CHENNAI: When I heard Japanese comedian Daimaou Kosaka’s viral music video ‘PPAP’ (Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen), I knew that I wasn’t going to hear the word pineapple or apple in the same way again. For the first time the word pineapple was stuck in my head for a very unusual reason. But this time, it’s for something most people would go ‘p-aww’ for!
The city’s first online pet accessory brand, Monkey Eating Pineapple, was launched recently and the brain behind the project, Maithreye Murali, chats about the store that customises quirky and functional pet accessories.
Maithreye, a self-confessed animal enthusiast, wanted to do something ‘cute’ for pets. “I was working and travelling a lot — to Bengaluru, Bangkok and Chennai. After a four-year stint in advertising, when I was pondering what’s next, I thought why not do something for pets,” shares Maithreye who grew up around cows, cats and dogs. “I belong to a joint family and all of us loved animals. My grandmother was an animal lover; she always had two-three cows. So, it was a very natural thing for me.”
Talking about what ignited the idea, she points to her 11-year-old labrador, and rues, “It was always difficult to find a special gift for him and also personalised accessories to get him ready. Most stores source accessories from China and the designs are redundant. I wanted pets to have specialised accessories and that’s why I started.”
After months of research and sketching a plan, Maithreye launched her online store earlier this month, starting with accessories for dogs and cats. “Bow ties, bandanas, bowls and quirky beds for cats and dogs are currently available in different sizes. I am working on more cat products and a different kind of dog beds. Dog treats, other pet food and collars are in the pipeline,” she shares.
The intriguing label name has a cute story too. “I was coming back from a road trip last July and while I was waiting at the check post, I saw a baby monkey, with the most gorgeous eyes, happily chewing a pineapple! And somehow the scene and the phrase stuck with me for a long time. So, while I was thinking of a name for the store, it fit perfectly!” she narrates.
With numerous pet stores in the city, how does Monkey Eating Pineapple stand apart? “The designs!” says the entrepreneur. “Unlike monotonous stripe-printed accessories that are pre-labelled as designs for pets, I make my own designs. The accessories have a lot of ethnic Indian prints like block prints and colours like indigo. You wouldn’t find them in regular pet stores.” The printing and stitching is done by vendors from across the country.
For Maithreye, starting an online pet store was the most viable option, considering the mainstream usage of e-shops, by people of all age groups. Of course, she also wants to start a physical store which will also double as a ‘pet cafe’. “There are several pet owners in the city. But, most of us are disconnected. I want to start a place that will have accessories and build a stronger community of pet owners. A community-oriented spirit to the brand is what I am looking at,” she adds.
For details, call: 082174985491, or visit their FB page MonkeyEatingPineapple