Entrepreneurs

Arati Bandaal, the woman whose venture aims to revive the lost essence of Paithani sarees

OnlyPaithani is a complete go to store for everything Paithani  & handloom and was primarily born out of love for Paithani sarees. This retail and online format store is set-up by Arati Baandal, who is an engineer by qualification but her love for sarees and handlooms got the better of her and she decided to work towards reviving Paithani.

Tarun Jain In conversation with Arati Baandal founder of OnlyPaithani on her journey into entrepreneurship and about her brand OnlyPaithani.

So Arati tell us more about OnlyPaithani your brand and how it all started?

Arati Baandal: Journey of OnlyPaithani culminated when I was getting married. Like every Maharashtrian bride I wanted the beautiful Paithani in my trousseau. So, we started shopping for Paithani sarees, but with each venture of shopping I came back being disappointed. There weren’t enough range nor options for the brides. This was something that kept playing in my mind and somewhere the germ of the idea was planted in my head.

And finally one day when me and my husband were discussing we decided to give it a go. Thus OnlyPaithani as a brand was born.

What difficulties did you face since the start?

Arati Baandal: Starting up a venture is not an easy task specially if you have worked for corporate firms. Right from understanding in depth about the weave, to identifying the correct techniques of making the weave, to identifying the market everything took a lot of time. This was an unknown terrain for us as we are first generation entrepreneurs. But we believed in the idea and desperately wanted to revive Paithani, so we stuck with our idea. Today we are in the market for more than 47years and are proud to have made the move.

Best feedback you got from your client?

Arati Baandal: Our Facebook page has a lot of positive comments from our clients, but the biggest compliment is when the same clients keep coming back for more and also work as a brand ambassador for us and spread positive word for our brand.

Where do you see OnlyPaithani in next Five years?

Arati Baandal: We have a store in Mumbai and in Bangalore which we launched recently. We are planning to add more retail format stores across the country and continue with our exhibitions across the country. We plan to have one store in each city in next 5 years.

How do you stand apart from rest of the handloom and Paithani brands?

Arati Baandal: We have our own units and we make the designs and sarees ourselves. This helps us in maintaining our designs and to keep things in check. Also along with selling the weaves, we are also trying to educate people and explain to them the difference between fake and original sarees. They are many people online who sell fake Paithani Saree for a high price, but buyers are getting smarter and they know what they are going for.

On a final note what will be your advice to women entrepreneurs like you who are starting out?

Arati Baandal: Listen to your heart and live your dreams. If you feel you have the right idea, than do your study on it and once you are through with all the information required and well equipped, just go for the chase.

Arati Bandaal’s Paithani Sarees collection

About the author

Tarun Jain

Tarun Jain is a Journalist, Blogger, Translator, Social Media Expert and Cartoon Lover. He served in Punjab Kesari as journalist. Currently he is working as Senior Content Editor at a monthly magazine 'Sach Ki Dhwani' and Content Contributor at QNAIndia.com.