This laundry startup give new life to your Leather gears
16th, May 2020 - Startup Event
The Leather Laundry is a niche spa and repair service for luxury leather gear! We clean, color, repair, restore and revive premium leather shoes, handbags, jackets, wallets, belts & leather upholstery! The founders of The Leather Laundry have been in the leather industry for 30 solid years. Based out of New Delhi, the parent company (a family enterprise) is one of India's leading manufacturers and exporters of leather apparel and accessories. Having worked with some of the most coveted brands spanning several continents, we take pride in claiming that we have the finest technical know-how of leather in the country. TLL is a second-generation initiative that is resolutely committed to boosting the existing foundation and exploring new horizons through focus, innovation, and creativity. Our dedicated team of expert technicians aims at using environment-friendly practices, equipment and processes to ensure the highest quality cleaning.
A. Cleaning and Moisturizing:
Recommended procedures of leather cleaning are used to remove stains and soil as well as to replenish vital oils and restore color. Stains are removed in the safest possible way to maintain the look, feel, and delicate balance of oil in the animal hide. Moisture content and softness is also restored by applying a special topcoat of rehydrating creams. We offer the finest shoe cleaning service, designer leather bag cleaning, leather jacket dry cleaning, sneaker cleaning & leather sofa dry cleaning services in Delhi & Mumbai
B. Coloring and Refinishing
Our color-matching experts bring back color and softness that has been lost due to continued use, through the application of refinishing dyes and oils. They also fix nonfast colors and restore colors that wear off during the normal cleaning procedure. Our experts also specialize in changing/improving the texture and tone of leather. From minor touch-up and tone correction to recoloring and complete color restoration, we do it all! We offer the finest leather & suede shoe polishing service, handbag restoration service, leather jacket polishing & leather sofa polishing service in Delhi & Mumbai
C. Repairing and Replacement
Our trained tailoring workforce also helps meet the repair needs of your leather apparel and accessories, thus rendering them usable. We carry a huge array of hardware, lining fabrics, and leathers (of all possible qualities and colors) on the stock. Our skilled craftsmen use high-quality threads to provide excellent stitch work that completely blends in with your product. We offer the finest shoe repair- shoe heel repair & shoe sole repair, bag repair, jacket repair & leather sofa repair service in Delhi & Mumbai!
2. Customization services:
Stand apart and celebrate your individuality today!!
• Size alteration of garments to get the ideal fit.
• Modification of color and quality of lining and hardware as per your liking.
• Strap length adjustment of leather bags
• Personal monogramming of names, initials, messages, etc.
• Modification of texture and color of leather as per your liking!
• Additional embroidery work/printing.
We, however, reserve the right to decline special requests if we feel that we cannot achieve a favorable outcome!
3. Bespoke Leather jackets:
We also offer made-to-order leather jackets! The process will be as below:
1. People will send their design inspiration or choose from my celebrity closet.
2. I will send a stylist and master tailor to their home. The stylist will carry leather swatches, trims, and lining fabrics to choose from, the master tailor will take body measurements.
3. We will send them a mock sketch to give them a chance to make last-minute changes.
4. We then deliver their bespoke apparel within 10 working days!
Our target customer segment is a niche market of educated and discerning consumers who seek quality, believe in reducing wastefulness, and practice ethical consumerism! In keeping with this positioning, I have no choice but to cherry-pick my customers! Our ideal customers would always place quality over price! They also have to be intelligent enough to understand that we are not a traditional laundry service. The time and skill levels involved in restoring each leather item are very high! It is more like art restoration, where the technician has to work on several elements like stains, loose threads, dirt lining, etc. Our services are analogous to that of a surgeon, both in terms of time expended and expertise involved. Our prices are thus reflective of the same. We have had people coming to us with precious leather gear (of high sentimental value) from their grandparents' times, seeking advice on preservation and restoration techniques. We are thus selling a lifestyle and preserving memories!
Funding and Stats
We are a complete bootstrapped venture for now! Possibilities of future funding are totally contingent on how we plan to diversify and grow over time! We are playing it by ear! We came about in April 2015, and ever since we have completed about 4500 orders across Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, and Kolkata! We broke even within the first one-year of commencing operations. Revenue is growing gradually. We have also successfully completed several international orders!
The key milestones for the next 5 years would be to focus on excellent quality and timely deliveries. We will try to get as much traction as we can in Delhi/NCR, Mumbai & other metro cities of India! International tie-ups are on the agenda! So is foraying into other verticals in a bigger way - like upholstery cleaning & upcycling of waste leather products! We want the venture to grow organically (banking heavily on word-of-mouth). We are learning every day and are playing it by ear!
For us, competition has never been a deterrent or a motivator! In all honesty, we have never worried about competition much. We want to effectively package and sell stellar quality service that is timely, courteous, and durable! We will not say that the concept is entirely unique/novel! There are several Indian players dabbling with the concept already! We do not want to undercut the competition by indulging in a price war of sorts. The focus area will only and always be "quality". Since our focus area is narrow and caters to a niche market, it will take us a while to get volumes and break into the market! But it will be totally worth its while! Profit, is not the motive at the moment, building upon a culture of leather-care in India, is.
What propelled us to take up this venture was an enviable experience of 2 and a half decades in the leather industry. We already have all the technical know-how, expertise and synergies in place! Also, a genuine dearth of professional leather care technicians in India prompted us to jump in and fill the gap! Being an environmentalist at heart, I also took an immediate liking to the concept of a laundry service for leather. Reason being, that by offering to clean, repair and care for leather, we are dissuading people from discarding their leather gear. This reduces wastefulness and conserves the environment (as leather processing entails a lot of water consumption and air pollution). Thus TLL is also a socially responsible initiative that tacitly reduces the impact of growing consumerism and fast fashion!
We faced a lot of teething troubles at every stage. Even to this day, we are learning and are faced with unexpected challenges from all quarters! It is like playing a sport! We love every bit of it!
Ours is a humble team of 3 color technicians, 3 repairists for handbags, wallets belts, etc, 2 technicians for shoe restoration & repair, 3 cleaners, 2 delivery boys, 1 master for leather jacket alterations & repair, 3 folks at the administrative level and last but not the least, myself!
Family and Friends love the idea and swear by the venture and see the great potential!
"You have to be in it to win it! Diligent focused work is the key to success! Perseverance is the key and quitting is never an option!"
Website: The Leather Laundry
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Mallika Sharma: I am a postgraduate masters of science in Finance and Investment from the UK. Besides managing affairs at The Leather Laundry, I also chair my family-run export house as the president of the garments division. I am an avid blogger and a voracious reader. I play tennis and love traveling! I am passionate about the causes of women empowerment, gender equality, and environmental sustainability! I am also very passionate about creating novel ventures that are exciting and meaningful, precisely why TLL came into being!