Just when all the budding entrepreneurs are launching their own apps and e-commerce portals, these three young individuals are going the traditional way and opening a brick-and-mortar store. Whishbox, a designer-cum-quirky store as pitched by the trio retail space that justifies the word ‘retail therapy’ for those looking for shopping with pleasure.
As amusing as it may sound, the inception of the store has its inspiration drawn from the world of penning stories. Having met during their college days while pursuing MBA, Chandresh Gujar, Vinay Gada and Yash Ghelani started off with creating and writing short stories. They share, “We did not have much money so all we could afford was a domain, www. whishbox.com, worth Rs 799 annually. We got the website developed for free (it was a barter with a website developer wherein we helped to design his website and he developed ours). Our content received a very warm and encouraging response. This assured us that we are able to communicate with the large chunk of millennial generation. Gradually, we happen to notice that there’s a dearth of concept stores in India where art or an artist is at the center-stage. We knew this is where we can work out something.”
Facing the Challenges
Like any start-ups, the journey here too was marred with a couple of challenges where convincing the near and dear ones seemed the most difficult of all. As they share, “We believe it is the internal factors that matters the most than anything else while planning to startup a new venture. With internal challenges we mean to say: families, societal pressure, career and personal mindset. Right from convincing your parents specially when we are expected to draw a 6-digit monthly salary and settle down at the earliest, to convincing ourselves since none of us had any prior experience to do with retail. Post this, the other major challenge was finding a suitable space for our store.”
Doing up the Store
The passion that the trio have for their work is easily reflected in the store interiors. A surprise at each step awaits you when you enter the store. From vintage wall clocks to quirky tops for women and not to mention a host of gifting options keeping in mind the corporate houses in the vicinity. Done up in yellow and blue, the store has quite a bit of its furniture picked up from chor bazaar and kabadiwalas. Wooden flooring adds to the charm of the ambiance.
The merchandise at the store is well sorted to satiate personal as well as gifting needs if incase one is looking at quirky stuff. The team personally visits local markets across the country to get niche merchandise and is actively tying up with sellers from various social media platforms. On a concluding note, to hear it from the trio on what makes their store different, “We believe the biggest differentiator is our value system. We have nurtured Whishbox in our head since a long time, and we bring a lot of personal values and traits on table. Our core competencies lies in customer communication and relationships. And that’s what we intend to do. Our business strategy is very simple, ‘Keep the people around you happy’. This includes customers, artists, vendors, and any other stakeholder. Rest everything falls into place.”