Local weavers find virtual road to global market

New Delhi, Jan 27 (IANS) Local weavers and designers from cities like Mumbai and Bengaluru have found a way to take ‘desi’ ethnic designs to the world — through an online portal Mirraw. The artisans say the virtual medium helps them spread their wings with good exposure in selling Indian traditional wear in the worldwide market.

From bridal lehengas, flowing blingy anarkalis, elegant saris to traditional and trendy jewellery sets, Mirraw, an online marketplace, is a virtual destination for all that’s required for weddings. It brings forth a handpicked selection of ethnic materials.
And ‘The Great Indian Shaadi Festival’ was one of its attempt in giving a virtual helping hand for wedding preparations. The fashion gala started on January 25, and will continue till January 29.
According to a source working closely with the portal, as many as 640 vendors are participating in the festival with most of them hailing from Gujarat.
Ravi Sampat, a Mumbai-based seller at the portal, hails the online world and virtual festivals for opening windows for local artisans to the world.
He also asserts that finding the right market is often tough, but such e-portals help them in spotting customers, who are on the lookout for authentic ‘desi’ products globally.
Sampat said: “The festival is a unique campaign to showcase our work which otherwise goes unnoticed by customers in bigger cities. We feel our products have great potential to attract buyers in metros but it is difficult to get the right market place. Such online festivals help us reach customers globally, who keep looking out for original and authentic desi products for special occasions like marriages.”
Another seller, Kartik Raja echoes the same views, pointing out another advantage — smooth selling process.
“We have a strong production base in Bengaluru and each product is carefully woven by our artisans. The Karkari work on these saris and lehangas takes a great amount of time and effort and we have complete quality control over the products that actually go out to the customers.
“Unfortunately, selling these unique products in local markets does not see many buyers and attracts low incentives. Through Mirraw.com, not only customer outreach is supported but the entire selling process is very smooth. Festivals and wedding seasons give a boost to our business with demands for products coming from other regions of the country,” said Raja.
Mirraw, founded by Shailesh Jain and Anup Nair in 2011, presents special curated collections.
Another seller Yogesh Kumar, based in Bengaluru, notes that they have “witnessed a huge demand for the ready made blouses that they sell on Mirraw”.