“Believe in yourself and your idea, because if you yourself don’t believe in it, then no one else will!” – Sujata Chatterjee’s valuable advice for rising entrepreneurs.
Sujata Chatterjee is the founder and owner of Twirl.store. This company deals with old, torn, and unwanted clothes and fabrics to utilize and recycle them in the best way possible. Out of collected clothes, they donate some to needy people in villages/slums and utilise the rest to make new products out of it.
In this interview with Business Upside, Sujata Chatterjee shares her journey with Twirl.store. Moreover, she discusses the concept of her current business model, mission, generating new ideas, business formula, marketing approaches, and recruitment.
Edited Excerpts from the Interview
BusinessUpside[BU]: How did you get your idea or concept for the current business model?
Sujata Chatterjee[SC]: The idea of Twirl.store came from the overflowing state of my own wardrobe at one time. I realised we as individuals and organisations have so much unwanted clothing and fabrics lying around. But we often don’t realise that fabric waste is a huge problem with a deep socio-environmental impact. So I conceptualised the Twirl model in a way by which we would reward everyone for sending their unwanted clothing/fabrics etc. And with all that we collect, a part would be donated to those who need it in far-flung slums/villages, and the rest of the material is upcycled as a fabric to create new products out of it. This entire work of upcycling fabrics into bags, accessories, gift items, etc., is done by rural women, thus giving them a source of livelihood. Thus at Twirl, the idea is to spread smiles by turning waste into wonders!
BusinessUpside[BU]: What was your mission at the outset?
Sujata Chatterjee[SC]: Right from the beginning, the focus of Twirl.store has been to have a positive impact on both society and the environment. Through the Twirl circle, we not only reduce fabric waste and conserve our natural resources like water but also meet the essentials needs of the less advantaged and ensure women empowerment.
BusinessUpside[BU]: How do you market your business, and which method has been most successful?
Sujata Chatterjee[SC]: The Twirl products are sold online on www.twirl.store and through other eco-friendly marketplaces. They are sold in a few offline locations. But the majority of our products are part of corporate gifting, bulk orders and now exports also.
BusinessUpside[BU]: What is unique about your business?
Sujata Chatterjee[SC]: The uniqueness of Twirl is in its business model! It is perhaps the first and only organisation to be working in this way to make retail a more sustainable circle!
BusinessUpside[BU]: How do you generate new ideas?
Sujata Chatterjee[SC]: Learning never stops; we learn from our partners and our customers and keep on adapting to changes around us as well. This has opened up the scope of new opportunities and ideas.
BusinessUpside[BU]: If you had one piece of advice for someone just starting out, what would it be?
Sujata Chatterjee[SC]: Believe in yourself and your idea because if you yourself don’t believe in it, then no one else will!
BusinessUpside[BU]: What do you look for in an employee?
Sujata Chatterjee[SC]: The eagerness to learn, the willingness to be part of a team, the right attitude are very important.
BusinessUpside[BU]: Do you believe there is some sort of formula or pattern to becoming a successful business model?
Sujata Chatterjee[SC]: I don’t think so at all because each one of us has different challenges to overcome. But I think the common trait that we should all keep in mind is patience and perseverance.
BusinessUpside[BU]: What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Sujata Chatterjee[SC]: Twirl.store has received love from individuals, organisations, and celebrities across the country. We have received so many recognitions, including the Devi Award from the hands of Mrs.Smriti Irani, Union Minister. But I still believe our most satisfying moments have been those in which we saw smiles on the faces of those whose lives we were able to enrich. Those smiles in the rural communities continue to inspire us.
BusinessUpside[BU]: What motivates you to become an Entrepreneur?
Sujata Chatterjee[SC]: The joy of solving a problem and the satisfaction of being able to create something new – is my motivation for being an Entrepreneur.
- My LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/Sujata-Chatterjee-03a055162
- Company website: Twirl.store