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How Junekeri Homes add value and soul to the modern Indian home

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The company has managed to grow organically to close to 17,000 followers on Instagram over the years purely through word-of-mouth advertising and repeat orders

Bengaluru: Founded by mother-daughter duo Sudha and Ayessha Gurung, Junekeri Homes specialises in artisanal homeware and textiles. The brand, which started as an Instagram-first business before transitioning into its web store, caters to customers who appreciate quality handcrafted goods and are conscious about the products they bring into their homes.

Untapped potential

Delhi-based Junekeri Homes specialises in quality handcrafted goods for the modern home. The force behind the brand is the mother-daughter team of Sudha and Ayessha Gurung, who create and curate functional and beautiful pieces, seeking inspiration from the everyday mundane to the unique and unusual. “Our products are built to stand the test of time by blending traditional craftsmanship with modern designs,” shares Ayessha Gurung.

The pulse of Junekeri, she continues, is a reflection of her own upbringing. “At Junekeri Homes, I translate my experiences and memories into colourful textiles and beautiful home décor accents. I grew up in Gangtok, Sikkim and have drawn passion for my brand from the calm mountain life there. I attended boarding school at Mayo College in Ajmer, Rajasthan and inserted life and soul into my brand from the vibrant desert hues of that state,” adds Ayessha.

Ayessha studied arts at Miranda House (a college under Delhi University) before moving to Singapore to pursue an MBA. The formative years of her career were spent in the luxury lifestyle space after which she did a long stint at Delhivery (an Indian logistics and supply chain company based in Gurugram, India), where she was responsible for setting up the communications vertical. “However, somewhere along my journey, I felt that my heart and soul rested and thrived amidst fabrics, colours, textures and designs. My aha moment was when I was setting up my first house in Delhi. I realised that there was an influx of generic home décor options in the market—these would never make my home truly mine,” says Ayessha. Soon after, she quit her job and went into business with her mother.

The mother-daughter duo then spent a lot of time travelling to work directly with artisans and collectives across the country to bring heirloom-quality pieces that add value and soul to the modern Indian home, under the ‘Junekeri’ label.

A plan for growth

Junekeri Homes strives to bridge the gap between ethically produced goods and contemporary design. “Employing a craft cluster approach, our brand partners with independent entrepreneurs, master artisans and women-led collectives. Our products are made to last using traditional craft techniques which helps ensure both craft preservation and job creation. Overall, our vision is to promote quality home goods we love while simultaneously creating sustainable avenues for our craftsmen and championing artisanal weaves in our online store,” explains Sudha Gurung.

From soft furnishings such as cushions and throws, Junekeri Homes has now expanded into categories such as duvets and rugs while keeping sustainability in mind. “We have had our new product categories certified by Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) to help our customers make more conscious buying decisions. All our products are individually handwoven and hand-embroidered on traditional wooden looms in remote villages of India that do not use electricity. Because we utilise locally-sourced natural fibres, subtle variations can be found in our creations, resulting in beautiful and one-off perfectly imperfect goods,” shares Sudha. The mother-daughter duo now looks forward to expanding the product categories and deepening partnerships with like-minded craftsmen and collectives while innovating on customer experience through technology.

Junekeri Homes was launched during the Covid-19 pandemic and is completely bootstrapped. While both these factors may translate into some limitations for the brand, it has still managed to grow organically to close to 17,000 followers on Instagram over the years purely through word-of-mouth advertising and repeat orders. “Like most D2C brands, the initial proof of concept and validation took time, but we have seen a steady increase in orders month on month due to growing customer demand. Currently, we do aGMV [gross merchandise value] of Rs. 1.5 crore per month,” says Sudha. The brand is now looking to raise a seed or angel round in the next two quarters.

Brownie points

  • Like most players in the D2C space, Junekeri Homes too is a digital-first brand. It takes a cut on the products that it sells to customers directly while maintaining fair prices for its network of artisans.
  • Junekeri Homes has grown organically to close to 17,000 followers on Instagram over the years purely through word-of-mouth advertising and repeat orders.
  • Through Instagram, the brand has been able to reach customers (including celebrities such as Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor) at different pin codes across India and around the globe.

First appeared in The India D2C Yearbook 2022

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