Parents of small children who grew up in the 80s and 90s in India know the woes of buying nice clothes for their children. The shortage of second-hand clothes led many families to sew clothes themselves inspired by what they saw in movies and TV shows, while others relied on gifts from family members who lived abroad.
Luckily things have changed now and we have access to some great kids clothing brands from back home. One of the most important brands is based in Mumbai Yes yes crossed out by Poonam S Sanghvi, Raina Shriwaardankar and Viinii K Doshiwhich started in 2018.
“The three of us have worked together since our university years and have collaborated on many projects, which have always done well in terms of academic grades. As entrepreneurs too, we decided to join hands. We all have children, and it was a unanimous decision to start a business that revolved around children. As mothers, we realized that there are many brands for children, but there is always a shortage of dresses that offer the best quality and the best cut”, explain the founders during a conversation with YS Weekend.
The genesis of the idea
Poonam has an MBA in International Marketing from London and has worked with major retail brands like Shoppers Stop, luxury car brands like Audi, and even dabbled in event management. She was a marketing manager and event planner for Loreal India, and is known as a marketing expert, having been involved in several successful projects during her career.
Children’s clothing by Oui Oui
At Oui Oui, she takes care of the marketing division and works on the development of public relations. A former student of the London School of Communication, she is also an active member of the Lions Club.
Raina holds a BA in Mass Media (Advertising) from GN Khalsa College and an MBA in Retail from Chetna Institute of Management and Research. She recently received a certification in Luxury Brand Management from the London School of Trends. Raina has worked with brands like Shoppers Stop, Crossword and Tresmode as well as other international footwear brands. She has expertise in merchandising, e-commerce and retail and leads sales and distribution for this business.
Viinii holds a bachelor’s degree in mass media from KC College, Mumbai and completed a design course at the London School of Fashion. His professional experience varies across fields, including finance, telecommunications, and healthcare. She has nearly twelve years of experience with companies such as Citi, Idea Cellular, Vodafone and VLCC in roles such as sales and service. Passionate about fashion herself, she particularly likes to dress her daughter. Her attention to detail and her passion for clothing and styling made her the ideal designer for the Oui Oui brand.
This brand is the culmination of a long-standing desire of these childhood friends to work together.
“We started by selling to friends and family and through social media – mainly Instagram. Today Oui Oui is a favorite among celebrity mothers and sells in all major markets in India,” says Poonam.
Raina explains: “Oui Oui, which means “yes yes” in French, signifies our feeling against the patriarchal system, which does not consider women as both mothers and entrepreneurs without judging them. Our story as three college friends is very similar. We gave up our budding corporate careers to be full-time moms for a while, before becoming entrepreneurial moms. We loved dressing our little girls and decided to do it full time. It is our story to create a brand that makes a significant dent in the children’s fashion landscape in India.
Viinii K Doshi, Poonam S Sanghvi and Raina Shriwaardankar, co-founders, Oui Oui
Viinii adds, “We hope to lead, innovate and provide the best products and services to local customers. We hope to make a difference through our clothes and our style by staying ahead of fashion trends, market changes and the latest technologies and by offering comfort and quality. We hope to reach our target audience across India and abroad with our growing eCommerce reach.
Oui Oui caters to a pan-Indian clientele. The brand also ships overseas through direct orders and is currently in discussions with Namshi in the Middle East for a possible manufacturing collaboration on their private label.
All of their products are designed in-house and their manufacturing unit is in Dadar and Vasai. New collections are launched every three months.
The team describes its most popular items as its range of smart casual wear, crop top sets and party wear in pastel shades. Their customizations are also very popular.
The products are priced from Rs 899 to Rs 4,500 depending on the style. Their online prices are capped at Rs 2,500, but customizations go up to Rs 4,500.
A large number of celebrities are promoting their designs, which have been spotted on Soha Ali Khan’s daughter, Inaya Khemu, Neha Dhupia’s daughter, Mehr Dhupia, Kareena Kapoor Khan’s son, Taimur, Shilpa Shetty’s daughter, girls of Karan Singh Bohra, the twins of Lisa Ray and the granddaughter of Shobha De., among others.
Oui Oui’s direct competitors include brands like Fairies forever, Ruckiaa the Label, Panchi Couture and Picolo. However, each brand has its unique sense of design.
Challenges and growth
“Getting investments and funds has been a major challenge for us. Initially, we were self-funded, but now banks and our family are helping us grow,” Poonam shares candidly.
According to data published by IMARC Group, the Indian children’s clothing market reached a value of $16.4 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 14.5% from 2021 to 2026.
Oui Oui started with an initial investment of Rs 30,000 per partner, and has been growing ever since.
Raina shares, “We started with 5-10 orders per month, and today we ship around 6,000 pieces per month, including Instagram sales, through our website ouiioui.in and through third-party websites like FirstCry, Nykaa, Hopscotch and Amazon. . We also do private label manufacturing for FirstCry and Hopscotch, and will soon be partnering with Reliance and Myntra.
The news is spreading via Instagram, Facebook, personal endorsements, third-party portal promotion, fashion weeks and celebrity endorsements. The co-founders believe that the high level of adoptions by celebrities who share their outfits on social media gives the brand great visibility.
The team hopes to eventually have its own boutiques and offer a bespoke and tailored service to its customers.
Winning the Google and “She Entrepreneur” awards in 2021 has been the highlight of their career journey so far.
Viinii signs off saying, “Once we get more support in terms of funding for our website, we would like to push this medium. We receive many orders on our website without any advertisements or promotions and believe this is a huge untapped segment. Ideally, we would like to launch ten new styles every two months and hope to receive at least 100 orders per month on our own website.