Boutique

Embark on the entrepreneurial journey of Arne Boutique, a distinctive Indian-Western fashion venture nestled in Columbus, Ohio. Join host Stephen Bland as he engages in a dialogue with Arya, Owner of Arne Boutique, unraveling the brand’s inception, hurdles, and pathways to success. Explore how Arne Boutique thrives amidst online and local competition by pioneering fusion fashion, prioritizing impeccable customer service, and fostering community involvement. This transcription offers a glimpse into Arne Boutique’s evolution, top-selling products, and vision for the future.

Arne Boutique pioneers fusion fashion, melding Indian and Western styles in Columbus, Ohio, crafting unique apparel with exceptional customer service.

Arya
Owner of Arne Boutique

Hey Everyone and welcome to our latest wytpod. I’m Stephen Bland, your host with wytlabs, an e-commerce marketing agency. Today’s guest is Arya. Arya, please feel free to let our viewers know a little bit more about yourself and share your background.

So my name is Arya. My mother and I started an Indian boutique in Columbus, Ohio. The only one in the Midwestern region other than Chicago, but Chicago is way too big. So we started this Indian boutique called Arne Boutique about 11 years ago because my mom had a dream to get into textiles when she was a kid. She wasn’t able to. So 11 years ago at the age of 50, she decided to start the American dream and achieve her American dream. And since childhood, I’ve always seen my mom indulge in various forms of art and fabric painting, rejuvenating and redesigning old clothes. Hannah designs paintings and much more. And when I kept seeing her, I realized I had a passion for fashion and entrepreneurship just like her. That’s what got me into the whole entrepreneurship journey through which I have realized that there are way too many components that are required in the entrepreneurship journey, such as website designing, marketing, customer service, product photography, and the whole nine yards, which nobody tells you about. So slowly and steadily, I started learning all of that. Now I’m not an expert, but I’m all right in all of those areas, including, so I learned to specialize in marketing. I come from an HR degree, got into marketing, do photography, styling, and modeling, and I also design stuff with my mom We’re a team of two with like a dream of making our boutique a nationally recognized brand by sharing our exquisite culture and blending both Indian and Western cultures into one.

Awesome. Can you tell me more about your products Arya?

Yes, our products vary from Indian clothing to Indian Western clothing, traditional Indian clothing to traditional Indian Western clothing, or a fusion of Indo-Western, men’s, women’s, jewelry, accessories, the whole line here. So whatever you need from going to an event to a wedding and the various components, we have it.

Awesome. So most of our listeners are entrepreneurs like yourself. What are some challenges you’ve had in the past few years and how do you overcome them?

A lot of the challenges we’ve had have been around the growing competition, which I’m sure fellow entrepreneurs can agree, growing online competition, in-house competition. By that I mean slowly but steadily, there is a lot of in-state competition as well where you have local businesses coming up, providing the same services. So how do you differentiate yourself from others? And then there is the international, if you get online, if you get into the e-commerce space, it’s on an international level where you’re competing for first page ranks, where you’re competing for customer acquisition at a very high rate compared to what it was before. I remember before the CPA for getting a click used to be somewhere around a dollar and now it varies from 20 to 30 dollars depending on how much you want to bid. That’s one area.

So I guess we talked about two areas there, the competition in a state where you have to then distinguish yourself by going to festivals, events, and stuff to put yourself more out there. And then you have the online space. Those have been the primary challenges. Surviving COVID was very difficult as well because everything went online and There were no sales. So what helped in COVID was the government grant, which we were lucky enough to get a little bit at least, which helped us just keep ourselves at par.

Well, that is positive. So who is your target audience?

Our target audience varies from the young generation, the young American Indian generation to an aging population that’s in America. One of the reasons why we came up with this whole Arne Boutique brand is when I was a kid growing up, I’ve been in this country, we’ve been in this country for 20 plus years. When I was growing up, I saw a need that not everyone, like me wants to wear Indian clothing all the time. So how do you bring the whole Indian and Western culture together into one space and provide clothing or attire that not only represents who you are as an individual but also has some touch of the ethnic culture? That’s one of the reasons why we started this. So that’s how we got into the space. I’m sorry, I think I answered your question but I’m not 100%.

You did, you sure did. So what makes you different or my favorite thing is what makes you better than your competitors?

One of our distinguishing factors primarily is our customer service. And if you look at Google and Facebook reviews, that will show you because being my mother and my mother-daughter team, our customer service is very top-notch, very different. Plus the clothing and attire that we provide are very different from the rest of India because we try to bring the Bollywood culture into our clothing with like a touch. And we work with local small boutiques in Mumbai.

Plus in Ohio and try to just as in the United States as a whole to bring our products as one, which is different than the competition. So it’s the differentiating products and the customer services that distinguish us.

I saw that. They’re very good. What are your, you’ve talked a lot about your products, what are your best-selling products?

Honestly speaking, it’s more like the ones that are an Indian and Western mixture. There is a beautiful gown that we have that we have various customers that are not only Indian or American Indian, they’re also Americans who are going to an Indian wedding. So those types of dresses are more like ball gowns that make you look and feel like an Indian princess. That’s one of our best sellers and a variety of that. So some of our outfits come with a skirt top scarf. So it’s kind of traditional, but yet modern, where we have various customers that have utilized their skirts again during the fall timeframe to wear it with boots. So trying to the way that we blend the fashion enables a customer to not only wear the outfit once but get more uses out of it too.

Awesome. What is your plan for yourself and the brand?

As a brand, we would like to grow into a national brand. We also specialize in plus-size clothing and stuff, so continue catering to all of the American population, which then comprises all different ethnicities, not just Indian and Western.

No, it makes total sense. Are you any retail or are you all online?

We are retail and online.

Okay. And what retailer, what retail stores are you in for our listeners?

We are locally owned and then e-commerce that I manage.

Okay. And you’re based out of Ohio, correct?

Yes, Columbus, Ohio.

Awesome. So what are you, you’ve mentioned some activities to promote the brand. What are some successful activities that you’ve done to promote the brand?

So, I organized fashion shows for local events. So I got together, I’ve organized interracial photo shoots, organized and implemented interracial photo shoots, and fashion shows that get the whole community together and get up on a stage in front of 10,000 plus people. I’ve also MC’d at places like that. So all of these events, local events, and big shows get us out there.

On an e-commerce front, I’ve learned various tools for ads, analytics, shopping, and everything, you need to do as an individual to get your products out there on these different forms, which has proven to be successful, which is the reason why we’re still standing today, 11 years later.

That’s awesome. Well, your story is amazing. It’s always great to see here an entrepreneurial success story that turned to e-commerce. I love it. Is there anything that I haven’t asked you that you want our listeners to know about yourself and your brand?

It’s just, it’s an American dream story, I would say, of a mother-daughter coming together, helping each other achieve our dreams.

Awesome. Well, I appreciate you coming on the podcast and I appreciate your time today and learning about your story. Your story is amazing. I loved hearing it and thank you so much.

Thank you for having me! It’s been great!

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