Interview with Priyanka Sethi, Founder of Classicuir, Handcrafted leather bags & accessories
Priyanka Sethi is an entrepreneur and the founder of Classicuir, a brand that specializes in handcrafted leather bags and accessories.
She is known for her exquisite designs and attention to detail, which has earned her a loyal following among fashion enthusiasts.
Born and raised in India, Priyanka always had a passion for fashion and design. After completing her education in commerce, she decided to pursue her dream of starting her own business.
She founded Classicuir with the aim of creating timeless leather products that were not only stylish but also durable.
Under Priyanka’s leadership, Classicuir has become a well-known brand in the fashion industry. Her bags and accessories are made using only the finest quality leather and are handcrafted by skilled artisans.
Each product is designed with a unique blend of traditional and contemporary styles, making them versatile enough to be worn by anyone.
What sets Classicuir apart from other brands is Priyanka’s commitment to ethical and sustainable practices.
She believes in using natural and eco-friendly materials, and works with local artisans to ensure that they are paid fairly for their work. This not only helps to preserve traditional crafts but also supports the local community.
Priyanka Sethi is an inspiring entrepreneur who has created a successful brand through her dedication, hard work, and commitment to ethical and sustainable practices.
Her passion for fashion, combined with her desire to make a positive impact on the world, has made Classicuir a brand to watch in the fashion industry.
Tell us how the Classicuir came to be.
Priyanka Sethi: Our objective was to infuse the authentic essence of leather that was previously absent in the Indian market.
Our leathers are vegetable-tanned, ensuring the absence of harmful chemicals and making our products eco-friendly and biodegradable.
Drawing upon over 55 years of experience, our mastery of machinery and highly skilled workforce enabled us to introduce a novel concept of washed and tumbled leather.
Our bags exude a vintage yet contemporary vibe, while gracefully aging over time, and can be passed down for generations to come.
What parts of the brand’s distinctiveness would you highlight?
Priyanka Sethi: Our brand is dedicated to promoting sustainable fashion, with a focus on crafting exquisite leather bags and accessories tailored for the modern woman aged 25 years and above.
Our target market comprises working women, entrepreneurs, and mothers who appreciate the allure of stylish, yet eco-friendly fashion.
What sets us apart from our competitors is our commitment to creating unique designs that boast exquisite surface detailing.
Each bag is a masterpiece that captures the essence of individuality, ensuring our customers stand out from the crowd.
We take pride in sourcing our leather responsibly, always keeping the environment in mind. Our production process prioritizes the use of vegetable-tanned leather, which is superior in quality and biodegradable.
We do not use any chemicals, making our products a perfect choice for the conscious and environmentally aware woman.
Can you provide us with a detailed overview of the brand’s product line? Who is your intended audience?
Priyanka Sethi: Our target audience comprises modern women who value quality over price and understand the worth of carrying a genuine leather bag.
Our demographic includes working women, independent professionals, and homemakers aged between 28 and 55 years who appreciate the value of leather and love to travel.
Our target audience is characterized by a household income of at least INR 30,000. We cater to the premium category, which has the largest consumer base in the country, with prices that are neither too high nor too low.
Our average price point is INR 4000, which is easily affordable for the average middle-class household.
We do not target the masses or luxury segment but rather focus on the premium category. Our ideal clientele are those who understand the importance of quality and are willing to invest in it.
We do not cater to the youth as they prioritize lower prices over quality and do not differentiate between leather and non-leather products. Cheap price points are their primary buying criteria, and thus, they are not our target audience.”
What are your most successful products? And why is this so?
Priyanka Sethi: Our most successful products are the bowler bags and bucket bags. Bucket bags are a new concept, mostly found in luxury brands and are usually very expensive.
Our bucket bags are unique and spacious, and we have a patent on the Orleans padded weave design, making our bags one-of-a-kind.
Our bowler bags have been included in every collection due to their large size, spaciousness, and zipper design.
They are perfect for carrying all your essentials, including a laptop, and are great for office and travel purposes.
Describe some of the market obstacles you encounter as a young brand?
Priyanka Sethi: Our business has encountered a few market obstacles that have hindered our growth potential. Two of the most prominent challenges that we face are high return rates and delivery/logistics issues.
