As an animal lover and a PETA volunteer, I decided to give up leather a few years back. How leather is made, simply aches my heart. Even though it’s illegal to kill healthy young cattle in India, they are beaten, deprived of food and water, dehorned, transported in appalling conditions and tortured with iron rods. As statistics go, India produces around one billion pairs of leather shoes every year for consumption and export, and the hide from one cow produces 18 pairs of shoes. Which means 50 million cows are slaughtered for shoes!
With this knowledge, I pledged to never wear leather again but consequently, had a tough time finding good non-leather shoes that were stylish, of good quality and affordable. You could say that it was almost a light-bulb moment when I thought, “What the heck, I should start my own brand!”And that’s how ‘KANABIS‘ was born – a brand for fashionable, affordable, high quality and PETA-approved vegan footwear. The name is a play on the word cannabis (a.k.a. marijuana) since we use a lot of canvas instead of leather in our shoes, and canvas was historically made from hemp, which came from cannabis.
All our shoes are made of high-quality canvas, fabric and other leather substitutes keeping compassion for animals as a core value of the business but style is as important to us, which is why our shoes are tastefully crafted, with a careful mix of fabrics for the right look and comfort, thanks to our creative head, Anshul Tyagi, who does a fantastic job with the product design!
Read full story here
In real life startups don’t do spanking offices. As a true blue bootstrapped venture, Kanabis started in my drawing room. Much to my mother’s shock (at first) the fancy crystal was put away, a ‘KANABIS’ sign hung high on the walls and of course shoes, soles, fabric, heels were scattered everywhere! Our guests had to be ushered into the house with a seemingly logical explanation to satiate their ‘what on earth is going on?!’ expression.
Working from ‘home office’ sure had its own perks. Zero travel time, a helpful cook and chauffeur on call, a fully loaded refrigerator at all times and hey, lets not forget all this was available rent-free! We thought we would never leave, ha! But like all things must, we’ve grown up too.
We recently created an office cubicle in our warehouse. I didn’t think I would ever have to learn or think twice about which air conditioner, printer, or fridge to install but startups sure are one helluva teacher! We may not have touched xxx in our turnover figure yet but setting this up from scratch and moving into a real office feels just as great.
Why don’t you check out our website and if you are in the area, pop by for a personal shoe fitting session and some fresh samosas if you fancy!
We all love shoes, some more than others. With over 20 pairs of shoes in my closet it is pretty safe to say that I like a good pair of shoes. I am the creative head at Kanabis, since its inception and after being asked (or coerced in some cases!) several times how we design our shoes- thought its time to pick up the pen and share our design philosophy.
Kanabis strives to provide customers high quality shoes in new innovative designs. Designing a shoe starts with an in-depth research of fashion shows, trade shows, exhibitions and fashion forecasting magazines. After analyzing and shortlisting the trends , the range is created and the designs are sent to the manufacturer for sampling.
In the multiple rounds of sampling, they are tested for fit, quality and feasibility. A selection is made from the samples for that go into production.
The design process from research to production consumes several weeks and lots of caffeine! At Kanabis this process is repeated up to 5 times a year to keep up with the trends and expectations of our customers. To launch a collection in June the planning for it starts as early as January. The design team works on two subsequent collections at any given time. Being just one year old in the market, Kanabis enjoys a loyal fan base who love our designs and keeps coming back for more.
Designing for Kanabis is fun and satisfying as this truly is fashion that speaks to you and your feet!
7 April 2016– we completed our first year. Phew, how time flies! This day last year, with our hearts pounding we launched at London Market exhibition at Hotel Ashok in New-Delhi. That was one helluva day! We sold our FIRST pair at 10am before the exhibition had even officially started and no it was not a friend or family but a ‘real’ customer! Isn’t there something special about first love, first sale, first customer, first birthday…
It’s been a pleasantly busy year with 30 exhibitions in 10 cities and several online/ offline activities during the year that kept us on our feet (quite literally!). We are now present at 7 multi brand stores across the country and looking to grow our presence both online and offline.
