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    Meet the two city-based women who are rewriting the rules for children’s fashion and home accessories
    THE business of children’s products and apparel has grown and how, with brands like Baby Dior, Junior Armani and Baby Zara and others already entrenched in the domestic market for kids.  According to a report by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India, the market is worth Rs 95,000 crore, and is expected to grow to about Rs 1.6 trillion by the end of the decade. Already tapping into this industry are players like Tadpole Store (a five-year-old online enterprise that provides a platform for professional designers) and Hopscotch, a 3,000-brand strong discovery-oriented search engine for some of the top merchandise brands for children. Now joining the bandwagon are two city-based women—Varsha Pothy Sivasankaran, who launched an online store earlier this year, and Garima Agarwal, whose third store in the city is launching today. They talk to us about industry trends and why their products are sought after.

    Child’s play
    varshaBorn into the well known Pothys family that has been into textile production for the past two generations, understanding of the business came easy for Varsha Pothy Sivasankaran. At the helm of her e-store, The Little Shopper, the 22-year-old has seamlessly applied her work experience at Pothys to her new enterprise and shares, “I have spent time learning how different departments in Pothys work, prior to officially joining the company in 2014. It were these learning experiences which made me realise that the gap between high demand and scarce availability of choice in kids and maternity wear.” Offering a one-stop-shop for maternity and baby care solutions, expect exclusive American brands like Andy and Evan, Gabriella and others. There are also House of Napius, Pear Head and Dave & Bella, among the list of luxe brands available.
    Sivasankaran, who has attended trade shows by Magic for kids and other famous kids fashion trade shows in NYC and Las Vegas, says, “I have seen the kind of products and information that are available in other markets. I wanted those products for our Indian customers too.” On the change in purchasing preferences of consumers, the business administration graduate from King’s College, London, says, “Kids products that score high on safety and sustainability are popular now. In India, the concept of using sustainable products is just starting to catch up. Parents have certainly become more brand conscious and are now willing to spend more.”
    Rs 200 onwards.

    Three and counting
    garimaHaving been around in the city market for close to 12 years now, Garima Agarwal, the brain behind Peek-a-boo Patterns, an interior solutions store for children, is now entering the world of children’s fashion wear with the launch of her third store. The 40-year-old entrepreneur says, “It’s not about tradition anymore. We are more cosmopolitan and have adapted according to the market we cater to.” Known for furnishing and decor solutions and a whole range of brand associations, the new 800-square-feet outlet caters to the zero-16 age group, and features brands like Little Looms, Popsicle Nightwear and Masaba Gupta for the first time in the city. “Everyone wants the best clothes and the latest styles for their children. It’s not just about the cliched blues and pinks anymore,” adds the mother of two. From their new additions expect tents, playmats, designer sofas for children and more, from popular brands like Alex Daisy and Polka Puppets (interior design solutions).  “Today customers are willing to spend on items that serve functionality and aesthetics,”says Agarwal.
    At Khader Nawaz Khan Road, Rs 500 onwards. Details: 24992365

    Details:thelittleshopper.com

    —Lavanya Lakshminarayanan

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