To mitigate these challenges, we have implemented certain measures, but we still face some roadblocks that we need to address.
One measure that we have taken is to have a dedicated team that connects with customers after an order is placed and before dispatch.
This process is in place to ensure that the customers receive accurate information about their order and that they are satisfied with their purchase.
Despite having this system in place, we have noticed that customers are still hesitant to accept cash-on-delivery (COD) orders.
This means that some of the COD orders that we dispatch are sent back to us, leading to losses in shipping costs.
Although our return rate is 5%, which is relatively low compared to other brands, we still want to improve this metric.
Therefore, we have been analyzing the reasons for customer returns, and we are working on ways to reduce them further.
Branding and brand awareness need to be budget-friendly so that there is greater visibility and trust in the brand over the years, reducing the likelihood of customers canceling orders at the last minute
Another major challenge that we face is delivery and logistics issues. We have noticed that delivery and shipping companies are getting worse in their services, and this has a direct impact on our business.
In particular, we have observed that the services for the East region are particularly poor, and this is where we receive the most orders.
To address this, we are exploring partnerships with other logistics providers to improve our delivery services.
We are also considering the possibility of setting up our own delivery fleet to have more control over the process.
In short we are aware of the challenges that we face in terms of return rates and delivery/logistics issues.
We are taking steps to address these challenges, but we know that there is still more work to be done. By continuously analyzing our processes and customer feedback, we are confident that we can improve our business operations and provide a better experience for our customers.
In which regions is the brand expanding?
Priyanka Sethi: When we first launched our brand in 2021, we were excited to introduce our collection of genuine leather products to the market.
However, we were uncertain about who our target audience would be and from where they would come. We knew that we had a great product, but we needed to find the right audience to appreciate it.
We began our journey by testing the market and analyzing our customer data. We carefully monitored our website traffic, sales, and customer feedback to gain insight into our audience’s preferences and behaviors. After 1.5 years of this, we have been able to identify some key trends in our customer base.
Our most significant customer base comes from South Kerala, with Bangalore and Chennai being the major cities.
We have found that customers from these regions are very discerning when it comes to leather products, and they appreciate the genuine quality of our offerings.
We have also received a lot of traction from Mumbai, where customers appreciate the unique designs and craftsmanship of our products.
We have been pleasantly surprised to discover that 30% of our orders come from northeastern states such as Assam, Meghalaya, and Tripura.
These customers have a deep appreciation for authentic leather goods and are willing to invest in quality products that will last a lifetime.
Overall, we are thrilled to have discovered our ideal clientele through our testing and analysis. We feel that we have found a loyal and discerning customer base that appreciates the value of our genuine leather products.
We look forward to continuing to serve our customers in these regions and expanding our reach to new markets in the future
Can you talk about your marketing strategy? What is your goal for 2023-24?
Priyanka Sethi: “We have expanded our presence by now being available in multiple designer stores and online marketplaces such as Ajio, Tata Cliq, and Jaypore and many other online platforms.
Our products have gained recognition and acceptance among customers and we have received positive feedback from them.
Our future expansion plan is to establish our own stores and increase our presence worldwide. We are determined to achieve our goal of becoming a global brand, and we believe that our unique and high-quality products will be well-received in different parts of the world.
We have already taken the first step towards this goal by starting international shipping, and we are excited to reach out to customers in different countries.
With our excellent customer service and commitment to quality, we believe we can establish a strong presence in the global fashion industry.”
Provide us with an outline of the Indian handbag market
Priyanka Sethi: The Indian handbag market is a diverse and rapidly growing industry that caters to a wide range of consumers.
It is estimated to be worth around $5.5 billion and is growing at a CAGR of around 8%. Consumer segmentation is based on gender, age group, and income level.
Distribution channels are dominated by brick-and-mortar stores, but there is a growing trend towards online sales. Types of handbags include totes, satchels, clutches, backpacks, and wallets.
Domestic and international brands are present, with prices ranging from affordable to luxury. Trends are influenced by global fashion trends and local trends.
Overall, the Indian handbag market is a dynamic and competitive industry that is poised for continued growth in the coming years.
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