Looking back at the year gone by makes me very grateful to our awesome team (Anshul Tyagi, Niharika Singla, Shilpa Dangi and Pradeep) without whom we wouldn’t have been able to take our first steps. We celebrated our quick wins such as clinching our 10K followers on Facebook or receiving PETA’s approval as a Vegan brand and now we are motivated to do more. much more.
Here’s wishing for many more years of growth, success and animal friendly fashion. Stay stylish and Stay tuned at www.kanabis.in.
Buying shoes online has become the new normal. Shopping at wee hours of the morning, in the comfort of your jammies and a world of options to choose from does make one feel like a shopping king/queen!
Still, some of us prefer the old school way. We physically like to try the shoe for the look and fit, walk few steps, pose in the mirror and then decide.
Our strategy was clear from the start- to have a web-store but also have an offline presence via exhibitions, events and store tie ups. We love the direct interaction we have with our customers at exhibitions. A question that surfaces quickly is ‘do you have a store? ’…‘where are you based? ’
We are Everywhere, thank you World Wide Web. And the ensuing response we hear is ‘great now that I know my size, I can order online.’
Goes to show that people are unsure of the size when their touch-point with a brand is a screen, especially for the first time. We thought hard about this lacuna. Shoes must fit and fit well, no two ways about it.
For narrow feet we provide additional insoles and suggest which styles may require them. Before we dispatch your order, don’t be surprised if you receive a call from us for a ‘size chat’ ! We like to get it right in one stroke. We also do follow ups to check if they look, feel and fit okay. As a last resort, there is always the sweet option of return/exchange.
So next time when you’re on the cusp of checking out your fully loaded shopping cart on our website and confused about the size, sweat not. Check the size chart or give us a call or ping us a Whatsapp or good ol’ SMS and we’ll be happy to help 🙂
If I could build a time machine and go back in time, the first place I’d swing by would be 1969, the height of the Swinging 60’s, rock & roll, peace and love and some of the most fabulous fashion the world has ever seen.
Bell sleeves and bottoms, daisy chains, love beads, short dresses, groovy shades & wedge sandals.
Watching old Hindi movies made me long to wear dress up like Zeenat Aman in her bell bottom jump-suit or like Saira Banu in her swinging dress and head band.
I’m a shoe gal, always have been, & the shoes of the time mesmerized me. Birkenstocks, sandals, wedges, ballerinas.
Of course with the return of the swinging fashion, I don’t need a time machine; all I have to do is pick up some of the fashion of the 60’s that’s trending in 2016.
So here are the top shoe trends for this year.
Last year espadrilles were huge. This year fashion houses are pushing the envelope with the plain old espadrilles and updating them to jute crochets and see- through lacy fabrics. This one is a must buy for summers in India.
Wedges, Mules, or the romantic & perfect as termed by Vogue, is all the rage is spring. With colours that pop, or studs that glint & wink. Update your wardrobe, with a pair that brings Swing Fashion to Spring Fashion.
Spring is the time for flowers, blossoms all over the place after winter, and why shouldn’t fashion celebrate what nature celebrates every year. Incorporate the tenderness of blooms, add colour to your outfits with some pretty floral shoes, and if you’re like me, then flower printed skirts and shirts are OTT, but cute sandals like these can make any outfit go from drab to fab.
Oxfords and brogues have been around for years, and more reliable shoes cannot be found, men swear by Oxfords, but why should men have all the fun. Oxfords for women have all the reliability of an Oxford and all the gaiety of women’s shoes. Pair your favourite jeans with Casuals, days have never been so comfy or so fashion forward.
Platforms with edge are a fashion prediction of 2016 by every fashion magazine. From variety in colour, fabric & design, this style is here to stay. Pick from funky, quirky, romantic or edgy, and step out with your best foot forward.
