Till quite recently, it was very taxing for parents of young children in India to shop for their little ones, especially when it came to buying premium items. The dearth of choice both in terms of designs and quality, made the task a difficult one indeed. Fortunately, things are changing and the homegrown label at the forefront of this change is Baby Jalebi, founded by Gunia Chopra and Rati Nehra in 2015. The founders join Sunday Guardian for a chat about their flourishing brand that sells children’s products across categories. Excerpts from an edited interview:
Q. Why did you decide to enter the children’s products space?
A. We are childhood friends who also happen to be sisters-in-law. When we were doing up our baby nurseries for our first children and looking for baby essentials, we realised that there were no high-end products available in India. We wondered why Indians are so sceptical about purchasing products made in India. We wanted to change this by putting out high-quality premium baby products that were made in India for Indians.
We launched our website in July 2015, after taking part in several Delhi exhibitions where the response and feedback was very positive. New parents are now extremely conscious about what goes into the products being used for their babies. Hence, our baby bedding made with GOTS Certified Organic Cotton and our diaper bags designed keeping style and functionality in mind, were highly appreciated by everyone.
We also didn’t want to limit ourselves to one city or store, so we chose the e-commerce route to give access to everyone. We were so happy when within the first five minutes of the launch of our website, we had three orders from Tamil Nadu and Kerala! We also ship across the globe, as customers reach out to us through our dedicated customer care line to place orders. Apart from our website, we are available on Amazon, FirstCry and Flipkart.
Q. What does Baby Jalebi stand for as a brand?
A. Baby Jalebi stands for everything that is best for your baby. We design, manufacture and market all our products ourselves. As a made in India brand, we want people to feel proud of the fact that ours is an Indian product that is also premium. New parents from our generation have access to so much information, they know exactly what they want and don’t want to compromise on products for their child. Watching our brand’s growth over the last few years has been inspiring and it keeps us going. We love receiving customer photos and feedback.
The response to our products is evident from the positive feedback of customers as well as the numerous celebrities who use our products on their own. These include Sania Mirza, Kareena Kapoor’s son Taimur who loves our backpacks and masks, Dia Mirza, Kalki Koechlin, Sameera Reddy, Soha Ali Khan, Bruna Abdullah, Sunny Leone, Lasya Manjunath and many others. We’ve also had several celebrities like Sophie Choudhary and Hina Khan reach out to us for gifting options for close friends and family members.
Q. What products do you offer under the Baby Jalebi label?
A. Baby Jalebi started with making baby beds and bedding. Over the years, however, we have expanded our product range to cover everything one needs for a child’s first few years. This includes diaper bags, changing station and caddy, new-born essentials like bibs, swaddles, burp cloths, bassinets, kid’s backpacks, storage bags and play mats. In 2020, we launched kids face masks and most recently, we launched a clothing line for children from 0-3 years. Baby Jalebi is with parents from Day 1 till the time the baby goes to school.
From our modern and functional diaper bags to our organic cotton baby bedding and baby nests and beds, we put a lot of thought and care into each product. Our diaper bags are unisex, made of vegan leather and waterproof canvas. Our clothing line is made with the softest breathable muslin, which makes it perfect for play, sleep or party.
The best part of Baby Jalebi’s line is the fact that our products can be personalised, which makes them extra special and a favourite for gifting.
Q. Do you launch seasonal collections?
A. We launch new collections thrice a year across our product categories. Our clothing line, called Boondi is a recent addition. Over the years, we had so many of our customers and followers asking us for clothing. We wanted to launch a clothing line for babies which was comfortable and yet in line with our aesthetics. So, we introduced our line of snugs, which we call playwear. The USP of these is that you can personalise them with your child’s name. We have also recently launched a new range of bags, bedding and beds. We are constantly creating new designs and are always ahead of the curve.
Q. What have been the biggest challenges you have faced so far? How have you overcome them?
A. Our biggest challenge has always been explaining the inherent value and high quality of our premium products through an online medium. There are so many cheap and easy imports and knock-offs from other countries available on the market, so people are easily confused by the lower pricing of similar products offered on various marketplaces. Unfortunately, they pay the price for buying those later when they are stuck with inferior quality and non-functional products that malfunction at the worst of times.
Baby Jalebi’s products are designed and manufactured using the highest quality materials to ensure that one has all the best gear and tools for their babies’ first years.
Q. What has been your biggest reward?
A. Our biggest reward is when new parents tell us about our products and how much they’ve loved using them. Our customers and fans are our biggest validation, as they keep sending in photos and reviews of our products with their babies. We love spotting our products randomly being used by customers across India. That thrill never gets old.
As is the case with our most important customers – babies, ours is a story that continues to grow and delight. We work hard as a team to scale and learn new skills. The world and its customers are our teachers and if there is a better way to do something or for us to improve a product along the way, we do it. The journey of growth and evolution is what is most important to us.
Q. What are you working on next?
A. The next phase of Baby Jalebi’s business trajectory is focused on adding more items to our current product offerings. We want to make the brand a one stop shop for all baby and mom needs. We will also be focusing more on new points of sale and creating more offline partnerships. As every parent knows about their baby – the best is always yet to come!
Noor Anand Chawla pens lifestyle articles for various publications and her blog www.nooranandchawla.com. She can be reached on email@example.com.