KOCHI:A few young women entrepreneurs from Kochi are up with concept stores every Mallu could relate! The idea of a concept store is still a budding idea in Kerala. Mamta Joseph and Bhagya Babu have come out with this unique idea with their online concept stores 'Salt ‘n’ light' and 'Awkwerrrd'.
Salt ‘n’ Light is a concept store aimed at creating fun merchandise with themes ranging from faith and love to movies and sports. “We didn’t use the term ‘concept store’ until recently," says Mamta of Salt 'n' Light. "We wanted to set up a venture that inspires people. What we try to do with our products is to motivate, inspire and bring joy to people’s lives. So we thought, why not create products with messages that encourage! That’s when the term ‘concept store’ came in to play."
Unlike other gift stores, the pricing at Salt 'n' Light isn’t exorbitant. They were one of the first stores in India to manufacture their own faith-themed merchandise and are also the first store to do illustrated Malayalam movie tribute merchandise. "We want to be the ‘salt’ when things seem tasteless and the ‘light’ in a dark world. Our USP is affordable customisation. We customise everything," she says.
Awkwerrrd is a big hit on publishing Mallu comics and merchandise which makes Bhagya's store unique. Her inspiration came from artists abroad who were taking their art and creating a career for themselves. “When I realised how much potential a Mallu comic strip could have in Kerala, I decided to give it a shot," she says. "I was a business student before switching to graphic design so that eased the transition a bit."
The first thing one will notice about Awkwerrrd comics and products is that all of them resonate with people because it depicts simple situations and topics in a lighthearted manner. Both of them launch their stores in flea markets which are a huge hit and attracts many visitors.