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Daily Herald Story
Oct 16, 2013

Westmont-based business sells secondhand Indian clothing

Saris, lehengas, salwars, kurta pajamas and other items can run upward of $200 each. And with so many parties in the Indian and Pakistani cultures, you need a lot of outfits to avoid wearing the same thing all the time.

Dina Patel, 36, of Westmont, said sheand her friends always used to borrow clothes from each other's closets for Indian weddings, baby showers and Diwali celebrations. Ultimately, it led Patel to launch the online business Didi's Wardrobe.

Didi means "sister" in Hindi — as in, you can raid the sisters' closets.

Her company sells new and gently used South Asian clothing for women, men and children at prices up to 80 percent off retail. A sari that originally cost $200 might be priced at between $40 and $100 on DidisWardrobe.com

"The response has been phenomenal," Patel said of her booming, 1-year-old business. "You can definitely dress yourself for under 100 bucks."

The priciest item sold to date has been a sari for $129. Some kurta tops have sold for as little as $8. Nice necklace and earring sets are priced from $10-$50, Patel said.

Much of Didi Wardrobe's inventory is consignment items. People from all over the world send their clothes to Patel and get 50 percent of the sales price. She turns down anything that's not good quality or is in poor condition and gives each item a quality rating so customers get a better sense for what they're buying.

"There is so much inventory out there — nice things people wear once or twice and put it in the closet," Patel said.

A business like Patel's connects two key groups of people affected by a shaky economy: those who need to make a few extra bucks selling their clothes and those looking for quality clothes at discounted prices.

The 2008 recession expanded both of those groups and also erased any remaining stigma of discount and resale shopping, said Peter Gill, spokesman for the Illinois Retail Merchants Association. As a result, more thrift and resale businesses are popping up statewide.

"The recession changed people. Now people figure, 'Why spend that money when we don't have to?'" Gill said. "Saving money is something that's incredibly important to shoppers. People don't want to be priced out of the lifestyle they were used to before. They want to find a way to stay in that."

The idea for Didi's Wardrobe was born during an after-work, "You know what we should do?" conversation between Patel and her friends. At the time, India-born Patel was living in New York City, working long hours as an investment banker. So she put the idea on the back burner. Now, living in Westmont with her husband and two children under age 4, she decided the timing was right to make the idea a reality.

The business launched in November 2012 with the first 800 pieces of clothing coming from the closets of Patel's relatives and friends.

Didi's Wardrobe competes with eBay, consignment stores and other online resale businesses, but so far, she's experiencing high demand for secondhand Indian and Pakistani clothing. Her inventory is now at 2,000 items and growing — with some items coming from as far away as London, India and Australia.

As Patel's business expands, she's booking Didi's Wardrobe at bridal shows and other events to attract different segments of the market. That includes non-Asian customers who are going to Indian weddings, or traveling to India or Pakistan.

"I've grown up with the Indian wear," Patel said. "I love my culture. And I love the clothes."


 

Didi’s Wardrobe: Reincarnating Your Fabulous Desi Outfits
Oct 01, 2013

Reincarnating Your Indian Clothing

 

Didi’s Wardrobe: Reincarnating Your Fabulous Desi Outfits

By  • Oct 1st, 2013 • Category: 24/7 Talk is Cheap - The Blog

 

Reincarnating Indian outfits at Didi's Wardrobe

Reincarnating Indian outfits at Didi’s Wardrobe

 

The Beautiful Art of Recycling Old Outfits for New

Where does that gorgeous Indian outfit go after you’ve worn it? I think all of us have faced this dilemma – spending a fortune on an Indian ensemble and not wanting to repeat it again. What do you do with such ornate outfits and how do you get new ones without spending more money?

Dina Patel, a very successful investment banker has used her business smarts to come up with the perfect solution for you! Turning entrepreneur, she’s created Didi’s Wardrobe – a reseller of new and gently used Indian clothing and accessories – in America! So now you don’t have to sit and stare at the new outfit you never fit into, nor stuff  your bags with your used Indian outfits to dispose of in India!

This is what we call reincarnation – the American way! Says Chicago-based Patel, ” It’s a great way for individuals to clear their closets of beautiful clothes they can’t bear to throw away – and there is no place to donate such ornate clothing. Also, it’s difficult to take back clothing to India or  Pakistan with new baggage weight limits.”

Dina was a busy investment banker in New York when she and a lawyer friend came up with the concept. They were always exchanging clothes with each other and thought the idea could be expanded into a  viable business, since everyone has so much inventory.  She says, “The business has been growing and people are still trying o understand the concept. That’s been our biggest challenge  – but once they experience the benefits, they love it!”

