By Hand From The Heart is a curated Makers Market event in South India. Upcoming Events: 22nd Edition: 2nd – 3rd February '18 in Coimbatore | 23rd Edition: 16th – 17th – February '18 in Chennai.
We chat up with Chinmayie, the founder of Soul – India’s largest babywearing brand. In today’s Meet The Makers series, let’s find out more about her company, her inspirations and the collection she will be showcasing at By Hand From The Heart Makers Market event in Chennai.
A bit about yourself what lead you to set up Soul?
I fell in love with baby carriers as a mother. I loved how they allowed me to hold my babies close to me, soothe and comfort them. I also appreciated the freedom they gave me. With my carriers, my children and I could move around freely and do whatever I needed to, while still meeting their needs. I set up Soul to bring safety-tested, comfortable and affordable baby carriers to Indian parents. Now as India’s largest babywearing brand, we sell around the world, of course, and Soul always ensures that there is something for every parent and child.
The importance of baby wearing and Soul USP.
‘Babywearing’ is a term for keeping your baby physically close to you using a carrier. This physical closeness keeps babies (and their parents) calmer and happier; in turn, this is believed to promote the babies’ physical growth and mental well-being. Soul believes in nourishing this bond through comfortable carriers made in all natural fibre fabrics, comfortably cut, affordable and safety-tested to international standards.
What will you be bringing to the By hand From The Heart Makers Market?
We will be bringing our carriers and lifestyle accessories for babies and adults, such as bags, baby shoes, blankets and doll carriers. We also look forward to demonstrating Soul AnoonA, the perfect adjustable carrier for babies from birth to toddlerhood. This revolutionary new product is changing lives around the world, and we want to show you how it is the one carrier every new baby and parents need.
What’s your day like at Soul?
I work from home few days a week so that I get to spend more time with kids but I can’t skip going to our office/factory because I am closely involved in almost everything at Soul. Every day I spend some time looking into sourcing, product designing, production, marketing, advertising to all the other hundred things involved in running a company. As an entrepreneur my work never ends. I work from the time I wake up till the time I hit the bed at night. It’s really busy and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What inspires you as an entrepreneur?
Customer feedback, reviews and interaction inspires me. When a mother tells me how thankful she is for making such a wonderful product that changed their lives, it takes me back to those days when I couldn’t live without a baby carrier myself. It inspires me to keep going. My children of course also are a huge source of inspiration. I try to make products that I would love to use as a parent, and that my children would enjoy too.
What was the best piece of business advice you were given when you were starting out?
I was told to stay true to my vision and always strive to do better. I think this applies to every business and I firmly believe that if your heart is in the right place, if you dream big and work towards it, anything is possible.
Name the biggest lesson you’ve learned in running this business?
I have learnt that being an entrepreneur is extremely challenging and enjoyable at the same time! I have learnt that I really love what I do and I will keep doing it because this brings me joy!
Your personal favorite at Soul & why?
All our products are important to me. I have personally invested a lot of myself in each carrier that I’ve designed and launched. That said, linen ring slings, our first ever carriers, are very special to me and my son too. These are our favourite carriers for daily use.
Make in India – what does this mean to you.
Soul is deeply committed to supporting local industry. From design to hand-crafting to shipping, our products are made by us using local talent. We source all our fabrics from ethical, fair trade weaver cooperatives. Our Jacquard fabrics come from a green unit, running entirely on solar energy and sending surplus electricity back to the grid. Our staff have been trained by us to work to very high quality standards and in turn we believe in investing in them too. Almost all our employees are women, and mothers at that. Some are the sole earning members of their families, while many others have found Soul a comfortable, flexible way to return to the workforce. We make international quality products right here in India in an ethical business model.
By Hand From The Heart: MAKERS MARKET – 20th Edition
Date: Friday – Saturday, 7th – 8th July, 2017
Time: 10:00 a.m – 8:00 p.m
Venue: Crowne Plaza Chennai Adyar Park
Address: 132, T.T.K Road, Alwarpet, Chennai – 600018, Tamil Nadu. India