[Left to Right: Weekend Casual Founders Amit Bhanvadia, Kunal Parikh and Vimal Bhanvadia. | Photo Courtesy: Weekend Casual]
Weekend Casual is company centered around providing luxurious fashion at affordable prices—and so much more. With its unique men’s accessory collections, the start-up offers the most up-to-date, must-have fashion and works for impactful social change at the same time. We go behind the scenes with its founders to find out what keeps the newbie a step ahead of the competition.
Weekend Casual is the brainchild of two brothers, Vimal and Amit Bhanvadia, and their best friend, Kunal Parikh. The three men launched the online store in mid-2014 with the aim to create high-end, yet reasonably priced, fashion for men—and give back to society in the process.
The inspiration behind Weekend Casual is simple and refreshing—the store wants to take fashion to a broad audience, or what they call the “Everyday Man.”
“The Everyday Man is from any neighborhood, and from all walks of life; whatever he may be, we want to connect with him and show him that style has no boundaries,” Parikh explained. “Our philosophy is that you don’t need to spend a million bucks to look like a million bucks, so we try to appeal to those who are looking for that extra boost when it comes to style. We believe that a man’s wardrobe can comprise of a few key essentials, but with different accents to those essentials, you can put hundreds of looks together that compliment your own individuality.”
Creating fashion is something that comes naturally to the partners, who use the differences in their backgrounds and careers to put forth unique work.
“I myself have a background in architecture – so creativity and visualization are components that I handle,” Parikh said. “Vimal has a background in business – having founded and operated previous ventures, he is able to guide Weekend Casual in a financially responsible manner. Amit is a doctor, and working with people is second nature to him – he is able to work closely with style influencers and other marketing channels. But we all draw upon our own inspirations and influences in order create unique pieces that speak to our consumers.”
The three partners were between the ages of 29 and 34 when Weekend Casual was born—and it took a lot to make the business grow. Parikh was frank about the challenges they faced. “None of us had a background in e-commerce or fashion, so we had to learn as we grew. We designed our own products, handpicked fabrics from thousands of swatches and vetted many suppliers. Using our company as a platform to give back to our community was always at the forefront of our business model; so when finding suppliers overseas, making sure they were practicing ethical labor standards was a major hurdle we had to deal with. We made multiple trips to visit and scout our suppliers—and we feel we’ve made some terrific decisions, as we work only with suppliers we feel hold the same beliefs as do we.”
[Photo Courtesy: Facebook.com/Weekend Casual]
Weekend Casual has another strong quality—they contribute generously to causes they believe in, like Ekal Vidyalaya and Surge For Water. By cutting out the middleman and dealing directly with their suppliers, they make sure that they save on costs and support organizations working for social change.
Parikh was clear about how this strategy works. “From day 1, we knew that in order to support the various causes we partner with, we had to work directly with our suppliers and factories. Because of this, we are able to provide our customers with high quality, well-priced items, all while the maintaining a socially responsible company that can afford to give back.”
This is not the only way that Weekend Casual works differently from its competitors.
“Weekend Casual has never been a company that offers hundreds of products to our customers,” Parikh said. “We strive to streamline the shopping experience. We produce our products in very limited quantities—allowing us to rotate our inventory every 6 to 8 weeks providing the customer with unique pieces that are in trend every season. This allows us to constantly refresh our inventory, and at our price point, it allows our customers to come back and not hesitate to make second and third purchases.”
The priorities that the partners have set are paying off. Parikh is excited about the future of the company its expansion.
He said: “In the coming months, we plan on introducing scarves in the fall, followed by belts in the spring. Along with just accessories, we also anticipate having a full apparel line in the near future.”
Having witnessed so much growth in such a short time, Parikh had some sound advice for budding entrepreneurs.
“Sometimes you can’t stick to conventional ideas and methodologies – you have to create your own path and not be afraid to veer off and learn something new. The fastest way to get from point A to point B is always a straight line – but that doesn’t make it the right way,” he said.
[Photo Courtesy: Facebook.com/Weekend Casual]
To learn more about Weekend Casual, visit their website, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
This post is a part of our Start-Up Series on India.com. If you know of a South Asian entrepreneur living in the Diaspora, who is ambitious and innovative, let us know! We would love to profile and connect with them for our series. Contact: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org with their information.