With head held high

With head held high

Women entrepreneurs

It was while specialising in accessory design at National Institute of Fashion Technology that Nivedha Charles and Nikita Dawar came up with an idea.

 The plan was to make and sell hair accessories, way back. The response they received when they participated in a flea market at ‘Kitsch Mandi’, encouraged them to take it further. Thus they set up their online venture on Facebook. 

What started as a passion has now become a profession for Nivedha Charles. Co-founded along with her friend, Nikita Dawar, ‘Pigtails and Ponys’ brings in brightness to hair — black, brown or blonde — through a range of hair accessories. From odds and ends like fabric, buttons, beads and felt, clips, bands, hair-wreaths or ‘bendys’, they make tresses beautiful. 

The girls now have a studio which employes three women. They work hard to provide customers the right kind of supplies. “Though I conceptualise the design, the products are made by the women I train. These are people who I found near my area, like a maid or cook, who like to work. As I trained them through the basics, I assessed their strengths and weaknesses to see who could work with what kind of materials. Now they are trained enough to train others,” Nivedha says, proudly.

The funky name came up through sessions of brainstorming and wordplay, until the girls decided to have an animal name for their brand.  The hard work doesn’t end here as Nivedha plans to expand further and branch out in terms of her accessories. She wants start felt accessories and bridal accessories. She also has a tentative plan of shifting abroad and designing indianised goods that can be sold at the International market.

  The girls have crossed many obstacles. From conceptualising designs to marketing products, they are not scared or intimidated. Despite the internships that she did at various companies, Nivedha doesn’t want to work in a company, under anybody. “I grew along with my business as it grew with me. If I need more exposure, I will just get more women and train them,” she says.

Nivedha feels that she had it a bit easy as she was selling her products during college. This made it easier for her to assess the market and the demands before taking ‘Pigtails and Ponys’ as a full-time profession. Nivedha says that she remembers one occasion when they were called for a photoshoot in Delhi as part of a women entrepreneurship programme. They had flown down with a suitcase full of hair-bands and hair-wreaths among other orders.  

Her big takeaway from this business is to take smaller steps before the final leap. “We had a target of one month when we started out and now, we have a customer base all across India,” Nivedha wraps up.