Built with purpose, closed as a lesson
Read on, you may learn a few things. Or you may want to ask me a few things. Thank you for coming here.
What do you take pride in?
Hello. What do you take pride in? I, Vishakha, founder of Red Polka take pride in the body of work that we as a team created at Red Polka. We take pride in the little impact our work created. We take pride in the culture that we built and that added to the swag in each and every member of Red Polka. We failed in some ways and business of Red Polka had to be brought down.
I don’t take pride in our failure. I hate it. I created a different path through Red Polka which had a market impact for both sellers and consumers from day one and here are some pointers for you to see how it made the difference. I take pride in innovative thinking, in creating culture and most importantly in being purpose driven. Scroll on to some nuggets on “what” and “how” of our work. If you want to know more or learn from our work, there is a contact form at the end of the page. See you there.
The purpose- Why do I do what I do?
Look into your neighbourhood, your family, your circle. You will find a difference in the level of respect for a lady who goes to a corporate office versus the lady who makes beautiful designs from a small set up, may be even her home. That defined my core purpose – #StreeSamman for all – i.e. the ones who makes beautiful designs in boutiques, pay salaries to craftsmen, tailors, workers – deserve the same respect as a corporate-ladder-climbing lady. The purpose of Red Polka was to help grow businesses of boutique designers, grow respect for both designs and designers and to simultaneously delight the consumers with the choice. The purpose continues in another avatar of my work.
ABC of the business
The business of Red Polka over three years saw 350+ designers, several thousand customers, many readers who showed their gratitude for the difference our stories made, many media stories, a few awards and a culture that we all team members take pride in.
Ace curation of boutique designers- fashion, accessories and lifestyle.
Business Model – The only marketplace that worked along with the sellers and charged a showcase fee along with revenue share. More than 350+ designers paid listing fee over the course of the business.
To reach consumers efficiently and to create unique experiences, we created Red Polka Shows – offline touchpoints across several cities. Our online presence earned more conversion after each Red Polka show.
Content and the community: Red Polka created a weekly edition of curated designs and content and presented in a visual merchandise style online. Ofcourse, here the customer could view, click, read and buy. The community was built and strengthened through three pillars of content strategy as listed below.
Three pillars of the community and the content
Content attracts the community, the community shapes up the content. Together, it creates a path of its own for the brand.
The relevance is built not just with the product, but with the affinity of the group. One of our stories, ‘8 tips to dress like a boss’ became a part of the Mint Lounge cover story.
It is simple to talk about Christmas lights in December, but it requires a keen eye to find context with the consumer interest. My pick for a great contextual story is by Natasha Badhwar, columnist and author. A mother of three daughters, she wrote on changing fashion of her girls. It was not just well received, it became a viral story.
At Red Polka, we build a community. One by one the members joined in looking for joy and excellence in work and life. It was not just about selling fashion, it was about being aspirational and writing true stories that inspire.
I am a business strategist with an eye on designing consumer innovations.
I have keen interest in consumer behaviour and the business of brands in the age of technology.
With more than 20 years of work experience across media houses like Times Now, CNBC TV18, Future Media, The Times of India and my entrepreneurial roles as founder of Aurora Comms ( a shopper marketing agency) & Red Polka, I have several stories to share. Wait, I am not a storyteller. I read and re-read my own stories to design innovative solutions for business strategies.
To enable strategic and critical thinking, I have written an online course SHIFT– Simple Habits & Ideas for Forward Thinking. I write a weekly newsletter on Habits for Thinking. You can join the free newsletter here. The column also gets published on moneycontrol.com as Soch To success Column.
To inculcate respect for working women is my drive. Because, it takes a mountain to move for women to come out and work and continue working amidst all the interruptions in and demands from her life. Apart from my daily jobs, I mentor at mydearluck.com and I work on projects which enable #StreeSamman (Respect for women).
A peek into curated designs
Boutique designers. Handmade. Made in India.
I am here
Find about my other work
The Right Box – myrightbox
Work place worries? Share it at www.mydearluck.com
Want to know more about Stree Samman? Click here
Send me a message
Red Polka in the news
The team that built Red Polka culture and took a piece of joy when it wrapped up. We closed with a bang – with a Red Polka Show and an afterparty.
Contact me here-