By Gagan Jain, Rangrage founder
Elevator Pitch: Rangrage is an effort to make art reach people in most stylish and contemporary ways. We add colors in the lives of our patrons by creating hand-painted apparels and home decor products.
Product and Service Description
At Rangrage, we create products which have a touch of art with supreme utility and value for the customer. We believe this journey will not only promote painters, but also help customers discover and buy artistic products which they are not able to do otherwise.
Our Home Decor range has products like cushion covers, clocks, coasters, trays, etc. We also enable our customers to make style statements by adding colors to their wardrobe through hand-painted t-shirts, denims, bags and other fashion accessories.
Two years back, I used to live in Oman, and due to some work I had to go to Paris. So, my wife hand-painted denim for me. When I wore that denim and went to the Eiffel Tower, almost every head turned in awe. The reaction was overwhelming, and I realized what a kick a hand-painted unique design can give. So when I returned to Muscat, I explored the idea further, did some research, painted a few t-shirts, sold them, and, again, the response was encouraging.
We also approached some painters in India, but the more we got in touch with painters, we came to know that good artists are leaving this profession because of the lack of a suitable platform and remuneration opportunities for them. So, we decided to shift to India, to work on beautiful designs and create a platform for Indian artists.
Initially we focused on apparels, but now we have added home decor categories as well.
We believe that our products are our best marketing tool. We depend on word-of-mouth and we tend to keep it that way. However, we use social media extensively, and have very active Facebook fans. We also regularly participate in exhibitions.
Until now, this category has not been explored in an organized way. There are mom-and-pop types of stores online that sell hand-painted items with a very limited range of products. So, the opportunity is huge as we deal in home decor and fashion categories. The consumer spending in India and overseas for art-related products is growing. We will increase the breadth in times to come and soon will add furniture and other categories.
Differentiation From Competition
Every product is exclusively hand-painted by our local artist. Our artist expresses his vision through his painting. Every painting tells a story, hence every product tells a story. Sometimes it will tell us the importance of teamwork through a Warli painting; sometimes it will be an expression of rebelliousness on the current state of affairs through graffiti.
We do a lot of customization and our team of artists is willing to paint an individual’s vision on a choice of his merchandise.
Our artist treats every product as a painting, taking care of every intricate detail, so that each piece is no less than a masterpiece. We also make sure that the quality standard of our fabric is high, to justify the painting.
We have our team of core artists and designers who work on product development and a large base of freelance painters who work with us as-and-when an order comes. We largely sell our merchandise through our own website, other selected online marketplaces and few selected retailers. We are now planning to participate in various exhibitions. Our customized apparel and complete hand-painted theme homes are an integral part of our business model.
Fortunately, our business doesn’t have much fixed cost attached to it. Most of our artists are freelancers and we don’t hold a lot of inventory.
We have to deal with lots of painters, and every painter has a different style, so training them to reproduce products as per our benchmarks becomes a challenge since we have to train artists to work on different styles. Setting up a training department is the immediate priority.
Then there are times when we have to achieve production within tight deadlines, and most of our painters are part-time, so catering big orders at times becomes challenging. So, in the next six-to-12 months, we want to develop a small team of painters who will work full-time with us.
We are developing a new website with a better user interface.
We are developing a small sales team for exhibitions.
From a funding perspective, we are looking to raise funds for inventory and setting up a design/training studio.
In the long run, we want to open ‘Rangrage Cafés.’ Rangrage Café will be an ideal place to buy art-inspired merchandise and chill out over a cup of coffee. This café will work as retail store, where an expert artist will take a customer through different styles of painting, etc.
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Founders: Gagan Jain
Headquarters: Indore, India
Year Founded: 2013