“Retaining the customers and returning customers is what gives us the feeling of being a successful startup.”
-Karan Khanna (Co-founder & CEO, A Vintage Affair)
In the summer of 2016, Mr & Mrs. Khanna visited London and Paris on a holiday. From the stunning Eiffel Tower and cute patisseries to the winding cobblestone streets decked with colourful flowers on the pavements, the couple fell in love with the city. One day, while sitting in a cafe they both decided, why not take some part of Paris and London back home? And that is how Karan and Prerna Khanna came up with the idea of a brand that is a tribute to the timeless vintage beauty of these two grand cities.
After returning to India, they decided to start a brand that resonates with being classic yet modern, being luxurious yet affordable, being pretty and precious, and being chic and unique. And that is how, in the beginning of 2017, they founded “A Vintage Affair”. Inspired by French design, European architecture, vintage British tea party culture, and the mesmerizing streets of Paris, every home decor piece designed and curated by the company brings with itself an everlasting beauty.
A Vintage Affair is mainly a home décor brand in the e-commerce space that offers quirky and unique vintage products. It is present in 10 online marketplaces including Amazon, Myntra, and Flipkart, and 25 retail stores across 8 cities in India. Currently, it is supplying products to bookstores, furniture stores, airports, gift shops, and to malls in Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, and other cities. The founders are also planning to expand their services in Amritsar and Ludhiana as well after seeing the surge in customers from Punjab and other parts of northern India.
Prerna Khanna, the Co-Founder of the company, has 5 years of experience working with an e-commerce marketplace. She handles all the merchandise, designing, and purchasing aspects of the business. Everything from colour and pattern to the theme, and design falls under her work areas while Karan, the Co-Founder, and CEO, manages the day-to-day operations of shipping, warehousing, finance and marketing.
WHAT MAKES A VINTAGE AFFAIR UNIQUE?
The range of products, designs, prints, and themes that the company offers are very unique. The company is constantly working with its vendors to come up with unique and innovative designs and collections. 90% of the company’s collections are imported from different places.
PRODUCTS AND SERVICES OFFERED
The product portfolio of the company includes a wide range of vintage products like
- Kitchen & Dining Products such as kitchen storage boxes, coasters & trivets, salt & pepper shakers tablemats or placemats, cups & mugs, serving trays, and tea sets & teapots.
- Table Decor Products such as candle stands, napkin holders, tissue boxes, flower pots, decorative accents, and vintage clocks.
- Wall Decor Products like photo frames, key holders, and wall art hangings & frames.
- Decorative Organizers like jewellery boxes, trinket holders, magazine holders, and different kinds of unique decorative boxes & canisters.
It has also curated gifts and worked with corporates for events, seminars, and conferences. It collaborates with wedding planners and provides bridal gift hampers, wedding giveaways, and baby shower giveaways. It has recently been the main brand sponsor and gifting partner for a leading engineering college annual event in Mumbai. The company’s vast and ever-increasing product range also offers gifting options for various occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, house-warming parties, promotions, weddings, Diwali, Christmas, and pretty much any occasion that you can think of.
BIGGEST OPPORTUNITY FOR THE COMPANY
“The e-commerce sector boom is the biggest opportunity for us and we are focusing more and more on the e-commerce growth and scaling our brand in the online space. We specifically curate products that are small in size, easy to ship, and are affordable. By utilizing the potential of online space in India, we want to keep riding the e-commerce wave in the country.” said Karan while describing the biggest opportunity for the company. A Vintage Affair is constantly working with influencers, running Google and Facebook ad campaigns, and email marketing campaigns to achieve overall growth online.
CHALLENGES FACED BY THE COMPANY
Returns are the biggest issue in the e-commerce market. As the company deals in ceramic and fragile products, it becomes difficult to control the products from getting damaged. Competition, pricing, returns, and payments are some of the biggest challenges faced by the company.
ADVICE FOR UPCOMING STARTUPS
Karan also advised upcoming startups and said, “To run a successful startup, do what you love and believe in your product and your own capabilities. How you differentiate yourself and what makes your product unique in the market is the most important thing and you should surely focus on that aspect.”
DEFINITION OF SUCCESS
“We are on the right path to success. Our efforts have started bearing fruit now. After 5 years of hard work, success is finally coming ahead. For me, success is not just money and finance. Success means that you love doing your work and you are excited about it. Becoming financially free and enjoying the learning through the whole journey is the real success.” said Karan, while defining what success means for him and the company.
A Vintage Affair is currently doing a lot of collaborations for the upcoming festive season. In the next five years, the company looks forward to launching completely new and unseen collections and growing in the offline space as well. “We hope to see A Vintage Affair become a household name for household products in the coming few years,” said Prerna on the future of the company.