Together forever

Together forever

Together forever

When Chinmayie Bhat had her first child five years ago, she didn’t realise how hectic it would be. According to her, her daughter was a high-needs baby and wanted to be carried around all the time.

But with the coming of her second child, the mother-cum-entrepreneur was inspired to design to ‘ring slings’ for the Indian market and start ‘Soul’. 

“When my daughter was born, she wanted to be carried all the time. I’m sure all parents who have gone through this know what it’s like. I knew carrying her was the only way to calm her baby down so I bought a baby carrier designed by a well-known international brand.

Little did I know that these famous infant carriers were not really right for me. By the time I learnt about ring slings, my daughter was already grown up,” she says. 

When Chinmayie found out about ring slings and how comfortable they can be for a child, she also realised most of them aren’t sold in India. Rings slings are thin layers of cloth held together by two rings. “Very few people sold them in India and the ones that did only custom-made it and weren’t really to my liking,” she says. 

“After four years, I found out that I was expecting again. This time, I was more confident and knew exactly what I wanted to do. But having an older child at home all the time, I had to figure out a way to care for my baby and be on my feet at the same time.

A ring sling was the ideal choice considering my lifestyle and Indian weather.” But instead of spending thousands of rupees to order one from overseas, she decided to make them herself. 

She says she realised that they are perfect for Indian women and more women should have this. “I felt that every parent should have a ring sling. That’s when I decided to start ‘Soul’. I knew I could make a difference in every parent’s life by introducing him/her to this baby wear. It is time India had a ring sling brand which is locally made, well-constructed and elegant.” 

The journey started five months ago in their own home and it has been three months since she has launched the brand. “I didn’t expect such good reception actually. I thought it would grow as my son does but now there is so much demand for it,” she says.

She recently made a resolve to keep the prices fixed in order to let it spread to a wider market. “Initially, I thought I would increase the prices once I had set up but now, I want to keep it stable,” she adds. 

Along with her husband, she designs everything ­and sends it for stitching to a local tailor. Not only is it about comfort but it is also fashionable. “The parent is going to be carrying the child for three years so the sling isn’t just a baby carrier but also an accessory.

That’s why I thought it must have a fashion element to it. The slings I design come in different colours, designs, patterns and materials. That’s one of the problems I had with the baby carriers that are available everywhere — they look like life jackets,” she sums up.