Creative Entrepreneur Jayesh Sachdev of Quirk Box – Quirky lifestyle products and fashion

23rd May 2011
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Quirk Box, is the brainchild of two award winning, overworked, neurotic designers with excessive levels of creative insanity. It is a roller coaster ride over a colourful rainbow full of pop, kitschy, loud, yummy, tangy lifestyle products and fashion attire with a load of attitude and spunk. In conversation with Abhilasha Dafria for YourStory, Jayesh Sachdev tells us how he and partner Rixi Bhatia came together to materialise their quirks and create a Fashion and Lifestyle label- Quirk Box.

Jayesh was one of the finalists at The British Council’s Young Creative Entrepreneur Awards in the Visual Arts Category in 2008. To know more about the Young Creative Entrepreneur Awards, visit this page - http://www.britishcouncil.org/india-arts-yce.htm. To follow the Young Creative Entrepreneur Awards on Facebook, check out http://www.facebook.com/YCEAwards

So Jayesh, tell us a little about yourself and how did you come up with Quirk Box?

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My partner Rixi Bhatia and I are co-founders of Quirk Box and we both come together with our own sets of credibility. I am an artist and have held exhibitions from across New York to Singapore. I hold a national record for painting India's largest new media artwork and am now successfully running my design studio Emblem. Rixi, on the other hand, is a fashion designer with an uber cool label- Half Full and also partner at lifestyle store -Attic.

As The British Council Young Creative Entrepreneur Award Finalist and Runner up respectively we teamed up to put our individual potential to launch Quirk Box. Wanting to extend our creative forte into new mediums, into new domains, wanting to create a label that we found exciting and original, that was unique and spelt individuality, we spent months figuring out the plausibility of such a collaboration. Thus, a project I have wished to initiate for 4 years, finally saw face with Rixi as my very able partner.

What’s the story behind the name Quirk Box?

There is an oddity and sense of innovation that is a virtue of Quirk Box. This oddity, this 'quirkiness', and this implicit need to be original and fun, put together is what we like to call the 'Quirk Box'.

What were the challenges you faced while starting up? Tell me a little about your initial hurdles.

The initial challenge was always to find a common sensibility, a common goal. To have equally high ambitions, to find mutual trust and respect for each others personal and collaborative achievements. After we had found our peace with that, it was a matter of agreeing to disagree or accept the designs, strategy and structure of business.

How did you fundraise to startup?

Funding any such project would require large sums of monetary investment; thankfully we managed to pull it off with our own purse. The rapid growth in the extremely short time span of our market presence has been very encouraging and we are optimistic that we can continue to self fund Quirk Box.

Since when have you been operational? And is it just the two of you managing it or are you looking at hiring?

Quirk Box has been in an inception stage since October 2010. It was formalised on 1.1.11 and launched on 16th April 2011. We have junior staff and assistants, but it's pretty much Rixi and I.

So are there other players in the market doing similar things? And if yes, what do you think is your USP, Jayesh?

There are other similar labels each with their own design sensibility. Our USP is our strong understanding of design and fashion and our inherent traits of wanting to create something original each time. We are not aping trends, even though our works have a very strong Pop Art essence, we are neither imitating designs, nor finding inspiration from Bollywood/Hollywood or popular culture, we are constantly striving to create innovative art that spells individuality.

Isn’t there a trend that you are trying to capture?

We are not trying to capture any trend. We are creating what we enjoy, what we find fun. We are inspired by our experiences. And our experiences change everyday and we allow that to reflect in our design.

As the creator of Quirk Box, what have been your highs and lows? What are your greatest challenges and how do you prepare to cope with them?

The greatest challenge is within our own work space rather than outside of it. With two individuals trying to find a sense of perfection in art and fashion we often reach a deadlock. We do understand though that we both always have the best interest of Quirk Box in mind and always find a mutual ground. Quirk Box as a label has been very well lapped up, we have received an over whelming response which is both encouraging as artists and also from a commercial perspective. This allows us freedom to think bigger than we already do. You cannot really foretell your obstacles so we rather not stress over what we don’t know, and face them as they show up. Together we are a potent force.

Where and how do you see yourself going ‘bout this? How do you intend to make it bigger?

We launched Attic in Mumbai, and within four weeks post launch we have already hit 6 other stores/branches, and another 6 lined up right across the country. We see this number increasing substantially over the next few months. We want people to enjoy Quirk Box as much as we enjoy creating it. In addition to this we have another label 'Stuck With Stupid' lined up for launch early next year, a Luxury version of Quirk Box.

Are you looking at serving projects or bulk orders by companies?

While that is not our primary focus, we have no closed doors and we would consider such options as and when they arise.

Great. So Finally, could you tell us a little about your experience with YCE?

We are grateful to the wonderful platform and honour that the YCE has provided us with. It is great to be recognised as a Young Creative Entrepreneur and have your work and what it represents acknowledged by the British Council. Needless to say the YCE has created and pointed out authors of great works from various Creative fields. As a Young Entrepreneur you already know that your fellow participants are in many ways on the same wave length and I am certain Rixi and I wouldn't be the last such collaboration through the YCE.

Do check out http://www.thequirkbox.com/ and let us know what you think by writing to us at feedback@yourstory.in

 

In case you want to apply for this year’s YCE Awards, do click here

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