"A stumble may prevent a fall."
Code Knot is one of a kind brand, based in Pune that specializes in making customized bow ties. Started by Fashion graduate Komal Soneji as a part-time project at first, was a way for her to experiment with her creativity. Soon after her love to create took over, which flourished into a full-blown business.
Komal gives special credit to her grandmother, who is a big part of her creative journey as she has always been her driving force “My grandma is an artist, she has always made handmade gifts for everyone. She always motivated me to make handmade gifts as well. This family ritual was the main catalyst of my creativity.”
Komal had completed her graduation in Fashion Design from the School of Fashion Technology, Pune and was an intern at Nivedita Saboo Couture, Pune. “I started Code Knot during my third year of college. My love for traveling gave me a chance to meet and interact with a lot of different people across the globe, this made me gain a lot of different perspectives.
While vintage fashion inspired the creative side of my business, my internship geared me up with all the essential qualities that I needed to possess to start a business, right from client communication, deadlines, bagging and executing an order, etc. It made me a more engaging and persistent person.” she adds.
“I was introduced to the concept of bowties in college and my interest was built towards this accessory as I wanted to introduce bowties to the Indian market as a fashion accessory, and not something that only waiters wear,” she said. Her first order was a gift for a friend, she made a bowtie for one of her best friends and thought it was something she was comfortable making and she could see herself creating more of.
“While starting off I was always big on creative expression and was in love with the heritage and style of different varieties of Indian traditional weaves and fabrics. I wanted to bring a different spin to bow ties and promote the beautiful fabrics of different regions of India,” she adds.
It’s been three years since the inception of Code Knot. Komal has always tried to promote her products as unique and customised to the personality of her users, she enjoys working with different fabrics and textures, not only that, she has a versatile range of products. She has a product that caters to every demographic, be it kids, men women, and even pets. “Whenever I get an order I always ask what their personality is, what colors they wear, what’s their personal style because I want my products to be something that they’ll like and that will look good on them.”
While introducing bow ties as a product to the market, Komal faced a few challenges, specifically targeted towards the perception of bow ties, “I faced a few challenges since I was introducing the product with a different appeal in India, I had to build a customer base completely from scratch. Another major challenge was to change the perception the public had toward bowties, as they don’t know that the reason waiters wear bowties is to look sharp. It was a challenge but I put in a lot of hard work and I always made sure that my customers understand my product. With this approach, all my customers were willing to try my product out first and then decide whether they were comfortable going through with the purchase.”
This was a different approach that Komal adopted as she really wanted customers to fall in love with the product and accept it with open arms. This approach proved successful for her and she was also able to overcome all the challenges thrown at her due to the constant support she receives from her family. ”My family has always pushed me to do more and always have been a big pillar of support for me. My journey has been so fun and fulfilling because of their constant support. My dad has been promoting my bowties since the start. He’s always seen wearing one of my creations, and I think it leaves an impression on people that meet him, this is a note of accomplishment for me.” she adds
Komal aims to expand her business further across India and also wishes to introduce her unique creations globally. “I am currently focused on widening my clientele in India as well as the global market, I want to keep bringing something new into the niche.”
When asked to give advice to budding entrepreneurs she replied; “ The first and foremost thing for anyone to start a business is research, do as much of research as you can; this will help you understand the market better. One another big factor of running a successful business is that you need to be passionate about what you’re doing, this is where the success will stem from, and lastly, you need to be ready to devote a lot of effort and time into your business.
“Work is something that should come naturally to you, it shouldn’t feel taxing, always stay curious, evolve, put in everything you have and most importantly believe in yourself.” – Komal Soneji