COIMBATORE: The unprecedented lockdown came as a blessing in disguise for many small businesses vying for an opportunity to make a change. For 20-year-old entrepreneur Ishana from Coimbatore, expanding her business — manufacture and sale of reusable eco-friendly sanitary pads — was not on the cards until the curfew came into effect. The period offered her time to explore new market avenues and venture into the production of reusable baby diapers.
A Class XII pass out, Ishana did her diploma in tailoring at a private educational institution in Coimbatore and started a boutique in January 2018. As her business did not scale up as expected, she took to making reusable sanitary pads which became an instant hit. Three reusable sanitary pads are priced at Rs 450 while a pack of six is sold for Rs 900. They are stitched using poplin cloth, three layers of turkey towel, Polyurethane laminate layer and printed poplin material.
Understanding market needs
Speaking of her latest venture, Ishana said, “During lockdown, I learnt about the demand for reusable baby diapers in the market and researched about materials used to stitch them. I make my product in different sizes using fennel fabric, three layers of turkey towel, and polyurethane laminate fennel fabric. Velcro has been attached to keep the diaper, which lasts up to 100 washes, in place.”Five months into the production, Ishana has already sold nearly 500 baby diapers, each costing Rs 200 to Rs 300. “Ever since I started making reusable sanitary pads in the mid of 2018, a lot of inquiries for baby diapers came from mothers. The diapers sold in the market contain plastic and gel absorbent, which could affect the baby’s sensitive skin,” she explained.
A call, a conviction
Nine months ago, Ishana received a call from President Ram Nath Kovind’s office after the officials came across stories published on her venture. “A top official suggested me to get a patent for my product,” she said. However, the entrepreneur chose not to get a patent for the pads and diapers as she wanted more women to learn the business from her and become self-sustained.