WANNA DRESS YOUR BABY IN INDIAN PRINTS? SHOP FROM TURA TURI, THE ONLY BRAND THAT INDULGES IN HAND-MADE INDIAN PRINTS!
In Conversation with Priyanka Bhattacharya Dutt & Payal Bhattacharya, the brains behind Tura Turi
- We absolutely love your sister pairing! Tell us a little about yourself and your sister and both of your previous working experience?
Tura Turi is the brainchild of 2 sisters, Priyanka Bhattacharya Dutt and Payal Bhattacharya. Together they wanted to create a space where art meets poetry meets top quality children’s products.
Priyanka has been a journalist and writer for more than a decade. She started her career as a television reporter for NDTV 24/7, did a stint in the UAE as the chief correspondent for Dubai One TV, before heading back to the city she calls home, Mumbai. She has 2 children who not only keep her on her toes, but also ensure that Tura Turi always meets the most stringent quality standards.
Payal is a Mumbai-based artist and calligrapher and her client-list includes the Cannes Film Festival and Sotheby’s. She is also an accomplished artist, having been commissioned by companies like Good Earth and India Bulls for installations and paintings. Her passion for art and calligraphy can be seen in the unique designs that have become synonymous with Tura Turi. Her latest (and most prolific) muse is her 7-month-old daughter Nandini.
- Soft baby wear with the most interesting prints is definitely a ‘Yes’ for all Moms! How was the idea of ‘Tura Turi’ born?
Our story begins in 2015. Priyanka was a journalist and writer, living in Dubai. When she had a baby boy, she realized how there was a dearth of good ‘Indian’ inspired merchandise in the market. Most of the common motifs used in children’s products come from the West (an Indian child can identify a panda or giraffe or iguana much before he/she can recognise a peacock).
At that time, Payal was a calligrapher and artist based in Mumbai. The two sisters brainstormed and Payal created some ethnic designs influenced hugely by calligraphy and folk art. That’s where Tura Turi was born.
- We see that your products have a story within it. From basic Indian figures to colourful prints, it is all bright and happy! What is the concept behind the idea of these drawings?
Our brand is called “Tura Turi – Where Stories Come Alive” since that is what our products are aiming to do. Each item is meticulously planned with a story around it, be it in the form of a rhyme or art. Both of us are avid readers and love stories and firmly believe that stories can come alive anywhere, in everyday products as well.
One rule we follow at Tura Turi is that each one of our products has an unmistakably Indian element to it. Most designs are inspired by Indian folk art or motifs, from Phad to Warli to Madhubani.
Even a popular and common theme like dinosaurs. Instead of just having dinosaurs printed in our design, we incorporated trees and foliage inspired from Warli art. The basic idea is that through these daily objects, our kids are getting exposed to the staggering variety of Indian art.
- Who is the target audience of Tura Turi?
All new and discerning parents who are looking for top-quality home-grown brands for their children. People who appreciate art and believe in sustainable, conscious choices for them and their children.
- Hand-made designs and high-quality printed products fall under an array of exclusivity! How do you manage to create an affordable standard for your line of products?
Affordability is crucial for us. The prettiest, most well-meaning product is meaningless if the price drives away young parents. We are very conscious of the fact that we want to provide original art and prints, in top quality fabric, at affordable prices. This makes us accessible to parents from all across India.
- Tell us a little about how your raw materials are sourced, what is the quality quotient and how can your products be re-used and revamped?
We only work with pure cotton and natural fabrics. Over the past few years, we have nurtured relations with a few vendors, and honestly, they are like family. They were established in their line of work, but still took the time to listen to 2 women with a germ of an idea, and help us along, be it with sourcing fabric to extending a workable credit line in our manufacturing process. We are still working with the same people that we started out with.
We are very big on sustainability. While the easiest way to do that is reduce plastic in packaging (we use only paper or cloth packaging), we believe sustainability can also be achieved through reusing and recycling. Especially for children’s clothes which are worn only a few times before they are outgrown. Our Instagram page is always full of hacks on how to reuse our swaddles in different ways or how our clothes are refashioned, reused and passed on among various kids in the family.
- Would you mind sharing your financial investment and the turnover that you have earned through the brand’s career?
We started with a capital investment of Rs 4 lakhs – Both partners invested Rs 2 lakhs each and the company has still not opted for any external funding.
- A start-up or a small business can be majorly successful or dauntingly unsuccessful. How did you decide to take the plunge and chose to start your own business?
Honestly, when we started it was more about getting out of the 9-5 corporate rut that we were in. Especially, with Priyanka working as a TV journalist and keeping ad hoc work hours. It was not sustainable with a baby in the picture.
Having said that, starting one’s own business is not as simple. Yes, we have flexible hours but also endless and continuous hours. Like the both of us say – Tura Turi is our other baby and needs just as much time and nurturing.
- What is the plan ahead for Tura Turi in terms of growth, investment, new products, etc?
Tura Turi is here for the long run. We had taken a bit of a hiatus with both of us having babies in quick succession. But now Tura Turi is in an exciting phase of growth. The past year has taught us a lot and also shown us unprecedented growth. This year the plan is to keep creating and bringing out something new every few months. We are also very excited to launch new product lines and items (but more on that later..)
- Would you like to share some advice to budding start-ups or to someone that has a business idea and is contemplating it?
Starting off on your own can be immensely frustrating and infinitely rewarding. As journalists, we follow a simple rule of 4 W’s: Why, What, Where, When!
I would say this applies to starting a new business too. It is important to always know what product or idea you are launching, whether it is relevant to the market or fills a gap. Always be aware of whether you have something new to offer. The ‘how to go about it’ will always follow. Also, listen to whatever advice you get but in a world that is so rapidly changing (be it customer habits and needs, etc), remember to always rely on your own instincts too.
You can find them on:
website – www.turaturi.com
instagram – @turaturi
facebook – @turaturishop