by Carolyn Edlund
Artist Roza Khaminova’s collection of scarves and wearables has exploded in popularity. How has she dealt with scaling her business and dealing with knockoffs?
When she first opened her business on Etsy, Roza Khaminova never expected to start a small business that would experience explosive growth on an international basis. She started out trying to create a line of work that would be viable to sell on her online shop, but it succeeded beyond all her dreams.
Now living in Australia, Roza offers glorious, colorful scarves in intricate winged designs that are inspired by the art in her home country of Kazakhstan. Customers have gone wild for them. Starting with bestselling designs in her signature style, she has expanded into other wearables also. And she’s moved beyond Etsy, too by creating her own e-commerce website at Shovava.
In the meantime, she has amassed a huge following on Facebook and Instagram. Frequently modeling her own work, Roza’s popularity as a designer has skyrocketed. She’s developed a dedicated social media following by encouraging customers to take photos of themselves wearing her scarves, and posing in exotic locations. It worked – she has built a solid base of repeat customers who are devoted to her.
Exposure on sites such as Bored Panda, My Modern Met and others has only added fuel to the fire, driving traffic and interest in her wearable art. She’s also partnered up with charities to promote environmental causes.
Wholesale inquiries started to come in, and she had to deal with the challenge of scaling her business to produce volume while not sacrificing quality. Her studio in Australia did not have the production capacity to fill orders, so she traveled to India, where she was able to find a manufacturer and inspect their facilities. Digital printing processes today are advanced and incredibly accurate, rendering a product that fit her needs and standards.
Her collections appeal to “Bohemian, adventuresome women” and sell well at boutiques, gift stores, botanical gardens and other retailers. She currently sells scarves, leggings and skirts into at least 100 wholesale accounts, and is considering a future swimwear collection.
Success is often followed by knockoffs, and unfortunately her designs have been blatantly copied by manufacturers in China who have no concern for copyrights. Her response has been to take the offenders to task on social media, exposing the theft and encouraging her fans to boycott any copycats. She is always moving forward with new designs as well.
Taking a small creative business to a big level can be rife with headaches and challenges of all types. One of Roza’s strengths is her ability to make a strong social media connection. By sharing new designs on the drawing board and in-process studio images as well as photo shoots, she keeps the excitement going and her customers engaged. It appears that she will doing so for a long time to come, given prospects for outstanding sales!