Indian formal wear for men from Didi's Wardrobe

Indian formal wear for men

 

Dina Patel & Didi’s Wardrobe

Earlier it was a big no-no in the Indian community to buy or use previously used clothing but resale and vintage stores are popular in the US and it’s a fashion trend to buy gently used clothing with designer names.

Today Indian clothing is also catching on with non-South Asian buyers so the clientele, says Dina, is 50-50. She says, ” The stigma of buying gently used clothing is beginning to dissipate with the younger third-generation Indian Americans. I have noticed that affluent second-generation Indian Americans are also buyers on the site.”

So how does Didi’s Wardrobe work?

It offers  1000′s of items on site and you can also add in items you’d like to sell – and it costs nothing with free, unlimited postings on the site. Dina has made it a user friendly buying platform for women’s, men’s and children’s wear with pricing up to 80 percent off. She says, “Clients are happy to make space in their closet for new items and buyers receive a heavy discount on barely worn items.”

“Many customers I speak with are going to their first Indian wedding in the US and not sure what to wear,” she adds. “They are happy to find that they can join in on the festivities under $100 for a weekend  – that could include 2 outfits with jewelry!  We’ve also had a few buyers that end up wearing their items and then sending them back to consign again  – a great way to reduce the cost of using the item.”

 

A blue outfit from Didi's Wardrobe

Ready to party!

 

Indeed, there’s a feeling of winning a lottery – for you may come across something that is just perfect for you and at a throw-away price!

 

 Dina Patel’s Tips on Didi’s Wardrobe

 

Dina Patel

 

1. How can I sell what I don’t want in my closet?

There are two methods to sell:

Post A Sale – members can post their own items by taking photos and inputting measurements and descriptions. Members are then required to ship items within 2 business days when items are sold.

We Post for You – those that are strapped for time can mail a box to Didi’s Wardrobe. The company will inspect, photograph, measure and post items for clients. Didi’s Wardrobe takes care of shipping when items are sold.

 

2. Can one buy and sell internationally?

 

Currently we are servicing domestic buyers only – plans to expand internationally with a high demand from international customers (especially from France, London, India and Australia). We post for you:  sellers can now consign and mail their items to Didi’s Wardrobe from international locations (as of August 21, 2013)

 

3. What about sizing concerns?

There is always a concern that items will not fit when purchased online. Many buyers have realized that the cost savings from buying used far outweighs any cost that may be incurred to alter an item. Also, to mitigate any concerns, Didi’s Wardrobe also offers a 24 hour return policy if an item does not fit.

 

Jewelry from Didi's  Wardrobe

Jewelry from Didi’s Wardrobe

 

4. How can I be sure I’m getting what I want?

Didi’s Wardrobe offers a condition rating system to notify buyers on the condition of each item. 5 stars indicates an item is Brand New, never been worn. Most items on the site range from 3-5 stars. If any items have stains or tears, Didi’s  Wardrobe will note such defects and assign a 1-2 star rating. Items inspected by DW have a DW item icon.

 

5. What can we expect next from Didi’s Wardrobe?

Bridal! More brides are interested in saving money and this seems to be a practical way to go! The bridal outfit is worn just once and costs a ton of money, as do the clothing for the entire bridal party. Many brides do not have the budgets to splurge on a grand outfit. This way you can enjoy your big day and let others have a memorable big day too!

For more details check out www.didiswardrobe.com

www.facebook.com/didiswardrobe


 

Used Indian Clothing Reseller Goes International
Aug 21, 2013

Used Indian Clothing Reseller Goes International

Buy & Sell New & Gently Used Saris, Salwar Kameez and Lehengas Worldwide

CHICAGOAug. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Didi's Wardrobe (www.didiswardrobe.com), a reseller of new and gently used Indian clothing announced its international expansion plans. Didi's Wardrobe is a platform for individuals to buy and sell new and gently worn sarees, kurta pajamas, costume jewelry and more. Didi's Wardrobe is the only U.S.-based business that offers to consign and sell new and used Indian clothing online. 

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130821/CG66878)

Didi's Wardrobe holds extensive inventory listed up to 80% off retail prices. The website is a great place to find affordable pricing on Indian clothing and a way to sell those barely worn saris taking up precious closet space.

"I got my Sari from this website and I loved it!!! Practically brand new, perfect condition. I wore it for my first Indian wedding and it was super great, stylish and sooo comfortable that I cannot wait to wear it again. Definitely 5 stars! " wrote customer Gabriela.

