Ritika KothariFounder of Casa Quirky Published On: Saturday, August 06, 2016 Views 1885
"Those who matter don't mind and those who mind don't matter."
Being a great multitasker, Ritika Kothari is excellent at designing, sourcing, execution, visual merchandising, and party planning. Formally educated as an architect and an urban planner, she always felt the need to achieve her entrepreneurial dreams. Soon, she got together all the right people to make this concoction and it’s her house of quirk, which is an independent lifestyle design store, stocking unique home accessories and products with a customized charm.
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.
Creative yet affordable design. We are an independent lifestyle design store, stocking unique home accessories and products with a customized charm. Our store stocks goods with a personalised touch, character, and style for all ages. We are a friendly bunch of people always happy to help and also create something that is different for an impressive gift or a unique decor item for your home.
In our little effort to keep crafts and skills alive. We feature a unique collection designed by local artists and creators. We can tailor a party to your exact needs – get in touch and we can start planning. Interiors and space designing is yet another activity we enjoy doing. So if you want a unique home decor and custom made spaces just ask us we can provide the complete solution from design to execution.
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
The story is short, sweet and begins with an IDEA. As an architect, I have always had an eye for the unique and unusual, finding inspiring stylish presents and home décor that represent an individual.It all began as a hobby and it inspired me to hunt a little into the arts and crafts scene. I was amazed to find so many designers, makers and distinctive brands that didn’t have a store. My mentor Asad Firdosy was the one who inspired me to look beyond the usual. We had worked on connecting the artists to the buyers through events and exhibitions. I believe that some people prefer buying things that are more personal and unique that led to my search for emerging independent designers and creators. To begin something we all need that impulse, Rohit Sharma has been the foundation on which we could build this beautiful house of quirk and together, we set about to create a lovely store full of all those quirky, unusual, hard-to-find collectibles, making it easy to buy customized presents, home accents, accessories, decor products and more. We also like hosting arts and crafts workshops and design spaces. There is THIS, THAT and lot more that we plan to do.
What is your life mantra?
Have a clear vision and fuel it with positivity, that is how dreams turn into reality.
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
The most challenging part was to say “no” to people. We get approached by many creators who are doing great work, but due to our specific theme and the promise of delivering something unusual, we have to end up saying “no” to a lot of creators.
How did you overcome those challenges?
We have now curated theme based, short term exhibitions that connect the creators with our existing clients. We also have put in place a system to connect our esteemed clients to the creators directly.
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
We are in the expansion mode, with our flagship store completing one year in September 2016 and our Pop Up Section completing 6 months in Mumbai. We are in talks of giving away franchisee in Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Pune for now. We also have an exclusive store coming up in Mumbai shortly.
How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?
Well, creativity is fluid and doesn’t fit in a box. We always have a set of new creators and designers in short term contract. For the in-house team, we give them freedom to be versatile and explore different things and not confine them to their job roles. We are working on multiple sectors and shuffling the team every once in a while helps in keeping the employees challenged and upbeat. We have no fixed hierarchy, everyone is a boss. This helps in creating a more productive work environment with a sense of ownership and responsibility.
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
DEDICATION. PASSION. FOCUS.
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
Facebook and Instagram have helped us reach people pan India. For bulk inquiries, we are using IndiaMart and the results are very promising. Urban Clap is yet another platform that has been instrumental in getting us clients for space designing.
Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.
Organisation. I have the habit of listing down things, mostly handwritten – that helps in keeping my focus and also tackling issues on the basis of priorities.
Share any one habit which you wish to change in yourself.
“Sometimes we chill harder than most people party,” said Jitesh Vasani, my stand up comedian friend. That is one thing I would want to change.
Answer in less than 50 words
- One tip to success:
- One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:
- One most important lesson that you have learnt till now:
Never trust anyone blindly.
What are your plans for next 3 years?
Now that we already have successfully entered the Mumbai market. We wish to open stores across a couple of other cities. We have been approached for a franchise and are working on it. We are also launching an exclusive corporate gifting section – The Gift Palette.
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
I am formally educated as an urban planner, but my heart was always into entrepreneurship. I have worked in different sectors and zeroed in on what my heart said. Next time around I would like to be more focused. But sometimes you have to take a couple of other modes of transport to reach a destination. That is exactly what I did.
What are your top three getaway destinations?
I love beaches , So BALI ,AUROVILLE , and PARIS.
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
“Those who matter don’t mind and those who mind don’t matter.”