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    A new Chennai portal, Vethalaipakku,offers affordable return gifts 

    PERHAPS now we can look beyond Tambulya and Returngiftswala, as Lakshmi Lakshminarayanan, a Chennai-based entrepreneur, presents  a series of return gifts. Her eight-month-old online store vethalaipakku.com was launched when she was hunting for return gifts for her daughter’s birthday party. “The important thing to remember  with return gifts, is that people want something simple and less expensive. This is what Vethalaipakku aims to provide,” shares the 30-year-old, a self-taught businesswoman. With products ranging from jute bags to bamboo pen stands, there is a focus on eco friendly material.

    Vethalaipakku-5Take your pick
    For the festive season, the store offers a collection of jewellery pouches, rangoli designs and thoranams. “Floral designs and polka dots have a lot of takers right now,” shares Lakshminarayanan, who feels jute and bamboo serve as great raw materials for anything ranging from a bag to a small box. “The main idea is that people should be able to use them in their daily lives,” she says.

    Budget friendly
    She also offers customisation in terms of colour, pattern, shape and size, when it comes to bags, purses and stands. “I usually work around the budget that the customer gives me and provide variations in components like shape, size and colour,” she says, explaining that customers order a single product in bulk, but demand as many variations as possible. With her raw materials sourced from Chennai, the designer delivers across the country and to USA, Australia and Singapore. Ask her what she has in store after the festive season and she says that handbags and patchwork on jute bags are next.
    Priced from Rs.20 for small purses and Rs.150 for handbags. Delivery in four to five days. Details: vethalaipakku.com

    — Aishwarya Kumar

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