With a name that itself spells quirk, Tappu ki Dukaan gives out all the right communication to those seeking its fun, unique and sometimes over-the-top products. Nestled on the mezzanine level in Mumbai’s bustling Fort neighbourhood, Tappu ki Dukaan is the latest retail offering in products that would add zing to the dullest of your days and most plainest of gifts.
The store is the brainchild of Sneha Raisoni, a chartered accountant by profession, who eventually ditched a job that she held for over five years at an investment bank and subsequently the corporate world at large to give expression to her creative side.
Tappu Ki Dukaan houses products from a pot-pourri of brands that are known for their quirky range of products and include Happily Unmarried, Mukul Goyal, Haathi Chhap, Pop Goes the Art, Mixed Juice Design, Neil Dantas, and Fireflies to name just a few.
Expect to find ashtrays shaped like commodes, shot glasses in cutting chai stands, pop art products, provocative and suggestive playing cards, photo frames, diaries, bookmarks made out of elephant dung and much more!
All very reasonably priced too, between Rs. 40 – Rs. 4000. Shares the entrepreneur, “I want my store to cater to a segment of people who want something unique and can get it without burning a hole in their pocket. I have incorporated products that appeal to me as a consumer and I hope my customers will enjoy the mixed bag that I have created for them just as much.”
The store décor, itself, is endearing. Having worked extensively with primary shades on the walls, the most intriguing part is a niche in the wall that houses a mural that looks like a spider web having spun its way along it. In a city, crying for perpetual lack of space, Sneha has made intelligent use of what she owned, as an example, incorporating a lineup of photo frames along the mentioned web.
A reflection of the same effective use of resources is in her business model. Having just started up, Sneha has deliberately not ventured into manufacturing. Instead she sources from various designers across the country, some on consignment and some purchased outright, and retails them at the store. Although she is quick to add that she would love to have her own line of products over time as well. To the same effect, she adds, “I want to open Tappu Ki Dukaan’s all across the country. I have already been approached to open a franchise in Bangalore and very soon I will start giving these proposals serious thought.”
From a little shop with little knick knacks, from the Tee-K-Dee as Sneha likes to call her Tappu ki Dukaan that started with her own savings and a loan from a friend to franchisees across several Indian cities, her growth in less than six months of establishment has been nothing short of exceptional. One, then, cannot blame Sneha for wanting to take it slow. Also, this way, she is better prepared to tackle challenges that may come her way as she believes that things have gone very smooth so far and that her biggest challenge is yet to come.
A fact for which she holds gratitude towards the city and the positive manner in which people have responded to her store. “My customers have appreciated the collection and come back to say that South Mumbai was in dire need of a store like this, which is a huge compliment in itself. Also, I am very thankful for all the newspapers/magazines/web portals etc who have written about my store and given it such good reviews,” enthuses the founder.
Ask her if she’d ever want to go back to her corporate life and she vehemently refuses. “Starting from an argument with my ex-boss to craving for my own freedom and space, it was a culmination of several events that led me to quitting my job and starting the store. Today I can do what I want, explore my creative side which had otherwise been lying dormant for years and have my own space in South Bombay, what else could I ask for?” rhetorics an obviously clear-headed Sneha.
For those who are yet to take the plunge, Sneha only wants to share that her best feeling is that of living life at her own pace and not someone else’s. For her, it is as someone rightly said “Stay Hungry, Stay foolish”
One can visit Tappu ki Dukaan at 27-A, Kermani Building, Mezzanine floor, Glass door through Saxonia Spects, Sir P.M. Road, Fort, Mumbai – 400001.