The new wave of ‘vocal for local’ proved to be a boost for Indian entrepreneurs. It has promoted local businesses during COVID-19 and given customers the ability and motivation to shop locally with ease. This rebranded version of ‘Made In India’ has our support, and every month, TC46 will spotlight small businesses and ventures you can champion and back easily through online and offline purchases.
Artists, entrepreneurs, visionaries and experts, Indian women are shattering glass ceilings and breaking out of boxes. Success, tied with skills and hard work, is what makes those featured in our list today an inspiration for many. And the journey, for these women of incredible talent, are stories that must be told.
This week, here are some brands we’re cheering on; check them out!
Kidswear by Vidhamma, Stitched With Love
Founded by Vidya Rajaram, Vidhamma is an ode to the name her 5-year-old son called her ever since he started talking. The brand makes comfortable and breezy jablas (tie-up tops) and shirts for newborn babies (0 – 6 months) and also takes custom orders for boys and girls up to the age of 5 years. The idea behind the brand came about while she was on a shopping trip for her 4-month-old baby girl where she realised she could not find anything she liked.
Indian prints on cotton are crowd favourites, but everything she liked seemed overpriced. She started picking fabrics of her choice, designing them and getting them stitched from her tailor. She realised they worked out so economically and also looked and fit perfectly. The clothes she made were unique, special and personal. And that’s how she created her Instagram account to commercialise this venture.
Vidya, an educator based out of Chennai with a deep love for fabric, colours and children, intends on making beautiful clothes easily available to parents who are on the look for affordable cotton pieces for babies. She is also a mother of two children and has always operated with the belief that she will provide to other children the same quality that she would provide for her children, whatever it be. She started Vidhamma to make nominally priced clothes available to all parents at their doorstep.
The products range from Rs 180 to Rs 800. You can place your order via Instagram DMs or WhatsApp.
Handmade Cotton Products by Sura
Nisha Subramaniam built Sura with the intention of mobilising women to become financially independent. A group of mothers, angry about rising education costs wanted to spend their 7-8 hours of “leisure” time meaningfully to support their child’s education economically. Microcredit supported them to buy their own sewing machines and start sewing classes. The venture was born out of the struggle to pay the class fee and the loan – the mothers decided to create products and sell them to cover costs.
Three years into this journey, Sura is growing in confidence and reaching a global audience today. The women are on the path of empowerment, broadening financial choices for themselves while creating a larger social impact. Nisha, a sociologist and a journalist by qualification, moved to rural Cuddalore in 2017 to work in rural communities. A deep love for working with women in communities and for fabric came together beautifully when a team of mothers came forward to step up to upskill themselves and be earning members of their families. What started off as a journey to learn to stitch one bag, brought Nisha this far with Sura in rural Cuddalore.
They create affordable lifestyle cotton products ranging from earphone pouches to totes to laptop sleeves. The home decor range of cushions, bedsheets and curtains brighten up many homes across the world. All the products are made with colourful and vibrant cotton, plains, ikkats and kalamkaris. They also customise orders in silk and cotton for weddings, family gatherings and corporate orders.
The brand offers products like pouches, bags, totes, slings, laptop sleeves, kindle / iPad / Wacom sleeves, cloth masks and more. Women 20+ years emerged as their largest segment; they cater to men with their range of masks, sleeves and slings. They attract an audience who wish to gift aesthetic products at affordable prices. The pouches range from Rs 35 to sleeves at Rs 450.
Kids Games & Goods by The Little Philomath
Founded by Lavina Souza, The Little Philomath is the embodiment of an idea that came about during the initial few months of lockdown. Being at home with her own two young boys, she realised that a lot more people would benefit from these products that she had designed for her children and their friends.
The brand has early learning educational games and flashcards targeted at ages 2-5. She has designed the games to be simple and easy without too much extra information on the cards. The flashcards have just the name of the object and nothing else. The most popular game, Colour Sort has absolutely no words in it and the child understands perfectly what needs to be done.
Lavina is a former architect and has a strong experience of 13 years with her own which she chose to close 2 years ago. She made her first children’s product shortly after her son’s birthday. The response was great and she started getting orders through word of mouth. When the pandemic hit, she realised that she needed to reach a bigger audience and that gave birth to The Little Philomath in June 2020.
The brand aims to please parents with kids aged 2 to 5 years old. The average price of an item is about Rs 250 with a few above this range as well. You can choose your favourites and buy them on the official brand website.
Want us to be VocalForLocal for your brand or know someone whose work you’d like to cheer on? Drop us an email to be featured on The Channel 46 at [email protected].