Samtana sources cotton from organic farming co-operatives in South India. This not only helps support the move to a more sustainable and lucrative form of farming for the farmers but also provides chemical free body wear.
Founded by two serial T-shirt wearers who are always searching the planet for designers with the most unique and awe-inspiring art and then print those on their own super soft, fair trade produced organic T-shirts.
Startoholics reached Samtana and interviewed Ben Heinkel (Co-founder of Samtana) who admires entrepreneurs like John Bissell of Fabindia and Elon Musk of Tesla Motors.
Let’s see what he has to share with us about his entrepreneurial journey and of course Samtana…
What are you most excited about at the moment?
Our next collection as well as the collaborations we’ve been doing with artists and charities across the globe. There are a lot of plans for expanding Samtana’s offerings and how we can enable our customers to buy wearable art and do more good with every purchase.
What is the biggest hurdle you have faced or are still facing?
In the past we’ve had problems with very slow production times due to having to compete for factory space with bigger brands, however we have hopefully addressed this now and our customers can expect us to release a lot more collections per year than we have done in the past. Other problems include the lack of support for startups from essential services such as shipping and payment merchants. With the startup industry in India growing at the rate it is, it would be very beneficial for these companies to start making it easier for a new company to get set up.
Has Samtana got the feedback and growth you expected since launch?
Absolutely and in fact it has far exceeded it. We’re extremely happy about the feedback we’ve received since we opened our virtual doors last year, both negative and positive. The negative has helped us improve our product tremendously, and the positive has given us the support we need to know that what we do is appreciated.
Who do you see as your target audience?
Anyone who wears T-shirts, of any age. People who love art, care about the environment, or just want a limited edition, great quality T-shirts at an affordable price. We get all kinds of people shopping with us.
What makes Samtana different from those in the market?
I would say almost everything we do is different from other T-shirt brands in the market. We search the globe for awe-inspiring art, instead of using slogans and tired graphics that have been used on T-shirts for decades. The entire focus of our company is constantly trying to make our product better, more ecological and more sustainable in the way we produce it – our T-shirts are now not only organically certified (both material and dye) but also produced in fair trade factories, with our packaging being made from recycled material. We care about our tees, our artists and what we give our customers.
Where do you think is the future of Internet Startups?
While a majority of Internet startups will fail, those that have a great product or service and a good team behind it, will be making big changes to the way we live our lives. Payment is being re-invented, there’s talk of connecting the entire planet to the Internet with balloons, and there’s an ever increasing number of startups that are making it easier to support solutions for social and environmental issues. There’s going to be a lot more change initiated by Internet startups in the near future.
How important is the role of Social Media for success of any startup?
It definitely depends on the industry the startup is in, but for most consumer products and services, social media is vital. Consumers want to connect with the brands they support, whether it is for quick customer service or to be involved with the direction of the company – and social media enables this.
What are your plans for promoting Samtana?
We’re spending a lot of time researching ways in which we can provide content to the community that will provide informational value above and beyond only spreading awareness of our brand. This I think is the key to virility, and to reach the right customers.
What one piece of advice would you give to soon to be startup founders?
Stop chasing the hype around VCs. Build a product that people want by listening to what it is they need. Build a company and not a startup.
Samtana has been recently in the news as well:
Time Out Bengaluru – ” The new indie label offers up 100 per cent organic cotton tees in trippy designs”
Sustainable Cottons – “Offering Wearable and Sustainable Art”
The Alternative– “Are we what we wear?”
Yourstory.in– “Organic Wearable Art”
Ethical Fashion Forum -” A taste for sustainable fashion in India.”
Do visit Samtana and let us know what you think about the concept of Organic Wearable Art.