Aanchal Jaura’s Chicmomz is a startup that aims to make maternity clothes for moms-to-be. “When a woman is pregnant, comfort is what she needs,” says Aanchal, “but there were not enough options for women when they went to the market to get clothes. We wanted to fill that gap.” Launched in the pandemic, Aanchal and her sister Aashna – who together ventured out with this – say their pivot came when celebrities like Kareena Kapoor Khan started wearing their brand. And the rest, they say is history.
“Chicmomz was like as a baby to me, and I and my sister (Aashna Shah) have nurtured it with all heart and love,” says the entrepreneur. Doing a new business came with struggles, especially during the COVID pandemic. Each day has its difficult moments, says Aanchal. “It was a risk we were taking but our vision was clear. Providing moms-to-be with clothing that is reasonable and comfortable, stylish and sustainable.”
The sisters started the business with a capital of two lakh rupees. Now this bootstrapped business is three times in revenues with over 200 customers.
“It’s beyond amazing. It’s heart-touching. We’ve had our lows and our moms have pulled us back. It’s their belief in us that keeps us going,” adds Aanchal.
Comfort, Style, And Sustainable – Everything A Mom-To-Be Deserves
“When a woman is pregnant, comfort is what she needs,” says Aanchal. The sisters’ clothing lines are aimed to bump-friendly, and are created from a family of cotton. A common problem that moms-to-be encounter while buying maternity clothes is that most are very expensive even though the need is very short-term.
“What do you do with the super expensive clothes post-pregnancy? Our clothes can also be worn post-pregnancy and that’s why they are sustainable,” she explains.
“Generally when we hear about maternity clothes the first thing that comes in mind is that they need to be different i.e. only for pregnant women. Our feeding friendly dresses, tops and lounge wears are designed in such a way that you won’t be able to say that they are only for mothers to be. They can be worn by anyone and everyone.”
Their journey, the sisters say, is not theirs alone. “The community of expecting moms, keeps us going with their advice, suggestions, and responses.”
A mom on a mission. “Our mother gave us one piece of advice – A woman is the strongest because she’s capable of producing a new life in her. So, if at any point of your journey you feel low, remember this. And we think this has been our strength.” says Aanchal.
Talking about the milestones the key milestones nine-month-old venture has already accomplished, Aanchal says that “Kareena Kapoor Khan wearing our dress not just once but twice was the biggest milestone in our journey. We got confidence that our dresses are actually chic, comfortable and sustainable.” Many other celebrities like Anita Hassanandani and Kishwer Merchant have also adorned the label, say the sister duo.
The sisters started the business in the month of October in 2020 with their own savings and now are adding an average of more than 40 new customers a month.
How we leverage Google – We got a professional liftoff by using business email by Google. It was a big step for us as it professionalised our approach to business in a simple and familiar way : Aanchal Jaura
Chicmomz was a pandemic launch initiative, and the business saw big developments as well as setbacks in the first few months itself. Talking about the challenges, Aanchal says “We managed the first COVID wave but we were badly hit by the second wave and it actually became difficult for us to pay our daily wage workers who are solely women.”
She credits their clients – who range from mums-to-be, mumpreneurs, celebrity moms, influencers, bloggers, and homemakers—as their biggest source of strength and acted as their safety net. Despite all odds, orders trickled in.
Aanchal and Aashna have big dreams for their business. They want to “make it a family of at least 100k women soon”. “We’ve just launched our nursing collection and we want to bring all styles that women want,” says Aanchal.
The sisters also aim to break stereotypes that define what moms can or cannot wear. They aim to inculcate new products, styles, and designs “that make their beautiful nine-month journey easier and better.”