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    Calling all DIY fans, as art supplies brand Itsy Bitsy comes to Chennai

    FIND the likes of suede cords, chenille stems and pom poms in the lineup of 20,000 odd products stocked at Itsy Bitsy, the art and crafts supply store that opened in the city last month. From chocolate making to jewellery designing and school projects — the store has all the material you could need and more, under one roof. It also stocks foam (available in various sizes), crystals and handmade paper — besides the 1,000 types of beads, around 30 varieties of sequins, over 4,000 designs in patterned paper and 25 colours of quilling strips.
    With 10 stores in Bengaluru, two in Delhi, one each in Mumbai, Hubli and Goa, Itsy Bitsy started out as a small factory 11 years ago to provide employment to rural women in Bengaluru. Started by Harish Closepet, a civil engineer and his wife Rashmi, a homeopathic  doctor, the  factory (AEC Offshore Trading Pvt Ltd) in 2004 had 40 workers and produced only handmade products using handmade papers. “In 2008 we saw an opportunity to extend our operations to the domestic market and that’s when the first Itsy Bitsy store was born,” says Rashmi, who used to practice medicine in Australia before moving to Bengaluru.
    Among their latest additions are a range of greeting cards with a chalkboard finish, themed party supplies like birthday caps and stickers, and fabric flowers that can be used as fashion accessories. “We have also started focusing on seasonal items. For Ganesh Chaturthi we have brought in things like Do It Yourself mandaps and crystal rangoli,” says Rashmi. Acting as a one stop shop for all hobby, art and craft supplies, they also have an e-store while the next brick and mortar store is coming up in Pune. Good news for bargain hunters — at all their stores, they have slashed their prices by 30-50 per cent, to attract customers.
    Rs 1.50 to Rs 1,999. Details: 7358341157

    Mayuri J Ravi

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