Having the option to sell personal saris and lehengas is also a very new and exciting concept to the South Asian community. Individuals have the option to sell their items through two methods, Post A Sale or We Post for You. Through the Post a Sale process, individuals are able to post their own items by uploading pictures and measurements. This option is currently open to U.S. residents only. However, Didi's Wardrobe has now opened up its We Post for You method to international clients. Through this process clients are able to mail their items to Didi's Wardrobe on consignment and the company will post them on the website for free.

"This is an exciting time for us as we have a number of requests from international buyers and sellers, especially from England,India and Australia" said CEO Dina Patel. "Many people have very expensive, barely worn saris and salwars sitting in their closets. Didi's Wardrobe is happy to announce that people from all over the world can join the Didi's Wardrobe selling community. We also hope to open up international buying in the future due to worldwide interest in our products."

With wedding season in full gear, Didi's Wardrobe has been busy fulfilling orders. "The biggest question our non-South Asian customers seem to ask us is what to wear to an Indian wedding". Didi's Wardrobe provides the perfect solution for any occasion.

Extensive Inventory - Didi's Wardrobe has thousands of Indian clothing and Indian costume jewelry listed for sale. There is something for everyone in the family with saris, salwar kameez, lehengas and kurtis for women, kurta pajamas and sherwanis for men and kids Indian clothing for children.

Affordable Prices- It's easier than ever to buy Indian clothes online at affordable prices! Buy Indian sarees or kids lehenga cholis for a fraction of the retail cost (up to 80% off the retail price).

For more information on Didi's Wardrobe, visit the website at www.didiswardrobe.com

Follow the company: 
www.facebook.com/didiswardrobe 
www.twitter.com/didiswardrobe 
www.pinterest.com/didiswardrobe


Desi Fashion Article
Nov 05, 2012

Indian Fashion Didi's Wardrobe


Water, No Ice Article
Sep 19, 2012

Recycle Your Indian Wardrobe

Reduce, Re-use, Recycle … Your Wardrobe?

Posted by Vidya Pradhan on Wednesday, September 19, 2012, 23:30

Quick show of hands – How many of you have lovely Indian saris and outfits moldering in your closet, worn once and never to be worn again? Or worse, those lehngas that your aunt sent that don’t fit you, or the sari received as a gift at a wedding that just isn’t your style?

I do, and Dina Patel of Didi’s Wardrobe is betting you do too.

After 10 years in the finance world, putting in 100 hours a week, Patel was ready to try something different. Noticing how didis wardrobe 1she always ended up exchanging clothes with her friends when she needed party outfits, and how many of her own clothes were worn so infrequently, she set up Didi’s Wardrobe, a place for buyers and sellers of gently used clothes to come together.

“I looked at the rental concept first,” says Patel, “but there are just so many players in that area.” (see Borrow it Bindass). “Plus, they have a significant inventory investment, and I wasn’t ready to do that based on my market research.”

Didi’s sellers operate in two ways. For the enterprising ones who want to use Didi’s as a consignment store, Patel offers an easy way to get the clothing details up on the site. She does expect the seller to be good with measurements and to put up pictures of the clothes offered. Also, to protect the buyer, payment is not made to the seller till confirmation of receipt of goods is received from the buyer. For this kind of seller, Didi’s Wardrobe keeps 18% of the sale proceeds.

For the more typical seller, who has a bunch of clothes but can’t be bothered to sort them out, Didi’s Wardrobe has a much more convenient option. Just bundle up the  clothes and ship them and DW will sort them, measure them, put a price on them, and display them effectively on the site. In this case, DW keeps 50% of the sale price.

“Customers are quite happy with this option and the prices we set on their clothes,” reports Patel. And buyers can clearly see if the clothes are from DW’s inventory or directly from the seller. Best of all, the clothes are rated on their condition.

Based in the Midwest, Patel has been setting up drop-off days in the area this summer, and says she has met with tremendous response from sellers who have, on occasion, brought garbage bags full of clothes to the location.

Supply doesn’t seem to be a problem, but how comfortable are people wearing used clothes?

Indian Saree 1155aNot surprisingly, 50% of DW’s buyers are non-Indian. I guess DW is a great way to try out Indian clothes at a low entry price. “But I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the profile of my Indian clients,” says Patel. They’ve been fairly high net worth customers, and DW has been able to meet their discerning standards.

I tried DW’s system a couple of months ago and purchased an olive silk sari with a blouse that claimed to be my size. I received my purchase in short order, and found the sari as lovely as it looked in the picture. I did have to make adjustments to the blouse, but a local seamstress was able to do that with no trouble and I ended up with a printed silk sari and blouse for $60, which, frankly, I thought was a steal.

