Entrepreneurs: Unnika Manhas & Yukti Gupta
Business name: Rattle & Co
Welcome to Entrepreneurs of India #startupstories episode 60
Shopping for kids is not child’s play! You might not even get the right fit for your child. The confusion elevates if you’re looking for accessories. To add to the misery, the products may not meet your expectations. The result? You end up splashing your hard earned money on substandard items.
But what if you get the best accessories for your children at your doorstep for a better price? Unnika and Yukti, graduates from NIFT, Bangalore, rolled up their sleeves to solve this problem sensibly. That’s how they founded Rattle & Co, India’s first ever bow subscription and exclusive hair accessory online store. Their idea was to create a platform that would help them apply their design sensibilities in a beautiful way.
Rattle & Co provides a monthly subscription box that contains beautifully designed accessories for your little ones. Launched in 2017, it has already carved a niche in the market with an expanding customer base. How did Unnika and Yukti build their business? What are they aiming for in future? Let’s find out!
1) How did you get your idea for this business?
As top graduates from National Institute of Fashion Technology, Bengaluru, we share a common love for fashion, lifestyle, and clean aesthetics. We realised that the market had a disturbing gap between the demand for kid’s accessories that were not sourced from outside and the lack of its availability.
This partnered together with the concept of a subscription box was when Rattle&Co. was born. As an alternative to the mass market brands, fashion forward, affordable, and in threes!
2) Why is “now” a good time for this idea to exist?
With the entire ‘Make In India’ campaign sweeping through the country, we believe that products that are locally sourced, sewn with love, and sent out to the customers generate a sense of pride on its own. What’s better is that the main foundation of our brand is built upon the idea of girl power.
“We rise by lifting others” is something they firmly believe in and so we employ under privileged women to sew the products with utmost care. Not only have their skills grown with the brand, the brand itself has grown with the talent these women have to offer.
The market in India is now learning to accept the concept of a subscription and they appreciate the convenience and thought behind it. Being the first brand to launch an accessories subscription we feel we have the pioneer advantage.
3) What was the reaction from your family when you first decided to become an entrepreneur?
We are so lucky to be blessed by families who have done nothing but support us unconditionally for our decisions. They have been our guide and mentors, and give us exceptional amounts of strength when we feel slightly off about certain situations.
4) What was your biggest mistake in business and what did you learn from it?
Our biggest mistake was having a very narrow target audience to begin with. We wanted to create a very specific niche for ourselves – bows for baby girls.
It’s only when we started getting queries from girls who are in college to mothers of baby boys did we realise that there was a demand that we didn’t look into before. It’s good to specialise in what you aim to do but study the customers and never be afraid to explore ways of expanding your business to cater to their wants.
5) What is your biggest obstacle in the next 12 months and how will you overcome it?
Filing our tax returns. Joke! Obstacles can be big or small, expected or unexpected. What’s important is to stick through it and find solutions that benefit the brand together. An obstacle that we see ourselves facing in the next 12 months is to find a balance between the products on our website and our products on the potential market place websites.
6) What habits contribute to your success?
People say efficiently managing your time is the key ingredient to success. We believe that its not about how efficient you are with your time, but how effective you are with it that truly determines your success.
7) If you had the opportunity to start this business again what would you do differently?
In a country of billions, there is a constant surge of new people with new ideas. To break through this and stand out, we would have looked into impressive PR activations and digital marketing since day zero with a more aggressive and planned strategy.
8) What is your favourite inspirational quote?
“A week has seven days and someday is none of them.” – Unnika “It’s okay to look at the past and the future. Just don’t stare.” – Yukti
9) Where do you find inspiration?
International trend books, journals, and articles read over cups of endless coffees.
10) What is your favourite book?
Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg – Unnika
Little Black Book For Working Women by Otegha Uwagba – Yukti
11) What advice would you give to someone starting out?
It’s always good to put all your time, energy, and efforts into your business when you’re starting out. But during that crazy time, don’t forget to take time out for yourself to do what makes you happy. Spend time with your parents, hang out with your friends, and most importantly don’t forget to love yourself.
Entrepreneurs should always pay attention to customers and their ever-increasing demands. Unnika and Yukti identified a gap in the market for quality Indian kids’ accessories and seized the opportunity at once.
They made the underprivileged women a crucial part of business to empower them. As entrepreneurs, they showed the importance of contributing values to the society.
Their advice to the upcoming breed of entrepreneurs is quite sensible- Find time to do things that make you happy. This could turn out to be an eye-opener for entrepreneurs who work round the clock, risking their personal life and relationships.
The rave response from the customers have persuaded Unnika and Yukti to roll out bigger plans for their business. Rattle & Co has recently launched an exclusive range of products including hair accessories, bow ties for boys and super chic gift boxes.
Thank you Unnika and Yukti for sharing your wonderful story. Connect with Rattle & Co on Facebook now!
You can find Rattle&Co on Instagram here.
Check out the recommended books by Unnika and Yukti!