Casa Quirky is a Mumbai based startup founded by Ritika Kothari.
As a startup founder you end up with multiple responsibilities, it is like raising a child and it is all consuming. In the initial days I used to be working , eating, sleeping casa quirky. Now I have learned to give dedicated hours to work and schedule my day accordingly.
We got an opportunity to talk with Ritika, the founders of Casa Quirky and see what she has to say? I am sure her interview with us will inspire you.
Give a brief info about your startup?
Casa Quirky caters to middle and upper-class consumers who look beyond the generic home accessory and mass gifting stores. The product designs and decor solutions are personalised and curated to hold expressions of individual buyer personas and living style. They are curated and sorted into themes for a easier user experience. The interior design consulting packages are the latest addition.
What made you start your startup and what problem does it solve?
While the founder was doing her masters in Urban planning, she got a chance to visit villages and interact with the artisans. That is when she realized that there are so many creative people who need a platform to showcase their art. She went on to working in Slum Redevelopment, where capacity building was her forte. After that stint she started on her own by curating an inventory for a multi-designer platform and an offline store called Casa Quirky. The company started with an inventory heavy, curated collection of home décor and set up their first offline store in September 2015 in Nagpur. It was Ritika’s Brainchild along with operations support from Rohit Sharma and mentoring from leading architect Asad Firdosy. Currently, it is moving towards an aggregator model with an online portal and distribution across various channels offline and online.
It helps people with refined search by merging the offline curation and online search technology that sorts the products into various design themes like modern,bohemian, rustic, traditional etc.
Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before this startup?
Multifaceted personality Ritika Kothari is a positive force and a hard-core architect with a passion for life. While she was doing her masters in Urban planning, she got a chance to visit villages and interact with the artisans. That is when she realized that there are so many creative people who need a platform to showcase their art. She went on to working in Slum Redevelopment, where capacity building was her forte. After that stint she started on her own by curating an inventory for a multi designer platform and offline store called Casa Quirky.
Where is your startup based out of? Why do you think that is the best place for you?
It is based in Mumbai – Mumbai has better resources and central location helps in facilitating low shipping costs.
As a startup founder, what are you paranoid about? What keeps you awake at night?
The thing that matters the most is customer satisfaction and quality. While I handpick most of my pieces, sometimes there are issues in transportation etc. So unless that is not on point I cant sleep well.
Who are your competitions and how are you better than them?
Here are quite a few established brands like India circus, chumbak, white teak etc. we are different because we are the only portal that helps a customer pick on basis of themes.
How hard is it to have a work-life balance as a startup founder and how do you manage it?
As a startup founder you end up with multiple responsibilities, it is like raising a child and it is all-consuming. In the initial days I used to be working, eating, sleeping casa quirky. Now I have learned to give dedicated hours to work and schedule my day accordingly. Morning 2 hours are me the time when I read, manifest, write my journal. Then evenings are a little free to catch up with friends and family.
Have you raised funding? If yes, then we would like to know the details. If no then please tell us if you are looking to raise.
Currently, we are happily bootstrapping and have recently joined hands with Ecipher digital founded by Amit Sathe. They are the technology partners for developing the simple search plugin and digital marketing. As of today the brand is Self-Funded and bootstrapping, looking for investment next year.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about you? Why do they have that? What’s the reality?
People think I am a very complex & unapproachable person. I believe that social media is the reason for creating a virtual image these days. People only post their happy moments and outings and so do I. But in reality, I have a simple life where I cook, do laundry, pay bills, stand in lines etc. The flamboyance and glamour of the social media life is often misleading.
What gets you excited about this company?
The infinite possibilities.
Tell us how a day in your life looks like? Your schedule for a day right from the time you get up till you hit the bed at night.
I wake up by 8 and spend the first hour of the day in manifestation and meditation. I write what I wish to achieve in my little journal. I have my tea and breakfast for the next hour or so and read my book. I usually get ready by 10 and hit office by 10:30. The first half is for emails and calls and social media updates.
Then there is lunch around 2/2:30.
post lunch one hour is for social media and digital reads, updates. Post which I work on proposals and curation.
I usually keep the meetings for evenings. I also walk down to my house, that is the only exercise I get these days. Late evenings are usually for socialising and netflixing.
Tell us about your team and how did you meet each other?
We believe in a lean team. Each person has a specific role to play and they are the sole decision makers of their domain.
Most of my team is old friends and the remaining is from a Facebook group worth mention, networking now.
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