DW has been growing slowly and some of it has been by design. “I was very concerned about getting the mechanics of it right,” says Patel, and her site has been growing organically, with minimal marketing. And she has resisted efforts to make it a mall kind of experience, where many sellers of new clothes can congregate.  “Our aim is to be environment friendly, and selling new clothes defeats that purpose. The idea is to reuse clothes and recycle our wardrobes,” says Patel.

Didi’s Wardrobe has been getting good traction over this summer and quite a few repeat buys. “The biggest challenge is to overcome inertia,” says Patel. “We all have beautiful clothes in our closet that we would be happy to sell, but it is making the effort to send us the stuff that daunts people.” Still, the drop-off days have been very successful and Patel plans to expand the area covered for the drop-offs.

Other expansion plans include a bridal section. “We haven’t really pushed this segment, but we are growing slowly,” says Patel.

Go check out Didi’s Wardrobe to help you prune your closet. And if you are looking for pretty outfits you don’t have to pay a fortune for, Didi’s Wardrobe is a great place to find those bargains. Best of all, you’ll end up spending less, having more, and knowing that your lovely clothes will be cherished and worn by people who appreciate them as much as you once did.

 


The Big Fat Indian Wedding Article
Apr 18, 2012

Didi’s Wardrobe – Gorgeous Clothes & Jewelry at Friendly Prices {Promotional Feature}

 

I recently spoke to Dina Patel, co-founder and CEO of Didi’s Wardrobe. Didi’s Wardrobe is pretty cool new website dedicated to selling off your saris, lenghas, and jewelry that is gathering dust. And that means buying these clothes at fantastic prices.

I spend a few minutes to interview her about the concept and her passion.


Why did you start Didi’s Wardrobe?
Didi’s Wardrobe is actually an idea I had back in 2001 with a friend of mine, but we just never had the time to act upon it due to our demanding careers in New York. After spending 10 years in investment banking, I decided it was time to test the concept.
I realized that our community spends too much money buying expensive clothing to only wear once or twice before being relegated to the back of the closet. Instead, why not create a place where we can share our wardrobe and access a large selection of clothing?

This concept became Didi’s Wardrobe. Our site is perfect for a wide range of consumers – from South Asians to non-South Asians that are looking to find a great deal on Indian wear. Wedding season or not, we have a selection that will make guests happy: wearing new sarees, lehengas or kurtas without spending a fortune. Most items are up to 80% off the retail price, which makes it a more affordable option.

How does buying and selling work on the site?
Selling your clothes and jewelry is easy. There are two ways that pieces are added to our collection – either through sellers posting their own items or the sellers sending us a box of their items to post through our We Post for You service.

The easier way to sell items is for sellers to send us their items. We inspect the items for defects and stains, take photos, and post the items to the website. These items are housed in our warehouse, so buyers can feel comfortable that the items have been thoroughly inspected by our team and rated properly on our site.

Anyone who buys from the website can contact the seller to ask questions about the item. We’re a bit like eBay where users and sellers can interact with each other but also that we can do the posting and interact with buyers too.

How can Didi’s Wardrobe help brides-to-be?
Because of our large collection and online location in the US, brides can easily surf through the site and buy what they want. Many of our outfits are great to complete a bridal trousseau or used at poojas and functions related to the wedding. We also have a great selection of jewelry and accessories that can complete a bride’s outfit.

The site is also perfect for all of the bride’s friends, family and guests that will need something to wear during all of her wedding events. Attendees can finally buy something new for the big weekend, without breaking the bank.

After the wedding, brides can sell all of those heavy pieces that probably will never be worn again or even sell those extra gifts that she will never get a chance to wear.

What’s your favorite part of this job?
Seeing that the business is benefiting our community! It’s been great to see the viability of the business and very exciting educating both buyers and sellers about Didi’s Wardrobe. We are very excited to help cater to the wedding season in the upcoming months as brides are looking for affordable and easy ways to dress their guests, family members and bridesmaids.

Didi’s Wardrobe is also a member of the BF Red Book where you can read more about them.

Contact Didi’s Wardrobe: 
www.didiswardrobe.com
Phone 616-606-3434
Facebook
Twitter


I Am Moms Spring Cleaning Article
Apr 06, 2012

Spring Cleaning & New Indian Clothes: Didi's Wardrobe Giveaway

Do Some Spring Cleaning and WIN Free Clothes: 
Didi's Wardrobe, an eBay for South Asian clothes, and I Am Moms are teaming up to give away a $25 store credit to 1 lucky winner.  So do some spring cleaning, pick out those old South Asian outfits that you or your children no longer wear, and sell them at Didi's Wardrobe.  Details on how to enter are at the bottom of this post. 

