La Bella is a retail service concept that provides customisable handicrafts as a service.
One of my passions since childhood has been handicrafts. They are a representation of a culture, its traditions and heritage. Currently, there are 4 million artisans in India and 5 million people indirectly dependent on this industry. However, due to a decrease in patronage, many artisans are finding themselves without work and without a source of income. Simultaneously, India's handicraft exports are expected to meet the $4-billion target in 2013-14 because of the growing demand in markets like the US, China, Russia and Latin America.
I have been mulling over a business idea of bringing Indian handicrafts to the western market in a previously unexplored way. This led me to combine handicrafts and customisation to create a service for users wanting to buy customised handmade items. From a few user surveys and my own experience, I had observed that one of the accessories most used and bought by women was a scarf. Therefore, I made scarves the minimum viable product.
So I decided to design a website from where potential customers could buy the scarves. I begin with 3 different patterns and 9 different scarf colours to test out my concept on silk scarves. The reason for working with ikat is because of its elegance; and because many of these woven silks can be washed at home (in contrast to dry-cleaning silk scarves). The figure below indicates how I intend to grow and nurture La Bella.
Keywords: Service design, handicrafts, website, wireframes, customisation, retail, ikat, scarves, UX design