Every once in a while, we all come up with these amazing ideas. Ideas that we really believe in, ideas which add some value to our lives or others around us. But these ideas are like 'Tusshar Kapoor' movies: they come, they go and no one gives a rats ass about them! One of the founders of Bollytude had a similar idea. He called his friend, "Dude, I have a kickass idea, let's make Bollywood style t-shirts". This was no 'Tusshar Kapoor' movie, this was a 'Dabaang' idea. It wasn't an ordinary day either, cause everyone was in the 'Aaj kuch toofani karte hain' mood. Next thing we knew, we were all sitting in a Starbucks, chugging barrels of coffee, jotting down random notes. Let's call it Yo!Cult someone said, "meh" said the other, lets call it Funtoosh!!, *eye rolls*, Bollytees, *grunts*, Bollytude!! lets call it Bollytude one of us exclaimed and everyone said YES in unison. Who knew, this small crazy, not-so-completely-thought-out idea would turn into something we are all very proud of today.
A great person said, "Good things take time!". We have something to add to that, "Good things take time, and they take longer when you are doing them part-time". Everyone on the Bollytude team has a full time job in some tech firm in Silicon valley, so everything takes a while. From coming up with the tag line for the brand 'Movies - Humor - Fashion', to deciding on the vision and direction of the brand. But when three movie buffs who know 'Andaaz Apna Apna' like the back of their hand, come together to create this trendy brand they think people would love, what could possibly go wrong eh? A lot. It was no trivial deal to start a new brand, specially when none of us had any prior experience with selling stuff online. But like Salman said, 'Maine ek baar joh commitment kar di, toh main apne aapki bhi nahi sunta', we were unstoppable.
After numerous hours of brainstorming, note taking, arguing and fighting, we finally had a plan. We are pretty sure we spent more time planning/figuring things out than the time taken by the all evil Bollywood Mogambos to cook up their evil schemes, combined! Crowdsourcing is such an amazing vehicle to get your pet projects funded these days. So instead of extorting money from our in-laws (which they are totally against) for this project, we decided to test the market by running a crowdsourcing campaign
. The goal was to raise an ambitious $5000 and we raised raised an impressive $3000 fund through friends, family, word-of-mouth publicity, some emotional attyachaar and some blackmailing (we had a lot of dirt on our friends). In 4 months, the store was up and running with just 5 shirt designs, a cup and a phone case. It was time for some rejoicing. So we all started making more designs for the store, cause that's what we love doing. Today we have around 30 designs, including t-shirts for kids and toddlers and many more coming soon.
Like the 3 pillar of Gurukul, Bollytude started with three main core values.
1) Movies - Everything has to be about Bollywood movies and only Bollywood movies, total dedication.
2) Humor - Take the cliches people like and turn them into fun art people would love to wear.
3) Fashion - Make the highest quality designs on the highest quality shirts.
But there are a lot of other things, we take very seriously at Bollytude. We highly value customer satisfaction. You can buy cheap Bollywood shirts by the dozen off the street, but we are not selling t-shirts here, we are selling stories, we are selling art and t-shirts are just a medium for doing that. Why would you wear a 'Huntington beach' shirt when you have never been there? Why not wear a Crime master Gogo shirt if you love Andaz Apna Apna? We want our customers to wear something they can relate to, something they can brag about, start funny conversations in awkward situations, yet look good and fashionable. Bollytude shirts tell a story, they add a zing to your favorite Bollywood-isms. With a funky mix of pop culture references and old Bollywood classics, these shirts are very trendy and eye catching. All of these shirts are printed on high quality american apparel t-shirts, so you can wear them to work or wear them to a party. They are so comfortable, you could very well pass out in them and sleep like a baby.
"Changing clothes before going to bed? That's so last century!"
What's next for Bollytude? Just keep doing what we love the most, more designs, more shirts! Even though the brand is mainly focused on apparel, we plan on adding more things to our Bollywood collections. We also plan on creating a community for designers to showcase their relevant art through the brand. Bollytude has a lot of exciting things in store for everyone, pun intended! If you haven't already visited bollytude.com
, now would be a great time. Go pick a shirt you like, a shirt that would mean something to you! You won't be disappointed.