The Dilemma 
Have you ever been on in the midst of spring cleaning but been stumped by the Indian clothes you no longer wear?  I sure have.  I hesitated about donating them to Goodwill because I just didn't know if they'd know what to do with Indian clothes.  Would they be able to sell them?  After all, how many people go around shopping for vintage salwar khameezes at thrift shops? Unless there is some new hipster trend that I haven't heard about...

We all know that those greedy airlines have put the kibosh on flying with more than one bag, so taking them to India (where they could be put to good use) is just too expensive.  I could better put that money to use by saving the cost to take an extra bag and donating it to a reputable charity in India. 

After Indian American Toddler was born, we had an even bigger problem on our hands.  He was able to wear the kurta suit my parents got him for Divali 3 times (I was so proud of us!), but then he outgrew them.  Still, the outfit's in great condition and could be worn again.  I don't have any local friends with boys younger than Indian American Toddler, so I can't even pass them on to someone who could use them.

So, now I have even more Indian outfits that I can't use and don't know what to do with them.

The Solution: Didi's Wardrobe
Didi's Wardrobe is the solution I didn't know existed.  It's like an eBay where you can buy and sell gently used Indian clothes.  So, not only can I sell my old Indian clothes for cash, but I can also get something in Indian American Toddler's bigger size.

I've tried selling some stuff on eBay and it's time consuming. Didi's Wardrobe offers a service where THEY photograph and list your clothing for you.  Or you can list your own stuff.   Check out all of the details on their helpful How It Works page.

What's even cooler is that Didi's Wardrobe was co-founded by a fellow Indian American mom, Dina Patel.  She wanted a way to escape the corporate rat race, follow her passion, and have more time for her family.  Definitely something we can all relate to, right?


 
Examiner.com - Didi's Wardrobe: An ‘eBay’ for Indian clothing
Apr 03, 2012

Are gently used South Asian garments taking up your wardrobe space and making it difficult for you to justify purchasing brand new pieces for the upcoming wedding season? If so, the up and coming website Didi’s Wardrobe could be the perfect solution in securing beautiful new South Asian styles this season. Didi’s Wardrobe is an online marketplace for buyers and sellers of new and gently used Indian clothing and costume jewelry. From South Asians to non-South Asians who are searching to find that fabulous deal on Indian wear for the upcoming wedding season, this site is certainly convenient for a wide range of customers. With this online consignment store for South Asian clothing and jewelry for women, men and children, the savvy shopper can now purchase gently used clothing in excellent condition for a fraction of what the pieces were originally acquired for. Further, users of this innovative site can also sell those Indian sarees, salwars and lehengas that collect dust in the closet after being outgrown or worn at multiple events.

Read below for an exclusive interview with passionate Didi’s Wardrobe co-founder Dina Patel to learn how the site works, and what she hopes for her inventive clothing company in the future.

★What advantages does being a user of Didi’s Wardrobe bring? As a buyer and seller, you will find many advantages to using Didi’s Wardrobe including price, selection and easy navigation for buyers and sellers. Affordable Prices- Buyers will get up to 80% off retail prices, depending on the quality and age of an item.  Extensive Inventory- Didi’s Wardrobe has hundreds of Indian outfits and accessories listed for sale.  New items are continuously being added.  With more sarees and kurtas in one place, buyers will be able to find the perfect outfit for any occasion. Resell Items- After Didi’s Wardrobe buyers have enjoyed wearing their Indian clothing or accessories, they have the opportunity to repost the items on www.didiswardrobe.com for another fashion lover to wear. Seller Reviews- Buyers have the opportunity to provide feedback on their experience by providing a quick review of the seller.  This functionality provides the Didi’s Wardrobe community confidence in their experience and encourages sellers to be honest and timely with their sales.  Easy to Sell- Sellers have the opportunity to sell their clothing and accessories by posting an item through a user-friendly interface.  Didi’s Wardrobe also offers a comprehensive We Post for You service of posting and selling items for those individuals that are strapped for time. Discounts – If you invite your friends to Didi’s Wardrobe, you have the opportunity to accumulate unlimited $10 credits to the site.  

★Can you please tell us how you came up with the idea for Didi’s Wardrobe? Didi’s Wardrobe is an idea that was conceptualized in 2001 with a friend of mine, but we just never had the time to act upon it due to our demanding careers in New York.  After spending 10 years in investment banking, I decided it was time to test the concept.  I realized that we as a community spend way too much money buying such expensive ornate clothing to only wear once or twice. My background in Retail investment banking has definitely helped me along the way. I took the skills I developed over the years to go from idea generation to launching the business. I realized that I have built a strong foundation in my career and was ready to take that risk of starting my own business.  It’s a tough decision to make, but without my background, I may have not taken the leap. 

