Gone are those days when kids curled up in a cozy corner in their parents rooms. I am sure we have all at some point felt envious and been awe-struck looking at the beautiful spaces children live in these days.
Thanks to the internet and widespread exposure children have today, they know exactly what they want.
While browsing through Pinterest and lifestyle websites can give you some great ideas to create the perfect space for your tiny tots, turning these ideas into reality can prove to be quite a challenge. Sensing this, thirty-seven-year-olds Pooja Kaul and and Amita Mahajan, founded FlyFrog Kids, a kids online design and decor startup with a vision to help kids design their own little happy space.
Having studied together at Sir JJ School of Architecture, Pooja and Amita stumbled upon the startup idea while doing up the interiors of a plush penthouse for a client who wanted to surprise his soon-to-be-mommy wife. This sudden project of a nursery left them stumped. What started on a reluctant note was so greatly enjoyed by the two that they decided to startup in the space. From then to now, the entrepreneurs have come a long way and have been featured on Elle Decor, Child, HT and various other publications.
“We tried to make everyone believe in that one vision that we have about our brand. Every person in the team has to understand that they have an important role to play in the success, especially if it is a small team,” say the founders. Flyfrog’s core team has 15 people, including interior designers, graphic artists, architects, and the support team.
The startup currently has its presence in 13 cities and the founders plan to expand to Bengaluru and Hyderabad shortly.
So how does the team go about their vision to help kids design their own happy little space?
The team designs and manufactures kids décor products such as funky storage, children’s bedroom furniture, and accessories like wall-hooks, pin boards, and bookends. The customer can pick and choose the design of their choice through the website. Once the purchase is done, the order is made available to the customers at their doorstep. FlyFrog also has an “off the shelf” kids décor product line which is available as Shop-in-shop on various other platforms.
Flyfrog is also making kids decor just a click away in the cities it is present in through it’s ‘Design your room’ option on the website where you can choose between various packages and customise your room design. After which, FlyFrog sends out a mail which outlines all the details like Skype calls with the designer, painting and flooring days etc. The design is then shared with the customer. After that the approved design plan is sent to the customer and the workshop for completion. Within four to six weeks (depending on the package) the room is painted,flooring done and the setup finished.
The founders say that personalisation of rooms and products is their speciality and through this vertical, FlyFrog is looking to target the luxury consumer.
Taking on the giants
The founders claim that there is no player in the space which offers a complete package of design service and kids décor products designed and manufactured in-house.
The home décor market in India was pegged at $20 billion and is ranked the fifth largest market in the world. Urban Ladder, FabFurnish, and PepperFry are the big and established names in the home and décor segment. It is evident that these players have a tight grip in the online market, and they seem to have left little space for any other player to grow in the past few years.
The three companies have also raised huge funding from various investors. In April, 2015, Urban Ladder raised $ 50 million in a new round of funding led by Sequoia Capital along with TR Capital, and existing investors Steadview Capital, SAIF Partners, and Kalaari Capital.
Late in September 2015, Pepperfry snapped up $ 100 million and became the first player to reach the magic figure in the niche e-commerce segment in the country. The round of funding was led by Goldman Sachs and Zodius Technology Fund. Existing investors Bertelsmann India Investments (BII) and Silicon Valley-based Norwest Venture Partners (NVP) also participated in this round.
Having started operations only in late 2015, bootstrapped Flyfrog currently averages a ticket size of about 1300-1500 order for products and about 15-20k from the “Design your room” segment.
Despite the huge size of the overall market, the online furniture market is small and ruled by only a few. Therefore, there’s a huge scope for new players to grow in this segment.
Tips on becoming successful mompreneurs
Both Amita and Pooja are mothers of two toddlers. How do they handle the pressures of a new business and motherhood?
“Sometimes passion and love help you out in this. When you are passionate about something you just figure out a way to manage all that is flying around you. We take weekends off, sometimes work from home, but figure out a way to give time to both family and work. On some days it gets a bit exhausting, so we just decide to lie low on these days and believe that this too shall pass and move on. We try to give our best shot to both and leave it that. I think overthinking might just kill it,” they say.
The startup caters to about 13 cities but wants to expand to more tier 2 cities. It is also planning to add more products and services to their current portfolio and incorporate more technology-based ideas on their website. Ultimately, they want to become the most talked about kids decor brand in India. The journey has only begun for these two and they are raring to go!