Pune Unique Shopping Experiences: Creative Business to Watch Out For

These Pune-based small businesses assure unique and creative range of products to choose from and inspire many to start their journey of entrepreneurship.
Pune Unique Shopping Experiences:  Creative Business to Watch Out For

Small businesses are the rising sun of the era. From virtual services to designer products, small business cut the mundane mass manufacture cycle to bring unique and trendy products for the audiences. Small businesses in Pune are tapping just the right opportunities and bringing creative solutions to our mundane needs and requirements. Their journeys of becoming a business are as beautiful as the products they bring for you. Wanting to start your small business? Or just need some unique stores to shop from? Here are some fun Pune based stores to know about and check for your next shopping spree!

Stamped uniqueness with Ko.necessity

In the age of pompous branding and marketing, small businesses are susceptible to lose out on the brand identity game with their limitations and lack of expertise. Here comes to the rescue Ko.necessity, a Pune-based small business providing custom stamps for paper, clay, soap, wax and fabrics, bringing creative ways of incorporating brand identity to product packaging.  

Komal Soneji, Founder of Ko.Necessity
Komal Soneji, Founder of Ko.Necessity

Komal Soneji, the founder of Ko.necessity, comes with expertise in fashion through her studies and initial business of men’s fashion accessories. Ko.necessity is her creation that was born during the Covid era, built on the idea of  helping smaller businesses to brand their packaging and products at home. The pandemic, Soneji remarked, encouraged people to become entrepreneurs. However, she said that it also caused hindrance to branding, limiting access to printing units and other sources of help. Catching this gap as a potential, Ko.necessity was built to give a home-based solution to creative packaging. She initially started by making stamps for herself, eventually gaining a popular demand for her work through her creativity and social media engagements. With a growing demand and wood inventory from her old business at home, Soneji began her entrepreneurial journey through stamps suitable for varied surfaces. 

The research and development behind her services, Soneji mentioned, comes from her learning through extensive collaborations with other artists and entrepreneurs. She also emphasises on the need for balance in life, as she mentioned how she takes time out for herself now while also giving her best to the business while she’s at work. Such periods of earnest efforts complimented by breaks, she highlighted, were also being supported by her customers, showing the growing understanding amongst the audiences for the necessary breaks of leisure. With her parents as her strongest support, Soneji continues to encourage fellow entrepreneurs through her small business based on communication, art and growth.

Starting a business is hard, but at the end of the day, it is rewarding. Being an entrepreneur, you need to have a foresight of what could go hit in the next 3 months or 1 year and understand the need of the hour. Knowing what your client would need before them as an entrepreneur is your biggest skillset to have.

Komal Soneji

Crocheted creatives? That’s Aari Collective!

Handcrafted with love, only for you - this is what Aari Collective is all about. This Pune-based small business promises to make all your Pinterest dreams come true with its range of awe-worthy products. Founder of Aari Collective, Gayatri Vaidya, studies and teaches Psychology, while Aari Collective becomes her perfect creative outlet in the process of pursuing her academic interest. Vaidya developed a hobby of crocheting with a friend out of boredom, creating small tops and hats for their pet cats together. Soon, this became a lovable act for her, thus leading to the business of crochet products. 

Gayatri Vaidya, Founder of Aari Collective
Gayatri Vaidya, Founder of Aari Collective

Her products stand apart from the rushed races businesses that tend to become a part of to follow trends and stay relevant. Her creations she made with love and passion were the ones that did the best in her business, she stated. Her inspiration? Bringing artful solutions to everyday problems! Her products are based on functional art, painting a creative stroke on the daily needs and necessities.

In a small business, it’s usually just 1 person doing the job of 10 and it can get overwhelming and demotivating. But the only thing you can do is look back on what it is you love to do, follow that, create what you love and it will never feel like a job!

Gayatri Vaidya

Artsy and cosy home with The Boho Yard

Constructed spaces become ‘home’ through the details and customisations that resonate with us. And what better way to build this feeling through handmade decor? The Boho Yard is a small business from Pune that works on creating such handmade feeling of home. Founder and Design Head of The Boho Yard, Sukriti Chourasia is a self-taught artist whose love for art led to the creation of this business. Her love for art began at a young age, further leading her to study interior designing. Even though a career out of art was not thought of, Chourasia’s desire to create her designs and artwork manifested as The Boho Yard. 

