This homegrown childrenswear brand is the preferred choice of celebrities and regular moms alike
Parents of young children who grew up in India in the 80’s and 90’s know the worries of buying nice clothes for their children. The lack of formal wear led many families to sew their own clothes, inspired by what they saw in films and TV shows, while others relied on gifts from family members living abroad.
Luckily things have changed now and we have access to beautiful local childrenswear labels. One of the most famous brands is based in Mumbai Oui Oui leaded by Poonam S Sanghvi, Raina Shriwaardankar and Viinii K Doshiwhich started in 2018.
“The three of us have worked together since we were in college and have worked on many projects that have always done well in terms of academic grades. As entrepreneurs, we have also decided to join forces. We all have children and it was a unanimous decision to start a business centered around children. As moms, we’ve realized that there are multiple brands for kids, but there’s still a dearth of clothes that offer the best quality and fit.” YSWeekender.
The emergence of the idea
Poonam has an MBA in International Marketing from London and has worked with major retail brands such as Shoppers Stop, luxury car brands such as Audi and even dabbled in events management. She was marketing manager and events organizer for Loreal India and is known as a marketing expert having been involved in several successful projects in her career.
Children’s clothing from Oui Oui
At Oui Oui she heads the marketing department and works on PR development. She is a graduate of the London School of Communication and an active Lions Club member.
Raina holds a bachelor’s degree in mass media (advertising) from GN Khalsa College and an MBA in retail from Chetna’s Institute of Management and Research. She recently received a certification in Luxury Brand Management from the London School of Trends. Raina has worked with brands such as Shoppers Stop, Crossword and Tresmode, as well as other international footwear brands. She has expertise in merchandising, e-commerce and retail and oversees sales and distribution for this company.
Viinii holds a BA in Mass Media from KC College, Mumbai and a design course from the London School of Fashion. Her work experience varies across multiple fields including finance, telecommunications and healthcare. She has almost twelve years of experience in companies such as Citi, Idea Cellular, Vodafone and VLCC in various roles such as sales and service. As a passionate fashionista, she particularly enjoys dressing her daughter. Her eye for detail and her passion for clothing and styling made her the ideal designer for the Oui Oui brand.
This brand was the culmination of a long-held desire from these childhood friends to work together.
“We started out selling to friends and family and through social media – mainly Instagram. Today, Oui Oui is a favorite among celebrity mothers and retailers in every major market in India,” says Poonam.
Raina explains: “Oui Oui, which means ‘yes, yes’ in French, represents our attitude towards the patriarchal system that does not see women as both mothers and entrepreneurs without judging them. Our story as three friends from college is very similar. We gave up our fledgling corporate careers to be full-time moms for a while before embarking on becoming mompreneurs. We loved dressing our little girls and decided to do it full time. This is our story of how we created a label that is making a meaningful impact on the childrenswear landscape in India.”
Viinii K Doshi, Poonam S Sanghvi and Raina Shriwaardankar, co-founders of Oui Oui
Viinii adds: “We hope to be leaders, to innovate and to offer the best products and services to glocal customers. We hope to make a difference through our clothing and styling, staying ahead of fashion trends, market changes and the latest technologies, offering comfort and quality. We hope to reach our target audience across India and abroad along with our growing e-commerce reach.”
Oui Oui caters to a pan-Indian clientele. The brand also supplies overseas via direct orders and is currently in talks with Namshi in the Middle East about a potential production collaboration for their own brand.
All their products are designed in house and their production unit is in Dadar and Vasai. New collections are launched every three months.
The team describes their most popular items as their range of elegant casual wear, crop top sets and party wear in pastel shades. Her adjustments are also greatly appreciated.
The prices of the products range from Rs 899 to Rs 4,500 depending on the style. Their online prices are capped at Rs 2,500 but adjustments go up to Rs 4,500.
A large number of celebrities favor her designs which have been spotted on Soha Ali Khan’s daughter Inaya Khemu, Neha Dhupia’s daughter Mehr Dhupia, Kareena Kapoor Khan’s son Taimur, Shilpa Shetty’s daughter, Karan Singh Bohra’s daughters, Lisa Ray’s twins and Shobha De’s granddaughter others.
Oui Oui’s direct competitors are brands such as Fairies forever, Ruckiaa the Label, Panchi Couture and Picolo. However, each brand has its unique sense of design.
challenges and growth
“Getting investment and funding was a big challenge for us. In the beginning we financed ourselves, but now the banks and our family are helping us to expand,” Poonam candidly shares.
According to data released by IMARC Group, the Indian children’s apparel market reached US$16.4 billion in 2020 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 14.5 percent from 2021 to 2026.
Oui Oui started with a bootstrap investment of Rs 30,000 per affiliate and has grown steadily ever since.
Raina shares, “We started with 5-10 orders per month and now ship around 6,000 items per month, including Instagram sales, through our website ouioui.in and through third-party sites like FirstCry, Nykaa, Hopscotch and Amazon. We also make private labels for FirstCry and Hopscotch and will be working with Reliance and Myntra soon.”
The news is spreading through Instagram, Facebook, personal recommendations, third-party portal advertising, fashion weeks and celebrity endorsements. The co-founders believe that the high adoption rate of celebrities sharing their outfits on social media gives the brand a lot of visibility.
The team hopes to eventually have their own boutiques and offer a bespoke service to their customers.
Winning the Google and She Entrepreneur awards in 2021 has been the highlight of her business journey so far.
Viinii signs with the words: “Once we have more support in terms of funding our website, we would like to push this medium forward. We receive many orders on our site with no ads or promotions and believe this is a huge untapped segment. Ideally we would like to launch 10 new styles every two months and hope for at least 100 orders per month through our own website.”