From mums, with love: meet the women entrepreneurs who are changing the face of kids' fashion with their unique offerings
With some of the best quality clothing and accessories, these three premium kids’ fashion startups led by women have everything you need to make your little ones look and feel their absolute best.
Samridhi Ganeriwalla, Little West Street
Founded in 2015 by Samridhi Ganeriwalla, Little West Street offers a large variety of completely cotton products for babies and children, including customisable nightwear and bedding, bath towels, decor, and travel essentials. It also has matching pyjamas for mum and dad!
Bootstrapped and based out of New York and New Delhi, Little West Street has the best-of-both-worlds advantage, with access to designers in the US and artisans in India who bring the company’s ideas to life.
Samridhi says she started Little West Street because she noticed the lack of variety in the Indian clothing market for babies and wanted to carve a niche. She started designing her own products for her son, and quickly began receiving positive feedback.
"When I returned to New York, there was an instance where I was carrying my son’s quilt around, and mothers passing by complimented it, asking where I bought it from. That was the day I began working on my idea for Little West Street," says Samridhi.
Initially, Samridhi struggled with gaining trust from hesitant parents, explaining why some products like swaddles - which are less heard of in India - are useful, and building a customer base for the pricier range of products, going up to Rs 20,000. As time went by and word about Little West Street went around, Samridhi has been able to overcome these challenges.
Little West Street also boasts endorsements by several celebrity parents, including Esha Deol-Bharat Takhtani, Kareena Kapoor Khan-Saif Ali Khan, Nisha Rawal-Karan Mehra, Soha Ali Khan-Kunal Khemu, Shweta Tiwari-Abhinav Kohli, Sania Mirza-Shoaib Malik and others.
Hoping to spread joy and love, Little West Street also sponsors meals for children at Samarpan Foundation, an NGO. In 2018, the company contributed towards nearly six months worth of food for the organisation.
Snigdha Bihan, Little Pockets Store
Founded in 2015 by Snigdha Bihan, Jaipur-based Little Pockets Store offers high-quality formal and informal casual wear for newborns and kids till 10 years.
After she became a mother herself, Snigdha realised that the kids' apparel market lacked variety. So in 2015, she decided to create a fusion between traditional Rajasthani designs and contemporary clothing for kids, at an affordable price, and established Trendmongers Pvt Ltd in Jaipur.
What started as an experiment with an investment of Rs 10 lakh that Snigdha borrowed from her husband and a friend now has an annual turnover of Rs 65 lakh. Operating under the brand 'Little Pockets Store', it specifically caters to the ethnic wear segment, adorned with Rajasthani handwork.
While Trendmongers employs around 90-100 artisans and manufacturers, Snigdha has recently been faced with a group of block printing artists who wanted to quit and move on to higher paying jobs.
“I don’t blame them, knowing that there is not enough work available for them. But we are trying our best to create an ecosystem where we can provide them with continuity in their work as well as better pay. I just hope our customers everywhere try to understand what they are buying and the story behind the product,” says Snigdha.
Thinking ahead, Snigdha wants to focus on building a sturdy setup for her company, and then eventually explore newer markets across India and overseas.
Dipna and Dipti, Love The World Today
Love the World Today (LTWT) is a sustainable and ethical clothing brand for kids launched in October 2015 in Mumbai by sisters Dipti Ahuja, 37 and Dipna Daryanani, 32. Currently, LTWT is bootstrapped, but the co-founders are open to funding partners.
Back in 2015, Dipti's daughter was three years old, and as a parent, she always found it tough to shop for her because there was a lack of clothes that had great design and used child-friendly fabrics. Around the same time, Dipna who is an educator, was working with children on a theatre production. During her research, she came across information about how much trash the fashion industry produces, and realised how unaware consumers are.
The sisters decided they had to make a change, and stepped out of their comfort zones to start Love the World Today. The brand sources organic cotton from Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified vendors in Gujarat and Rajasthan, handwoven cotton from weaver communities across Gujarat, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. All of LTWT's clothes are also made using eco-friendly dyes.
"Our endeavour is to create a zero wastage brand and we upcycle most of our textile scrap to make accessories and toys for children. We are also figuring ways to use the scrap as trims for our collections," say Dipti and Dipna.
The idea behind LTWT was to create a 'business with a purpose.' The co-founders say that the brand tries to communicate the importance of sustainable and ethically-sourced clothing, as well as gender-neutral clothing that breaks stereotypes and helps find a deeper appreciation for aesthetic.
The key challenges that Dipti and Dipna have faced are staying motivated on bad days, creating a measurable vision and putting themselves out there, especially since they don’t come from a design or textile background. Slowly but steadily, the duo are getting past the hurdles.
So far, Love the World Today has a clientele of over 5,000 customers across India, Singapore, Hong Kong, France, and the US. Through Instagram, the brand has also been able to create a tight-knit community of parents and are venturing into offering more than just clothes, such as music gigs and book readings for kids and blog content.
Going ahead, LTWT will soon be getting into the space of adult clothing, so that they can be a 'one-stop-shop for clothing that's made in a socially and environmentally responsible way.