Priyanka and Payal Bhattacharya are introducing Indian folk to little babies
Children’s clothing is a big business – and swaddles and onesies for newborns even bigger? In India for years the market has been unorganised with very few brands emerging. In the last decade we have seen a shift towards baby stuff across online platforms allowing for more homebred ideas and brands to emerge.
Accessories and beddings are big – and some companies making a special effort in design and organic clothing include Good Earth, Popsicle, Almirah, K.A.C and Tura Turi. Mothers finally have options to pick organic, cotton and conscious clothing. We catch up with the co-founder of Tura Turi, Priyanka Bhattacharya Dutt, that tells Indian folk stories through their products. Here’s her journey.
STARTING HER UP
Tura Turi is a collaboration between me and my sister Payal. I used to be a journalist and writer, living in Dubai. When I had a baby boy, I realised 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 giraffe or iguana much before he/she can recognise a peacock). At that time, my sister, Payal was a calligrapher and artist based in Mumbai. We sat down and brainstormed the idea and Payal created some ethnic designs influenced hugely by calligraphy and folk art. That’s where Tura Turi was born.
SMALL IS BIG
We call it “Tura Turi – Where Stories Come Alive” since that is what our products are aiming to do. Each quilt 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! We firmly believe that stories can come alive anywhere, in everyday products as well.
We sat down and brainstormed the idea and Payal created some ethnic designs influenced hugely by calligraphy and folk art. That’s where Tura Turi was born.
One rule we follow at Tura Turi is that each one of our products has an unmistakably Indian element to it. For instance our “Haathi Anek” quilt is not just a simple elephant themed quilt. It’s also a fun way to introduce a child to different scripts and languages in India. We use typically Indian looking motifs and art forms and give them our own twist.
JUGGLING MANY HATS
We both wear many hats within and even outside Tura Turi. I am mother to a 4-yr-old as well as a freelance journalist. I’m now based in Delhi and along with strategising about the product line and sales at Tura Turi, I also try to develop an interesting space for stories on parenting (basically, things you would not usually read on a parenting site). I have been busy working on Tura Turi’s blog.
Payal is the chief designer for Tura Turi. She is also a well known calligrapher and artist in Mumbai. Mumbai is also the production hub for Tura Turi and Payal oversees the design and manufacturing of the products.
ORGANIC IS THE WAY
Our current product range focuses on muslin swaddles, blankets (dohars) and quilts. We use only the best quality of malmal (basically, I wouldn’t use anything that I wouldn’t use on my own child). Our product range can be found on our website. We currently outsource our production to a few vendors across Mumbai.
Our core aim has always been to tell stories through vibrant products. We want every piece of ours to carry a little bit of India in itself. In the future, we aim to have a whole new portfolio of products (not just related to baby bedding). We are also keen to branch out internationally, where we see a huge market for cotton and muslin products with good design.
Interview by Nikhita Sanotra