These days most mums are usually on high alert when it comes to picking up something refreshingly unique be it home décor, accessories, toys, learning or clothes for their toddlers.
A potluck friend also a mother of a handsome 2-year-old boy shared the details of this lovely momprenuer who makes some of the most adorable dresses for little girls.
So the next thing you know, I got in touch with the 35-year-old, Dubai based Kishika Jiandani a children’s dress designer and founder of ‘Cotton Candy Princess’ and ‘Craft City’ about her love for creating hand made dresses for little girls.
Armed with more than 12 years in the recruitment industry and call centres in Mumbai, Kishika is presently working with a recruitment firm in Dubai as Key Account Manager.
We had the chance to catch up with her about her love for designing pretty dresses for little girls and here’s her story…
How did it all begin?
A Commerce graduate and as an interior designer, Kishika has always been a creative person. She used to run her own hobby classes when she was in Mumbai where she would teach Glass Painting, Pot Painting, Candle Making, Fabric Painting and lots more.
“After my daughter was born in 2011, I started creating accessories such as Headbands, Floral crowns, Tutu dresses and Skirts, Personalized T-shirts for her as I wanted her to look special. I got lot of appreciation for my work and people started asking me to make for their kids too. That’s how my two more babies – Cotton Candy Princess and Craft City were born,” smiles Kishika.
Kishika started with a humble 1,000 INR as initial investment as she would recycle a lot of the raw materials – like using accessories which she had and making flowers from the tops and tunics that she was not wearing anymore.
She adds, “I used to pick up some materials from tailoring shops as well which was of no use to them; so I bought ribbons from dollar shops and created flowers out of them too – basically I would upcycle and recycle as much as I could.”
“Cotton Candy is my favourite ice cream flavour; it’s very funky and refreshing and relates perfectly to the kind of stuff I make for little princesses. Craft City was started with an intention to put across my creativity and my love for Recycling and Upcycling in front of people,” explains Kishika.
Since all her products are her work of art, hence she named it Craft City.
Finding the right kind of materials are very important when it comes to making Tutus.
At times it becomes very challenging to find the exact colour a client wants; as a result at times, it takes her more time in delivering the product to a client.
“But thankfully since I have a very clear communication with my clients it becomes less taxing for me,” adds Kishika.
She further adds, “The main challenge is a ‘perfect fit’. No matter how well the dress/skirt is made unless it perfectly fits, there’s no fun. Since most of the business is online and the measurements are provided by the clients themselves, at times it may not be accurate and hence the dress sometimes may not fit perfectly. So constant reminders, reconfirmations, back and forth interactions with the client are a crucial part of this business.”
USP – what makes it all special
Each Tutu Dresses and Skirts created by Kishika are customised and handmade by her.
“No two dresses are the same as I try to make some changes in every dress I design. Besides the quality of the fabric that I use is skin friendly and doesn’t irritate the child’s tender skin. Apart from that, I also take care to use generous yards and yards of fabric to make the tutu dresses fluffy. All my products are made in a Smoke Free and Pet free environment,” adds Kishika – and what could be more special than that!
Baby Dress Designing
“I have a good flair with colours where I mix, match and experiment a lot with different shades and textures. I like unconventional stuff and my mind is always working depending on my mood and my surrounding I take inspiration from day to day things,” says Kishika.
She also looks out for changing trends from neon to pastel shades to earthy, spring, festivities, occasions and based on that suggests appropriate designs and colours to her clients.
Kishika sources her materials locally from Dubai and when she is in Mumbai she procures them locally from there as well. She makes each piece by hand at home and does not outsource a single thing.
Types of dresses & themes available
Depending on the size of the tutu, the design of the tutu dress and the length varies. On an average, it may take anywhere from a day to three days depending on the length and design of the tutu/dress.
Kishika recalls, “Recently I worked on a customised order for a client. The length of the dress was 45”. It was a very time-consuming assignment but it was worth it at the end of the day. It took me a total of 18 hours to perfect that dress.”
Kishika creates magic with her tutus and dresses right from newborns to teens and skirts for adults too.
She usually works with her clients to understand their favourite choice of colours, length and look and based on that Kishika suggests a theme and design to her clients.
Her dress themes range from floral, beach, characters, neon and festive and then they are mixed and matched according to the client’s requirements.
“I promote my brand through various online social media groups I am a part of and I get a lot of repeat clients too. One can approach me through Cotton Candy Princess and Craft City Facebook pages and or drop me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org to place an order or for any queries they may have,” mentions Kishika.
You can pick up head bands priced at INR 100 all the way up to INR300, while the dresses start from INR 1,700 for new borns to 1-year-olds and depending on the age of the child and the length of the dress the pricing goes up accordingly.
Journey so far & future plans
The journey so far has been satisfactory and satisfying. However, she would definitely love to provide more opportunities for say at home mums to make an extra income by reselling her products.
She adds, “Since my products are unique and completely handmade it gives me lot of pleasure when I see those adorable smiles on little girls wearing the dresses and skirts that I so lovingly have created. I want my products to reach out to as many mums and kids as possible for them to have a unique experience of being dressed in my handmade attire.”
Before signing off Kishika says, “I want to grow my hobby into a full fledged business where I aim to be a global supplier. I am also looking at extending ‘Work from Home’ opportunities to stay at home mums by reselling my products and also plan to add products for little boys as well.”
So, mothers of young boys, there’s something to look forward to from Kishika and her wonderful handmade creations. Until then, keep dressing up your little girls to add a little fairy tale memory to their childhood.
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