Your footwear is widely considered to be a reflection of your personality for ages and will perhaps never cease to be so. Despite being a cliche, there is great truth behind this thought. The condition of your feet and choice of footwear subtly speaks volumes about your self-care skills and how to put together you are in your life. Besides, your footwear holds the power to make or break your whole look. Despite being a seemingly insignificant accessory relegated to your feet, it has the potential to do much more than what is often expected of it. No wonder, women can’t ever have enough footwear, brimming over their closets, to mix and match with each of their outfits!
In collaboration with The Channel 46, Laksheeta Govil, Founder of Fizzy Goblet, shares her experience of building a much-celebrated traditional and modern footwear brand, her advice for young entrepreneurs nurturing dreams to enter the footwear domain, driving scaling up decisions, and more.
1. What’s your educational and professional background?
I have done my graduation in Fashion Designing from Pearl Academy, New Delhi. Post studying, I worked with the noted fashion designer Narendra Kumar, Lecoanet Hemant and Puma, and learned about womenswear, couture and accessories before embarking on my entrepreneurial journey with Fizzy Goblet.
2. What prompted the idea for Fizzy Goblet?
I once saw an absolutely funky and gorgeous pair of shoes but that pair turned out to be pretty expensive. I was a bit disappointed because I couldn’t buy those. So, I thought of testing out something similar, which is when I decided to create my own pair of shoes. With a paintbrush, paints, and a pair of snow-white sneakers, I created Fiery Fiesta – the first Fizzy Goblet pair.
3. Did you always know you wanted to work in this space?
Accessories are a great way of expressing yourself because you are not dependent on your size. And you can just wear an accessory and transform an entire outfit. So, I think accessories were something I definitely wanted to get into.
4. What was your first milestone and how did you get there?
One of the most important milestones for me was the first store that we opened, which was in the best mall in India, Palladium in Mumbai. Fizzy Goblet has always been an online brand first, and we weren’t very sure how things would be if we open it offline because it would be a completely different ballgame. But we were happy that we followed the online data, which showed us that a lot of our customers are from Mumbai. We always wanted to have a queue outside the store and this is exactly what happened during our launch, making it a dream come true.
5. What are your tips for an aspiring entrepreneur who wants to enter this space?
I would always tell budding entrepreneurs to not jump onto the bandwagon but instead plan their own path. You have to work through problems and have the attitude to keep swimming, even if it gets tough. Give it your all and there are no off days! Also, to make a business succeed, striking a fine balance between your own design language and market demand is also of utmost importance.
6. What were the 3 best business/financial decisions you made?
- The best financial and business decision was to start our own website fizzygoblet.com rather than go offline 8 years ago. This helped us scale frugally and remain profitable and cash-flow positive from the outset.
- The second-best business decision was to exclusively retail online only, on our own direct website and not be on any marketplaces. This helped us tailor the customer-after-sales experience as well as run a tight working capital cycle
- Another good decision in hindsight was to keep investing through the 2 years of COVID, expand by opening new stores in the midst of this and support our team, karigars and suppliers. This helped us accelerate rapidly each time COVID ebbed.
7. How long did it take you to monetise your venture? What was the turning point?
Monetised from day 1, since we started with small pop-up stores at exhibitions. Setting up our own direct website was the turning point for the business to scale.
8. Are you looking for funding?
No, we are not looking for funding at this stage and are profitable and generate enough cash flow to fund our growth organically.
9. Who are the key employees/vendors you need to secure to work in this space?
Our initial few hires and our first office in Mumbai set the foundation for us and have grown into key roles now. In terms of vendors, Shopify and Facebook have helped us scale our e-commerce business rapidly.
10. How do you intend to scale up/expand your business in the next 5 years?
In the next 5 years, I imagine Fizzy Goblet to be in every woman’s wardrobe and be a global leader.
11. How has your business pivoted after the lockdown and in light of the pandemic?
At first, we were focused on the health and safety of our team. As we got everyone vaccinated and the virus receded, we focused on being more agile. We are now moving faster and have opened 2 new stores in the last 2 months to take our footprint to 6. We also have a few more on the horizon. Being focused on long-term goals throughout the pandemic is helping us grow now.
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