To start a sustainable and profitable business, it has to provide a service or a product that captures the missing link in the current market and caters to it innovatively. Priyanka and Payal Bhattacharya are two entrepreneurs who exude love for India and have found a creative channel to display India’s rich heritage and diversity.
Breaking out of the mold of conventional cartoons for kids, Priyanka and Payal intrinsically incorporate wearable Indian art, motifs, and stories into everyday children’s products. With no knowledge of fabrics, printing, or stitching, these two entrepreneurs started a journey with the pure intention of uplifting the local Indian folklore and have successfully managed to pique the interest of parents who long for authentic Indian products for their children.
It is truly said that if you have a passion for something and you keep your inspiration soaring high, success will shadow your venture. We, at Kidskintha, invited Payal over to share her recipe of success, and take us along the Tura Turi tale.
In conversation with Payal Bhattacharya of Tura Turi
SN: Hi Payal! Thank you so much for being with us! Please take us through your journey into Tura Turi.
PB: It was only after my sister, Priyanka, had her firstborn that she realized the children clothing segment was saturated with beautiful prints, but none that were true to the Indian heritage, and if a garment did cover that aspect, it wasn’t comfortable for an infant or toddler to wear. Living in Dubai, Priyanka longed to dress my nephew in clothing that represented the Indian soil in its true essence, but such clothing was nowhere to be found. It was then that we decided to collaborate and stir up the concoction of our talents — Priyanka is a journalist and I am an artist/illustrator, and we brought Tura Turi to life in 2015.
On Tura Turi’s inspiration for building an online clothing brand for kids…
SN: Why did you venture into the traditional online clothing segment for kids?
PB: Priyanka and I saw the absence of a segment in the infant clothing and Indian ethnic wear industry and we created a marketplace for it. First and foremost, there were no beautiful Indian prints in pure cotton/muslin fabrics that a child could wear. The prints that were available were not carefully thought out and it seemed like no real effort and art was put into designing ethnic wear for infants, toddlers, and older kids as well. I, being an illustrator, spend all of my time coming up with wearable Indian art prints that creatively display a story. We brought to life the often-ignored motifs and art-forms and played around with indigenous Indian textiles and prints, and in the process, we built Tura Turi, a space where Indian stories came alive.
SN: How would you describe Tura Turi? What would you say is the USP?
PB: Tura Turi is the outcome of a lot of love and relentless hard work. Each print is like a painting that I spent a lot of time and energy perfecting. There is nothing remotely close in the traditional Indian children’s clothing market to what we at Tura Turi offer. There are 3 active members; my sister Priyanka, our father, who we have dragged out of retirement, and me. The models on our website and social media are my nephews and my daughter. Everything we sell we use! I would say Tura Turi is a conjunction of love for family and love for our individual expertise.
Our unique selling proposition is the love for Indian heritage that we have translated through beautiful, unique, vibrant, artistic prints and this cohesive theory is infused in durable and comfortable clothes for infants, toddlers, and children. It gives us great pride to say we are a completely home-grown brand educating children through art on wearable fabrics.
SN: What are the challenges you have faced while starting online clothing for kids ? Tell us about one strategy used to overcome them?
PB: When you start a venture and have a limited budget, purchasing everything is not an option. For example, we wanted a website and realized the big pot of fortune that is needed to get it made! We tried and tried, and tried some more till we failed. And then tried again and we learned and built our website. So today we can make additions or alter them in any fashion without any hesitation. We take our own pictures for the website and social media. My sister poetically describes each article that we sell and I believe the love that we have for our products shows across all platforms.
I wouldn’t call it a strategy but it’s ‘concentrated perseverance’ that has enabled us to build our brand all along.
On her love for the Indian Folklore…
SN: How do you think Tura Turi is supporting the #VocalForLocal campaign?
PB: All our designs are inspired by local folk art and folklore. Even a simple theme like dinosaurs has elements of Warli art in it. We believe it’s never too early to introduce our children to the stunning diversity of local Indian art. Each Tura Turi quilt is meticulously planned with a story around it, be it in the form of a rhyme or art. Both of us are avid readers and love stories and firmly believe that stories can come alive anywhere, in everyday products as well.
We are proudly an Indian brand and all our products are 100% made in India.
Our muslin products are also all made keeping in mind the tropical climate of our country.
SN: Take us through your business model for your online clothing store for kids
PB: Each design at Tura Turi is created by hand and then printed on to the highest quality fabric. We outsource the entire manufacturing process. We buy the fabrics from our vendors, then give them for printing at various places, depending on the facility the printer provides, and then finally the product goes for stitching.
My sister takes care of the backend and the website. I design the prints and dad and I look into the manufacturing aspect of the business.
On the marketing strategies for her online clothing for kids…
SN: You have a good social media presence. How much of your business comes from social media?
PB: Tura Turi has grown a lot organically. When we did start with paid promotions on social media we realized that people who do follow or like our page were potential customers. This has contributed largely in our favor.
SN: What are your other sources of marketing? Who is your target audience?
PB: The only other source of marketing has been word of mouth. Our customer return rate is very high and this is the reason that we are expanding our array of products and have increased the age group we cater to. Our products are not cheap but they are affordable and extremely durable. For example, if your child has outgrown a particular swaddle sheet, the sheet itself will be in excellent condition and therefore can be used as a blanket, or massage sheet, and so on.
SN: How long does it take for an order to fulfill once it’s been placed?
PB: The product gets dispatched the very next day and gets delivered within a week. We keep a good stock, so when an order is placed on our online clothing store, we are able to ship our products very fast.
SN: What is your one habit that you think every entrepreneur could use?
PB: Self-discipline is extremely important when you begin your entrepreneurial journey. It enables you to be focused and enhances efficiency in the workplace.
SN: How do you think the Indian startup ecosystem has supported you to start an online clothing brand for kids?
PB: The lockdown has turned everyone into an online shopper. The online world has provided a sea of opportunities to entrepreneurs like me, at an extremely economical cost. We now aim to become the best online site for children’s clothing. The brick-and-mortar setup is too capital intensive and requires huge budgets for advertising. On social media platforms, our reach is infinite and the costs are drastically less compared to a print advertisement in a newspaper or magazine.
On her upcoming traditional Indian quirky products…
SN: What’s next for Tura Turi?
PB: At Tura Turi, we started with quilts and muslin swaddles. As we catered to this category we realized that kids outgrow swaddles very fast and bigger size swaddles were not easily available in the market. So we introduced different sizes. Now we have kurta pyjama, shirts, dresses, blankets, burp cloths, a gifting range, and a festive collection section as well. We cater to ethnic wear for boys and girls till 12 years of age. We have lots of exciting, cute, and bedazzling products coming very very soon!
SN: What advice would you give our Kidskintha readers?
PB: You can teach kids a great deal with the products that surround you on a day-to-day basis. I have never needed a flashcard for my child. For example, on a fabric, the child can touch and feel buttons and sequences for sensory development. Teach your children about folk traditions that are full of vibrant stories, paintings, and characters through Tura Turi, the Indian clothing store for kids. The clothing is comfortable and it’s a creative way of teaching your minions.
Did You Know?
Tura Turi is a Chhattisgarhi term of endearment for boy-girl (munna munni)
Shop Here: Tura Turi
– Stringed together by Saniya Seth Nair