★Do you have any specific experiences that come to mind as being direct motivators to the creation of your company? My partner and I had this revelation about a decade ago when we had exhausted each other’s closets – we traded our sarees, lehengas and salwars for the numerous weddings and engagement parties. We realized that if we were exchanging clothes with each other, why not expand our reach to other desis around the country.  Being that we were practically like sisters, inspiration struck and we decided to name our company Didi’s (sister’s in Hindi) Wardrobe. 

 ★How do you find and decide on pieces that you will showcase on Didi’s Wardrobe? There are two ways that pieces are added to our collection – either through users posting their own items or sellers sending us a box of their items to post through our We Post for You service. In most cases, many sellers find it easier to just send us their items, which we thoroughly inspect and post on our site. If we find that items are not appropriate for our site, we let the sellers decide if they would like us to mail it back or donate it to charity.  The majority of items on the site are housed in our warehouse, so buyers can feel comfortable that the items have been thoroughly inspected by our team and rated properly on our site. The clothing and jewelry on our site generally ranges from brand new to gently used.  Any item that shows a five star rating is brand new and has never been worn.  Many of us end up overbuying during trips back to India or Pakistan, so we have a number of sellers that have posted brand new items on the site. Most of the other items on the site are in fairly excellent condition because in most cases someone has worn something once or twice and doesn’t want to be seen in it again at the next wedding.

★Where would you like to see your company in five years? What are your hopes for the future of your company and the way that it effects shopping for South Asians in the US? If I look out five years, I am envisioning that Didi’s Wardrobe will be the central online hub for consignment of Indian wear.  We all realize that we spend too much money on Indian clothing and then let it go to waste as the clothes collect dust in our closets. Once more consumers are educated about the idea and concept, we hope that two things will happen. First, we hope to provide a place where Asians and non-Asians can finally afford to wear something different to their next ethnic occasion.  Many people want to wear something ’new’ to that next wedding, but simply cannot afford to spend $200-$300 on an Indian saree for a one-time use.  Didi’s Wardrobe will provide that affordable option that didn’t exist before. Second, we hope that sellers will continue to realize the value in sending us their clothing to make some extra cash off those items that will never be worn again.  We have finally created a way to be green and recycle Indian clothing and jewelry! 

To learn more about Didi’s Wardrobe, or to sell or buy your own South Asian pieces, visit didiswardrobe.com. Let us know, will you be perusing this “eBay for Indian clothes” site this wedding season?


MY SHAADI OBSESSION SPECIAL FEATURE
Jan 16, 2012

Good morning! Today we have a special feature on Didi’s Wardrobe, a website designed to provide a marketplace for buyers and sellers of new and pre-owned South Asian wear. Finally a way to “borrow and share” Desi clothes and jewelry with people all over the country! The website offers South Asian clothing, jewelry and accessories for women, men and children. Didi’s Wardrobe is the first website dedicated to individuals looking to sell new and gently used Indian and Pakistani wear. 

 Many South Asians buy expensive Indian clothing and accessories for special occasions, wear them a few times, and then store them in their closets - never to be touched again!  Didi’s Wardrobe gives individuals a way to sell previously purchased Indian and Pakistani clothing and jewelry.  Didi’s Wardrobe provides a marketplace for both buyers and sellers to complete a transaction that meets each of their needs on a dedicated and secure site.      

Here’s a few of the features you’ll find with Didi’s Wardrobe:

  • Extensive Inventory - Didi’s Wardrobe has hundreds of Indian outfits and accessories listed for sale.  New items will continuously be added.  With more saris and kurtas in one place, buyers will be able to find the perfect outfit for any occasion.  The website filters its extensive inventory into categories which can be easily searched by users.
  • Affordable Prices - On average, buyers will pay 25-75% of the retail price.  Didi’s Wardrobe does not charge a posting fee, and only charges a nominal fee to sellers if an item sells.  This encourages sellers to price saris and sherwanis at an appropriate and affordable cost to buyers.
  • Easy to Sell - Sellers have the opportunity to sell their clothing and accessories by posting an item through a user-friendly interface.  Didi’s Wardrobe also offers a comprehensive service of posting and selling items for those individuals that are strapped for time.
  • Resell Items - After buyers have enjoyed wearing their Indian clothing or accessories, they have the opportunity to re-post the items on Didi’s Wardrobe for another lucky buyer to use again.  The price initially paid will likely end up being a fraction of the cost after reselling the items.
  • Seller Reviews - Buyers have the opportunity to provide feedback on their experience by writing a quick review on their seller.  This functionality provides the Didi’s Wardrobe community further insight into the quality of each seller.  The review system also encourages sellers to be honest and timely with their sales.  

