If you have spent any time online in the last several years, you have certainly come across the term ‘fandom’.
You probably are in a few of them! Whether it’s having a The Office poster over your desk or quoting Game Of Thrones in your Instagram bio, pop culture (and hence, fandom) is a part of our everyday lives.
So, what exactly does ‘fandom’ mean?
To begin with, ‘fandom’ is slang for ‘fan culture.’ A fandom is a group of people who have formed a community around some media or niche, such as a book, movie, series, video game, comic, music band, or sports team. Sometimes, even individuals have fandoms dedicated to them!
Most fandoms are made up of people who buy the source material and its merchandise (action figures, posters, clothing, etc.) There are also people who just participate in discussions about the material and create artwork or literature around it (popularly called ‘fanart’ and ‘fanfiction’).
The people behind Redwolf may be considered both of these kinds. Not only do they create products based on various fandoms, but they also go ahead and create them into merchandise for people to consume. Let’s find out more about the brand.
Redwolf is a D2C retailer that specializes in licensed pop culture merchandise. It is an e-commerce-focused shop that creates graphic t-shirts and other products based on the world’s most popular franchises, TV shows, and brands.
Redwolf has always strived to source its materials locally and will continue to do so. Currently, they sell products across a number of verticals, including t-shirts, hoodies, shorts, dresses, notebooks, phone covers, posters, badges, and a lot more.
All of this is available for a variety of fandoms, with numerous designs for each. If you want a specific fandom merch, Redwolf probably has it.
The Founding Story
The story starts with three people. Ameya Thakur has a background in SEO and digital marketing. Rahul Jaisheel has expertise in software and web development. Vivek Malhotra has worked in software development, testing, and information technology.
The trio had two things in common: they had a degree in engineering, and they were pop culture geeks. Redwolf began in 2011 as a hobby project with the goal of filling a niche in the market.
Back then, the Indian e-commerce industry was still in its infancy. There were few online retailers – this was before Amazon ever entered the Indian market, and Flipkart was still selling books and experimenting with new categories. Something that was entirely missing was fandom merch.
In the 2010s, Indians began to seep into fandom culture more and more, thanks to a boom in the use of the internet. However, unlike in developed countries, there was no good quality certified merchandise for fans to buy. You could probably find knockoffs in local shops or pay exorbitant amounts to get the real stuff shipped from abroad.
Ameya, Vivek, and Rahul resigned from their jobs in 2011 and clubbed their resources to create Redwolf’s first batch of t-shirts. They built the website themselves, thanks to their engineering background.
However, this also meant that none of them had a business background, so there were many trials to be faced. They experimented with various logistics and used their bedrooms as makeshift warehouses.
Redwolf’s website was launched in March of 2012. It soon started gaining popularity.
Nerd is the new cool.
Out of its tremendous collection today, the founders still love their graphic t-shirts best. According to them, these clothes are a canvas of expression, as well as conversation-starters. They are the casual attire of choice for the majority of young people.
“As fans who were looking for these cool products ourselves featuring our favourite superheroes or characters and quotes from the shows that we loved, we felt that there was an opportunity to offer premium and authentic fandom-based merchandise at affordable pricing for Indian consumers.”
Redwolf’s goal is to become India’s premier source for licensed fandom items. The merch it offers is one-of-a-kind and authentic, with a strong design, focused to appeal to even the most enthusiastic and picky fans. Redwolf doesn’t just slap a logo on a tee and put it on the shelf. All products are creatively designed in-house and are licensed from their original source.
The people behind Redwolf are hardcore nerds themselves, so they wouldn’t let down others of their kin.
Some of the many fandoms that Redwolf offers merch for include Marvel, DC, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Disney, various Animes, Game of Thrones, etc.
“Fans, Assemble!”: Growth So Far
Back in 2011, Redwolf was one of its kind. But today, it watches as more and more Indian businesses enter its specialized market. The entrance barrier is minimal, but given the competitive environment, scaling up is the largest hurdle.
Fandoms keep growing, and fans want more and better merch. Redwolf utilizes everything it has learned over the last decade as a foundation, and it will continue to “stay hungry and stay foolish” as it goes forward.
Over the last 11 years, Redwolf has included more products and fandoms in its arsenal. With its consistent customer approach and quirky and cool presence, Redwolf has created a name for itself.
Redwolf has over 5.5 million users spread throughout India.
Since its establishment, it has successfully fulfilled over 4 million orders with over 8 million goods across India. Every month, Redwolf gets 6-7 lakh website footprints. It also reaches over 2 million individuals throughout their social media channels per month, both sponsored and organically.
Being so closely tied to the entertainment industry, Redwolf knows the new big fad may pop out of nowhere. The key is to always have your creative juices flowing.
It is looking forward to introducing new items for the lineup of new movies and TV shows from its existing array of licensed franchises. It is also working towards offering more products exclusively for women and children.
For Fans, By Fans
As pop-culture enthusiasts themselves, the ‘wolves’ behind Redwolf know the thrill of expressing yourself through products that showcase your fandoms. Be it your Hogwarts house coffee mug or your Justice League hoodie, your merch is your individuality.
From Redwolf’s founders:
“We look at our products as more than just ‘t-shirts’ or ‘mugs’ – they are expressions of the things that our customers love. Any time that one of our products gets a thumbs up and a passing comment of “nice t-shirt, bro!” – they have truly served their purpose to become a touchpoint for new conversations and friendships.”