Snippets from interview by Indian Women Institutional League (IWIL)
According to you, what are the top three essential skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
I think one needs to have the drive to create, make or build something. A lot of people have ideas- but proof lies in execution. It’s a ton of work moving from idea to action stage.
Second, is the ability to take risks in some capacity. Businesses do fail, but fear of failure should not deter you from taking that plunge if you truly believe in it.
Also resilience is important. Running a company, especially a startup is a moving and dynamic beast so one has to be quick in adapting to different and complex situations.
How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life? Has the family always been supportive?
I am fortunate to be born in a family of high achievers. My Dad and brother are workaholics with another level of brain power- wish I had that! And my mom has great sense of style. I bounce off our shoe designs off her for a sense check.
It’s been an exciting year juggling with the start up and the MBA concurrently but my family has been extremely supportive (and patient with my tantrums, ha!)
What are your views and opinions towards the ambiguous need to promote women entrepreneurship and women empowerment in India?
Strongly agree. Women have copious amount of skill and potential to be great entrepreneurs and leaders in any field. As a country we are seeing some amazing work being done by women and as they say this is just the beginning. A little encouragement can reap far greater rewards.
Full post here
Ever since she was a little girl, Devika Srimal knew she wanted to run her own business. When she was just seven years old, she wrote in a school essay that she would one day open a chain of stores called ‘Devika & Spencer’ (quite likely influenced by Marks & Spencer).
In her early twenties, she moved to the US to get her bachelor’s degree from the University of Warwick. After studying and working abroad, she returned to India last year – and struggled to find stylish shoes that weren’t made of leather. She realized that international brands were selling mainly leather, and there was a chunk of unbranded players selling non-leather shoes.
I bought a couple of pairs of funky printed canvas shoes from the US, but when I wore it all day in Delhi in peak summer, I felt hot because it was a closed shoe. And being short, I like my heels. All of that fed into my stream of thoughts – I liked canvas as a material, but I wanted to make it open toed or open-backed for the hot Indian climate and add heels,” Devika recalls.
The need to marry comfort with style in footwear that wasn’t made of leather eventually took shape as Kanabis, Devika’s entrepreneurial dream come true. Launched in April 2015, Kanabis is a non-leather, animal-friendly, comfortable and fashionable footwear brand for women.
Kanabis, anyone? ..Read the entire post here
Last Friday I was at the cinema catching a matinee show, much to everyone’s surprise. My friends sitting in their swanky corporate offices sent me those ‘so jealous of you’ texts and emojis. Gone are the days I need approvals from managers and all powers above to watch a movie or visit the dentist on a weekday!
There are indeed perks of being your own boss. One can take off from work when one wants. But is there really a time when start ups can switch off and take off?! Even weekends seem like an alien concept.
As we turn 8 months old, I look back and realize what a crazy ride it has been. All entrepreneurs go through the ‘what have I got myself into’ moment and sure I have felt that way too. There are stressful times when one momentarily wishes to trade for a comfy desk job and a fixed monthly pay cheque (sigh!). But the joy of building, branding, selling and scaling up the business well makes up for it. It’s a long road ahead with plenty of worry and the hidden joy in that worry. Our journey has just begun.
I opened the box; the brown box excited me with the surprise that waited inside. It had white pair of wedge heels covered with lace. A combination so pure, that I felt rejuvenated. I held the elegant pair in my hands, I was startled to notice the weight of this pair, it barely had any. I couldn’t resist any more from embracing my feet with them. I wrapped the straps around my ankle, they perfectly fit me. I stood up to pose to the photographer as it was the shoot day at Kanabis. The first step I took is still locked in my head. The cushion on the heels supported my sole, my feet felt light and if felt comfortable. I didn’t feel that I was wearing inches high heels. The pair complimented me and I posed. We clicked, we laughed and we enjoyed. The moment made me the Cinderella.
A pair of heels that could fill me with such emotions and at the same time did not tire my legs in the course of the shoot. Cinderella are the perfect solution to high heel problems, they are extremely comfortable and beautiful. They are called Cinderella for a reason.