INTERVIEW WITH BROWN GIRL MAGAZINE
Jan 16, 2012

Didi’s Wardrobe

SPOTLIGHT — BY  ON JANUARY 16, 2012 AT 8:40 AM 

Girls know it best, if you have a sister (or best girlfriend) all clothing, jewelry, purses, belts, whatever is open to sharing and occasional stealing. Dina Patel, Co-Founder of Didi’s Wardrobe, took that concept and turned it into a very unique online company.

Didi’s Wardrobe, Brown Girl’s most recent sponsor, is an online marketplace for a variety of pre-owned Indian and Pakistani clothing, accessories, and jewelry.

Dina, a fellow smart, hip, beautiful Brown Girl, sits down with us to talk about her inspiration and business.

What was your background and what inspired you to start your business?

After I graduated from the University of Michigan, I decided to join the world of investment banking in New York City. I initially planned on working in the industry for only two years. Instead, I ended up working in banking for 10 years with a break in between to complete my MBA at Kellogg.  I definitely learned a lot from my banking years – especially how to work in a high stress environment where we were marketing our own business.  After 10 years, I decided it was time to take those skills to the next level and start my own business.  It wasn’t easy to step away from a secure job, but I realized that if I didn’t take the risk now, I probably will never do it later in life.

At the website we learned that this was a collaborative project with you and your co-founder. How long was this idea in motion before it came into being the website we see today?

Didi’s Wardrobe was an idea a friend and I had in 2001 when we lived in New York, but it was something we couldn’t take action on due to our demanding careers.  However, in 2009 we decided to start researching different business ideas in Indian fashion.  We initially decided to change our business plan to renting Indian clothes, but ended up coming back full circle to our original idea of the consignment concept.  We realized that there was a plethora of inventory out there already, so why not provide a way for individuals to share those beautiful saris and lehengas with each other across the U.S.  We began our process of building the website at the end of 2010 and launched on November 15, 2011.

The basic premise for Didi’s Wardrobe is to create an online marketplace that connects buyers and sellers of new and pre-owned Indian clothing, costume jewelry and accessories. For first timers, how does the site work?

That’s right, the site is developed for both individual buyers and sellers on the site. It’s really an ‘ebay’ for new and gently used South Asian wear.

Didi’s Wardrobe was created for people like you and me to sell our South Asian wear that we spent good money on and to find something new for that next event without breaking the bank.  It’s a great way to “share or borrow” clothes from your desi friends across the country.  Why spend $500 on a Lehenga that you will wear once. Instead, you can find something similar for $50-$100, wear it once and then resell it again on the site.

For buyers we created a very friendly user interface where you can search products by Women, Men, Children and Jewelry & Accessories.  Each of those categories is broken down further such as Lehengas, Saris and Salwars.  Buyers can then narrow down their search by size, price or condition rating. The site provides further detail with photos, descriptions, measurements and even reviews by other buyers of their products.

For sellers we are providing two methods to sell items.  Sellers can either post their items through our easy Post a Sale process or ship a box of their items to us through our We Post for Your process.  If sellers post on they own, they will upload their own photos, measurements and items details through our easy six-step process.  Once an item sells, they will receive notification to ship the item. We understand that many people are swamped between work, family and friends and just may not have the time to post, so we are happy to sell their stuff for them. All they have to do is fill out our contract online and ship us their items.  We take care of the rest.  

Can you tell us about the quality of the products that are sold on your site and the ease of selling/buying?

The items on our site range from brand new to gently used.  Any item that shows a five star rating is brand new and has never been worn.  Many of us end up overbuying during trips back to India or Pakistan, so we have a number of sellers that have posted brand new items on the site.  Most of the other items on the site are in fairly excellent condition because in most cases someone has worn something once or twice and doesn’t want to be seen in it again at the next wedding (since the photos are already posted on Facebook!).

The process to buy and sell on the site is quite easy.  Buyers can see fairly extensive details on each item and even have the option of sending a message to the seller if they have questions on sizing or colors.  Once a seller is ready to purchase, they are taken to our secure payment gateway, PayPal.  The seller is then notified of the sale and will be asked to mail the item within two business days.  Once the item has been delivered, Didi’s Wardrobe processes the payment. As I mentioned previously, the selling process is quite easy with our two different methods of Post A Sale or We Post for You.

What has been the biggest challenge for you and your co-founder? The best part?

