Rareitis — A unique online marketplace for Indian Artifacts and Handlooms

Planning to buy rare Indian original ethnic products like Rajasthan Stone Carvings, Aranmula Brass Mirror or Pashimina wollen stoles ? You don’t have to travel anymore to buy genuine Indian Handloom artifacts and handloom products, Thanks to Rareitis.

Rareitis.com a Kochi-based e-commerce platform, is an online marketplace offering a wide range of rare “Desi” artifacts and handloom products. Anooja International Pvt. Ltd headed by Ms. Anooja V M, started the enterprise which is now live online for the last three months. The website offers original products from its point of source by providing a platform to the designers, weavers, craftsmen and artisans from across India, to directly sell their products on the website.

Homepage of Rareitis.com

The products are broadly put under two categories viz: Indian artifacts and Indian Handlooms and clothing. These products are generally made from materials found locally, and are crafted by skilled craftsmen who have inherited this skill traditionally from their forefathers who have nurtured these rare arts for centuries. Hence these products are not easily found everywhere, and that’s the gap the website intents to fill - connecting customers across the globe to these products made in rural India.

Rareitis team with the weavers at Balaramapuram, Kerala

The products include Kanchipuram Saree, Banarasi Saree, Jamdhani Sarees of West Bengal, Bandhani work on clothing from Kutch­ Gujarat and Rajasthan, Chikan works on clothing from Lucknow, Pashmina shawls of Kashmir, Kerala Bell Metal Mirror, Agra Marble idols etc.

One of the unique value proposition is that Rareitis offers a user­ friendly web page with easy product navigation. The company also offers assurance for original products through a two stage seller screening process which includes visits to the Seller’s workshop/factory, credentials of his vendors, understand his supply chain, and ensure Product quality, genuineness, and timely delivery.

“The company not only aims to sell genuine products to the buyers but also ensures that the manufacturers get a good price for their products by knocking off the middle man.” — Ms. Anooja

The Indian Handloom Industry

The handicraft and handloom sectors is a Rs. 24,300 crore industry contributing Rs. 10,000 crore to India’s total export earnings of Rs. 1.62 lakh crore, as per the 12th plan working document. The industry also witnessed a CAGR of 6.9% in 2014­-15.

The handloom industry is the second ­largest employment provider for the rural population in India after agriculture, that’s the size of the Industry and the government’s interest towards its sustenance. There has been an ever-growing demand for ethnic products, but the sector still remains unorganized. Ms. Anooja feels that “Rareitis will help to bridge the gap between artisan and buyer and will be beneficial for both and boost the industry”.

What lead to rareitis ?

Ms. Anooja was shopping for an Aranmula kannadi in Mumbai. She was shocked by the price tag attached to the Aranmula kannadi, which received GI tag in 2004­-05. Not only was it expensive, but also it was tough to find. The obvious question would be, why was she shopping for Aranmula kannadi in Mumbai? She counters, “Why not?”

Team Rareitis: From Left: Sreenath Gopi, Aravind RV, Anooja V M, Arun Nair

It is Ms. Anooja’s passion for Indian handlooms and handicrafts that led Anooja to create Rareitis. She was an IT faculty for institutions in India and abroad prior to the launch of this e­-commerce platform exclusively for handloom and handicraft.

Mr. Arun Nair leads the company with close to 20 years of professional experience in business development and project execution. The team members include Sreenath Gopi, Aravind R V and Sukesh Vadavil.

The Road Ahead

Marketing for rareitis has been mostly word of mouth and social media. The Facebook page has also attracted a lot of interest. Ms. Anooja believes in organic growth and plans to expand its current product portfolio. They hope to bring in more artisans and weavers across the country to the platform. They have trained the craftsmen to photograph the products and also to upload those images, which are published after vetting by the Rareitis team. The website also offers the customers an opportunity to design their own products.

So next time if you wish to wear a Lahanga Choli or a Kurta or a showpiece in your drawing room, Rareitis will help you to meet your imagination and satisfaction.

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