With an aim to redefine home décor space, the Noida-based online company designs and manufactures a range of home décor products crafted from metal.
At a glance
Startup: The Lohasmith
Founders: Karun Malik and Meghna Malik
Year it was founded: 2016
Where is it based: Noida
Offering: The company designs and manufactures contemporary home décor pieces crafted from metal.
Sector: Home décor
Funding raised: Bootstrapped
As India increasingly adopts global trends in the lifestyle space, home décor too isn’t untouched. In the last couple of years, Indian consumer choices have evolved, with contemporary minimalist homes designs gaining popularity nowadays.
Enter Noida-based online home décor brand, The Lohasmith, which aims to fulfill the need for high-end yet affordable metal accents in homes, catering to the evolving tastes of the modern Indian consumer.
“We decided to go ahead and start The Lohasmith when we realised two things – that the modern Indian consumer's tastes have evolved to include a more global viewpoint, and that there was a clear need for brands like ours. We essentially wanted to ‘strike while the iron was hot!’,” reveals Karun Malik, Co-founder, The Lohasmith.
Available online, the brand offers products crafted from metal across five categories – mirrors and wall art; accent furniture (side tables and floating shelves); bar and serveware; décor (vases, sculptures, candle holders, organisers, photo frames, and centre piece bowls); outdoor and garden (planters and baskets).
Though the home décor space is crowded with big or small players such as D’décor, Fabindia, Urban Ladder, Pepperfry , Chumbak and Livspace, there are many emergent brands trying to create products that would make them stand out from the rest.
The Lohasmith is, however, taking it slow — Karun highlights that the brand is betting on high-quality and unique designs. He adds: “We take our time to develop our own designs, often running them through multiple rounds of sampling and testing to ensure that our customers always get their money’s worth.”
He adds that the brand manufactures in small batches, ensuring quality at every step of the process while also keeping the inventory fresh. The startup, which designs and manufactures the products in-house, works closely with many local artisans, helping Indian craftsmen and artisans to showcase their talent.
The Lohasmith was founded by husband-wife duo, Karun (35) and Meghna Malik (33), who had a shared desire to start something that made high-end yet affordable decor products exclusively for India. They launched the brand in early 2016 and unveiled the website and collections in November the same year.
“We also knew that we had the ability to bring to our customer a range of decor products that were not only well-designed but also functional, on-trend, and most importantly of a quality that would allow people to enjoy our products in their homes for a long time,” says Karun.
It took them close to a year to design and produce their first line of products. With Meghna's eye for clean, interesting designs, and Karun’s obsession with quality, they make a formidable team.
Meghna, who leads all design-led and marketing efforts for The Lohasmith, has spent six years working as a brand manager at Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH), where she managed marketing and communication efforts for blue-chip brands like TAG Heuer, Dior Watches, and Zenith. She then shifted gears by moving into the world of pure-play brand communication, heading the lifestyle vertical for a boutique agency where she worked with some of the biggest lifestyle and luxury brands in the world.
Karun’s career has spanned multiple industries and job-functions, from scientific research to managing corporate communication campaigns for companies such as Aircel, Microsoft, and Discovery Channel. He also spent three years working in his family business (exporting home décor products), understanding the manufacturing process, and fine-tuning the quality control protocols. His past experience has greatly towards ensuring that The Lohasmith’s products are of the highest-possible quality, even though most of the work is done by hand.
Plans for future
The startup is currently bootstrapped and is not actively looking to raise funds.
Besides selling its products directly to consumers online, the brand partners with highly curated lifestyle portals (such as The House of Things, Jaypore, Natty.in) to sell its products via other marketplaces. Lohasmith has also partnered with some popular retail spaces for home décor in the country such Mora Taara (Mumbai and Gurugram), Amethyst (Chennai), Clove (Mumbai), Josmo Studio (Goa), and Second Floor Studio (New Delhi). This approach has helped the brand gain much-needed visibility and widen its distribution channel, besides allowing it to reach new customers.
The brand also intends to broaden the product line and introduce new categories. Karun remarks,
“While we are focussed on growth, we are trying to strike a balance between growing our presence both in offline as well as online retail and ensuring that our production practices continue to meet the high standards we have set for ourselves.”