We as people have an uncontrollable fascination towards all things old and new, especially towards the new. Our story started in a land far away, United Kingdom to be precise. Being a true Indian, our founder Harshwardhan Patwardhan carried with him and used a pair of traditional Kolhapuri sandals whilst studying Business Management in Nottingham. What he didn’t expect were all the compliments he received for them. This incident unknowingly set the wheels churning and the idea of Chappers was born.
Upon returning to India he started helping with his father’s transportation business only to realize that he didn’t belong there. Going back to his initial idea of experimenting with the traditional Kolhapuri sandals, he wondered if the idea would catch on. The initial research included a lot of solo trips to Kolhapur, finding out and arranging meetings with leather manufacturers in Dharavi etc. Modi’s Make in India scheme proved to be the ultimate inspiration as a few samples were made and distributed amongst family and friends for a test run. Each pair was tested in some harsh conditions including long and difficult treks and ploughing through heavy rains. Only after the results were satisfying, did we start with the initial design and manufacturing process.
Now that we had zeroed in on the product we felt the need to have a solid brand name, something that would be modern against the traditional backdrop of the original product. Hundreds of lists later we decided on the name Chappers which is a consolidation of the traditional Indian chappals with a contemporary flair. True to its name, in a pair of Chappers we provide Indian handcrafted chappals with the comfort of a flip flop. Now, we like calling them Indian Handcrafted Sandals. After finalizing a solid logo to match the image of a solid brand it was time to introduce our work to the public.
The next bit was tricky. How do you kick off the sales of a new brand? It is very difficult to make it as a fashion brand in this nail biting competitive world. We started small with a stall in a popular mall and only a hundred pairs to our name. What we didn’t expect was the phenomenal response from our customers giving us the strength to take risks and expand rapidly.
Today we spend a lot of our time innovating and experimenting with the design, testing out new products (our new anti-skid rubber layer works wonders on slippery surfaces) and trying to better our last batches by using the latest available technology to make your pair more comfortable. Each pair of Chappers is completely handcrafted in our workshop situated in Pune. Our skilled craftsmen put in a lot of hard work right from cutting the leather to stitching the sole to hand polishing the side edges and that is why we make sure to remunerate them with three times of what they would usually make on a pair of traditional Kolhapuri sandals.
Beginning with an idea, a great deal of enthusiasm, a meagre amount to our name to selling a few hundred pairs in just a fortnight has made us one of the fastest growing fashion start-up today. Keeping up with the ever increasing demand meant it was time to develop our very own website, so here we are with a brand new website and a fresh new outlook.
Enjoy and welcome to the family!