We had an interesting chat with Mr. “Esha Kayan”, Ceo/Founder of the Kolkata – India based start-up “Baby’s Locker”
Below is the interview we conducted with him:
1. What is it exactly that you do and what your start-up is all about?
I am the Ceo/Founder of Baby’s Locker. Right now apart from the workers, I am the only one managing the brand, which is great! Baby’s Locker is India’s First 100% Organic & FairTrade Clothing brand for babies and by far the cutest. The brand is all about bright happy colors. We encourage young mother’s to shop and experience what we are providing. We are here to make a difference. The aim is to make sure that the little ones are comfy, safe and happy.
2. When has your startup been founded? And what stage is your startup currently at?
Baby’s Locker launched on 1st of March 2015, after a ten month long journey. It has only been a month since we launched and the response has been incredible.
3. What is your startup’s business model and how does it work?
Products are made in-house. They are designed & manufactured with love & respect for the world in which we live, where our children will grow & play in.
4. How did your team meet? And who in your team does what?
Difficult stage was getting the team together, can’t thank my worker enough. I handle everything by myself (designing & manufacturing). One-man army sort off.
5. What, exactly, makes you different from existing options, what will make your product and/or service stand out in the marketplace? In other words what’s unique about you and what’s new about what you make?
India’s 1st 100% Organic & FairTrade clothing brand for babies We create curated products, our aesthetics are different & being one amongst the few female entrepreneurs in India
6. What is your growth like? And what milestones has your startup achieved so far?
It has just been a month since we launched, so the millstones we have achieved can’t be said much about. But we are growing everyday. Learning new things along the way and expanding our reach to our target audiences as we go along.
7. Who are your competitors? And what is your start-up’s competitive advantage over them?
Products vein 100% organic cotton, aesthetics of the brand is different, product designs are fresh & above all competition is everywhere, we are hear to stay.
8. What obstacles did you face and how did you overcome them?
The most difficult stage was getting the team together! I can’t thank my workers enough; they have encouraged and helped me a lot throughout the journey. Apart from the workers, it’s just myself. I pooled up money for the brand through my family and friends who supported my idea, and a little saving I had left from my work experience back in college. I designed the website myself so a lot of money was saved in that front.
9. What are the key things about your field that outsiders don’t understand?
How helpful Organic Cotton is for the children. There is no harmful chemicals used in this process which is extremely good for the babies skin. The workers are not harmed by the use of colors & we are a 100% FairTrade Brand. The colors/prints are GOTS approved.
10. Why are you going to succeed?
Baby’s Locker is going to succeed. I am not saying this because it is my brand and that I have worked hard for it. I am saying this because we are different. We are setting a standard that no other brand has reached or thought of in the children sector at all in India. From our designs to our website aesthetics, we stand out.
11. If your startup succeeds, what additional areas might you be able to expand into?
Right now we are thinking of becoming a holistic brand. That’s our aim. Along with satisfying our customers completely and reaching to our target audiences. These are the cards in hand at the moment.
12. Why did you choose this idea and concept to build your start-up based on?
Building on the idea, was like discovering myself. Once I started pondering over it & began to believe in the project; I became extremely enthusiastic; realizing how apt I was for it & passionately loved doing it.
13. What have you learned so far from launching your idea?
Since the launch, I have learnt or tried to learn the art of being patient! Idea isn’t the big achievement. I feel the delivery is. How I manage to build the idea that I have got is the head turner. And then after launching we feel the tough just got over, but it ain’t that at all! Hahah
14. Six months from now, what’s going to be your biggest problem?
This topic will only have value two months from today. In one month’s results, judging or evaluating the future would be a little rash I feel. Only after a three to six month status about the growth could tell me what my next move should be. Our energy is driven only towards reaching out to the right target audiences.
15. What’s the benefit for the customer/user?
The customers at Baby’s Locker benefit not only the amazing service we provide to them (for example being prompt with our orders, being quick with our email/ phone call replies etc) but from the quality of our clothes. Organic clothing is the best for the children. It super soft and comfy. No harmful chemicals are used in the making, it is GOTS approved and no there is no chance of allergies at all.
16. How did customers / users find out about you?
Word of mouth is our greatest strength. But social media has helped massively. We are still in our early stages, but so far seek help from places like start-ups co. to help brands like us reach out to our target audiences!
17. Who are your current customers / users? Who are your target customers / users?
Baby’s Locker is for the new mom’s. They are extremely active on social media, where we market a lot. We want to reach out to the massive amount of new mom’s who would definitely love our brand.
18. Where do new customers / users come from and what makes new customers/users try you?
New customers are attracted via social media mainly. Articles where Baby’s Locker has been mentioned helps a lot and we get traffic from those areas as well. With the feedbacks that we have received, customers get’s attracted to the new way we have presented the brand. As well as our prints are very different. The aesthetics count a lot.