Sukriti Chourasia, Founder of The Boho Yard
Sukriti Chourasia, Founder of The Boho Yard

Her introduction to the Boho themes, macramé and textured art pushed her to create boho-themed decor, thus leveraging her passion into a business. She wishes to use the skills she has learnt from these creators and further grow her boho business in future. Her attention to detail and her constant passion for art are the aspects that make The Boho Yard stand apart. 

Success comes from dedication, passion, and perseverance. Stay focused on your goals, and adapt to challenges. Sometimes there are days of self-doubt, hard work, deadlines and uncertainty but getting positive feedback from the customers makes every struggle worth it and gives immense satisfaction. The " Loved it " message is all that we need from the client to wash off all the anxiety and fears.

Sukriti Chourasia

Stitched happiness with Sewing Circle

In the world of factory-made, manufactured mundanes, a stitched goodie promises custom-made happiness for all. Pune-based small business Sewing Circle brings products which surely bring custom-made smiles to the customers. Hailing from a small town in America, Rebekah Lobo, the founder of Sewing Circle, has made Pune her cosy nest for 10 years. A childhood skill from her mother combined with an inherent creative flair - sewing became one of Lobo’s creative interests since her early days. In 2021, Lobo’s purchase of a second-hand sewing machine from a professional seamstress, along with her generous gift of all the sewing supplies she owned, rekindled the founder’s creative spark.

Rebekah Lobo, Founder of Sewing Circle
Rebekah Lobo, Founder of Sewing Circle

Lobo believes that community and connection are the two important values that assure a cheerful feel around her range of products. Claiming it as a strength of small businesses over large companies, she believes that the opportunities she gets to connect with people and make special orders for them are the benefits that make her products unique. A personal touch that she brings to her orders through customizations like embroidered names, colour choices and a handwritten note for every order further makes the customer closer to the idea of her business. For her children’s range, her kids and their interests and choices are her biggest source of inspiration.

Do something that you love! Connect with other entrepreneurs, learn from them and don’t be afraid to ask them for advice. A lot goes on behind the scenes while handling a business- marketing, photography, communication, and more. Balancing can be difficult but takes great effort. Practice makes progress, so don’t be afraid to challenge yourself! Social media can get you caught up in the cycle of comparisons, the need for more likes and followers, and maintaining the ‘aesthetics’. Don’t let it all discourage you. Just do your best, enjoy the process, uplift others, and celebrate your growth.

Rebekah Lobo

A Tohfa from the mother-daughter duo!

A finely curated, sustainable and eco-friendly gift - Tohfa precisely brings such thoughtful surprises to their customers. Founded by the mother-daughter duo, Manjusha Mone Javier and Najooka Javier, this Pune-based small business is a beautiful blend of environmentally conscious and elegantly designed attempts to bring a range of quality products to the audience. Manjusha Mone Javier comes from a fashion design background since her pre-marriage days. Her extensive work with Indian fabrics and her expertise in the field is what she brings to this venture. Najooka Javier’s interests lie in the marketing and sustainable brand-building aspects and she envisioned to promote sustainable and conscious choices among consumers. Both of them share a love for handcrafted, traditional fabrics of India. This combination of a mother’s expertise and a daughter’s vision came together as Tohfa. Tohfa also began as an attempt by a daughter to bring her mother’s aspirations and interests to reality. With a modest investment, resourced fabrics and hand-stitched products by Manjusha Javier, Tohfa began in 2018. 

Manjusha Mone Javier and Najooka Javier, Founders of Tohfa
Manjusha Mone Javier and Najooka Javier, Founders of Tohfa

The business is represented by three unique features - Handcrafted, Customised and Locally sourced. Founder Najooka Javier further added that Tohfa also aims to make conscious choices and consumption easy for consumers without compromising on the aesthetics of the products. The fabrics used for the products - Kalamkari, Sanganeri and more, are hand-painted and go in line with the fashion requirements of the audience. These trendy designs, Najooka says, make the transition to sustainable products easier for consumers. The inspiration behind these products comes from the traditional creations of India. The sense of ethnic look, the exciting play of colours and the local craftsmanship- Tohfa’s products bring these features together as a tribute to India’s creative culture. The business also supports and empowers the artisans and the local women through their contributions to the making of Tohfa’s products. 

Developing a business is a life-long journey of learning, putting on new hats for different roles and acquiring new skills every day. If you have the idea and the feeling of turning the idea into something fruitful, take the chance and pursue it! There is so much pleasure and impact you could witness in the journey of your business. Keep learning, reading, and developing new skills - these form the small business 101 for building a strong venture. - Najooka Javier

Najooka Javier

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