Educating the consumer. It’s a new concept, so it takes time for people to fully realize all of the functionalities we have to offer.

The best part is the response we have gotten.  I have heard time and time again that it’s a concept we needed.  We’re very excited to help cater to the wedding season in the upcoming months as brides are looking for affordable and easy ways to dress their guests, family members and bridesmaids.

Any words of wisdom for young women hoping to start their own business in the future?

I was initially very hesitant to take the risk of starting my own business. I was scared of leaving that security, but many of my friends and family assured me that I created a strong foundation with my career if I ever need to go back to the corporate world.  I think that probably rings true for many women that are looking to start their own business – self-motivators and hard working individuals will always be able to land another job. At the end of the day, employers view entrepreneurs as highly motivated individuals with a broad skill set.  Follow that passion – if you don’t, somebody else will.


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Chicago—Yes, there’s always eBay. But a new site launched last week that specifically brings together buyers and sellers of new and pre-owned Indian apparel and accessories. Talk about niche marketing.

Didi’s Wardrobe (www.didiswardrobe.com), the first site of its kind, offers South Asian (Indian and Pakistani) clothing, jewelry and accessories for women, men and children. Accessories include beautiful beaded and embellished handbags, particularly clutches, as well as scarves and wraps (listed as shawls).

All prices are fixed, as opposed to an auction format.

“We are excited to launch a marketplace that is solely dedicated to Indian wear,” said Co-founder Dina Patel, who points out that millions of South Asians buy Indian clothing and accessories, particularly for special occasions, and don’t wear them again. “Many of us have beautiful saris and lehengas hanging in our closets that we will never wear again. Didi’s Wardrobe provides a way to sell those ‘like new’ pieces to make space for something fresh.”

And unlike eBay, where users are responsible for uploading photos, listings and handling shipping and all transactions, Didi’s Wardrobe will (for a fee) take photos of customer’s items and ship them out for them.


DIDI’S WARDROBE LAUNCHES NEW WEBSITE FOR INDIAN WEAR
Nov 15, 2012

Website for Buyers and Sellers of New and Gently Used South Asian Clothing & Jewelry

Chicago, IL – November 15, 2011 – Didi’s Wardrobe (www.didiswardrobe.com), a website designed to provide a marketplace for buyers and sellers of new and pre-owned Indian wear launched today.  The website offers South Asian clothing, jewelry and accessories for women, men and children.  Didi’s Wardrobe is the first website dedicated to individuals looking to sell new and gently used Indian and Pakistani wear. 

Millions of Asians and non-Asians are always looking for Indian clothes and jewelry, but they don't want to pay significant sums of money to purchase these items.  Many South Asians buy expensive Indian clothing and accessories for special occasions, wear them a few times, and then store them in their closets - never to be touched again!  Didi's Wardrobe gives individuals a way to monetize previously purchased Indian and Pakistani clothing and jewelry.  Didi’s Wardrobe provides a marketplace for both buyers and sellers to complete a transaction that meets each of their needs on a dedicated and secure site.      

“We are excited to launch a marketplace that is solely dedicated to Indian wear,” said Co-founder Dina Patel.  “Many of us have beautiful saris and lehengas hanging in our closets that we will never wear again.  Didi’s Wardrobe provides a way to sell those ‘like new’ pieces to make space for something fresh.”

Extensive Inventory - Didi’s Wardrobe has hundreds of Indian outfits and accessories listed for sale.  New items will continuously be added.  With more saris and kurtas in one place, buyers will be able to find the perfect outfit for any occasion.  The website filters its extensive inventory into categories which can be easily searched by users.

Affordable Prices- On average, buyers will pay 25-75% of the retail price.  Didi's Wardrobe does not charge a posting fee, and only charges a nominal fee to sellers if an item sells.  This encourages sellers to price saris and sherwanis at an appropriate and affordable cost to buyers.

Easy to Sell - Sellers have the opportunity to sell their clothing and accessories by posting an item through a user-friendly interface.  Didi’s Wardrobe also offers a comprehensive service of posting and selling items for those individuals that are strapped for time.

Resell Items - After buyers have enjoyed wearing their Indian clothing or accessories, they have the opportunity to repost the items on www.didiswardrobe.com for another lucky buyer to use again.  The price initially paid will likely end up being a fraction of the cost after reselling the items.

Seller Reviews - Buyers have the opportunity to provide feedback on their experience by writing a quick review on their seller.  This functionality provides the Didi’s Wardrobe community further insight into the quality of each seller.  The review system also encourages sellers to be honest and timely with their sales.   

For more information on Didi’s Wardrobe, visit the website at www.didiswardrobe.com