19. What do your customers / users say about your product and/or service?
With the feedbacks that we have received, customers get’s attracted to the new way we have presented the brand. As well as our prints are very different. The aesthetics count a lot. They have loved our quality and prints.
20. How are you going to scale?
Baby’s Locker is for the new mom’s. We believe that word of mouth is the best way to market and go up the scale. A boost will be when we get a return customer, shopping again with us! ( since its just been less than a month, we only want to reach out to the relevant target audiences).
21. What’s the biggest missing feature? The one thing customers/users keep asking for?
The customer’s feel we need more products. As I said earlier the concept of curated isn’t there or understood in India yet. But we are expanding our styles and patterns soon!
22. Are you going to internationalize? And if yes how are you planning to expand your start-up’s operations accordingly?
I can’t say no, because I haven’t given a thought to that yet. Being just a month old, Baby’s Locker is planning to capture the Indian market completely first. We are trying to reach out to our target audiences as much as we can.
23. How big do you think you can get? Why? And how you are planning to achieve your goals?
Baby’s Locker aspires to become the best clothing brand for children in India. We want to become the first choice of the parents; of the new mom’s. We are different, we have our plus points and we will keep building on them.
24. Are you looking to hire a new workforce? And if yes, what job vacancies do you currently offer and where can potential applicants contact you at?
At the moment no, we aren’t thinking of that yet. Our small team is efficient and presently sufficient for the tasks in hand. But in the future, yes of course; probably once we have established firm grounds.
25. Are you looking for partnership opportunities or funding from Venture Capitals (VC) or other funding sources? Or your business is self-sustainable? And if the first option applies where can potential partners / investors contact you at?
Not really, Baby’s Locker is self sustainable at the moment. We are not looking for any partnership opportunities as yet. Funding or a venture capital would be a no for sure.
26. What advice do you have for fresh entrepreneurs?
A thought rather than advice. The Idea isn’t the big achievement, building on it is the head turner. And after the launch we feel the tough just got over, but it ain’t that at all!
27. Finally, do you have any other comments that you would like to add?
I just wanna say a few things about my journey and how I came up with the idea.
Sometimes our best decisions are the ones that don’t make any sense at all!
I started this brand when I was unsure if I could design, if I could set up a
workshop by myself, if I actually had it within me. Words like ‘can I do it?’ ‘is it
possible’ came across; constantly questioning my abilities and myself.
After a three-year course in marketing in the UK, I came back to India; rejected by
all the companies I had applied to for a job. I came to India scared, ‘what if I
don’t get a job, what will I do, what will people think’ the negative cloud
surrounded me. Making me panicky. I applied to a few fashion based companies,
bloggers, marketing companies, with a question in my mind ‘why would they take me?’
Whilst I was impatiently waiting for them to reply, there were constant family
parties, baby showers, shopping excretions for which I had to help my sisters – the
best way to distract me from all the pressure. They called me their fashionista as I
was always inclined towards fashion. Being fashionable was just my mere nature, no
hard and fast rule, it came from within, since childhood.
As I was battling with my negative thoughts that was hovering over my positive aroma
regarding my job applications back of my head – I had to shop for the three little
ones that were entering this bright life. As I was trying to shop, I realized there
was absolutely nothing that attracted me eagerly; nothing different and fresh. The
shopping trip was a big fail, and I ended up ordering baby clothes from abroad.
While I was disappointed, I realized that what I was seeking for my upcoming nieces
and nephews, I could just make it for them. The so-called idea gave me goosebumps;
does this even make sense? Can I start something of my own? Just me? These were the
exact words that flooded my mind.
Once I started pondering over the idea and began to believe in the project; I
researched more and more, scratching the ground deeper n deeper. I became extremely
enthusiastic about the whole new idea, realizing how apt I was for it and
passionately loved doing it. The negativity vanished, and I felt like the positive
22 year old that I generally am.
So, even though I was majorly confused at the start, doubting my capabilities, I
eventually found my way to Baby’s Locker. A ten month long journey from being
unemployed to starting my own business, was heck of a road. I pooled up money for
the brand through my family and friends who supported my idea, and a little saving I
had left from my work experience back in college. I designed the website myself so a
lot of money was saved in that front. The most difficult stage was getting the team
together! I can’t thank my workers enough; they have encouraged and helped me a lot
throughout the journey. I am handling everything by myself (One-man army sort off).
I design the clothes and my workers have helped me immensely! It’s been a rough
start but I am sure to have a bright future ahead for Baby’s Locker!
As it is said by Dhirubhai Ambani “If you don’t build your dream, someone else will
hire you to help them build theirs.”