Startup spreads smiles with miniature variations of individuals and pets

Startup spreads smiles with miniature variations of individuals and pets

As for reward giving, nothing beats customised gifts, particularly if it is a figurine of your favourite human or pet!

Childhood lover Ritwik Mekkayil and Pallavi Muraleedharaneach of their late 20s, have made a reputation for themselves within the personalised reward market not solely with distinctive gifting concepts but in addition with an excellent model – Gulbonda.

“Rtwik is stuffed with nicknames, he calls me Bobo! Gulbonda, a phrase that does not belong in any dictionary, is Ritwik’s favourite phrase to explain how he feels when he is so completely happy. We felt it was the proper identify for an organization that unfold smiles throughout the globe,” stated Pallavi.

The younger couple owns a studio in Calicut, Kerala, the place they create extremely personalized miniature dolls which are handcrafted to perfection. Because it was launched in 2019, this small startup from the north of Kerala has discovered an admirable checklist of celebrities.

Screenshot of celeb reward for Gulbonda’s merchandise

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A primary date to fame, impressed by the Tamil film 96, starring Vijay Sethupathi and Trisha Krishnan, Gulbonda made two dolls based mostly on the movie’s essential characters, Ram and Janu. After Trisha shared the publish on Instagram and Twitter, Gulbonda gained 2,185 followers in a single day, shocking the younger founders themselves.

Since then, miniature works of Gulbonda have appeared within the properties of Mammootty, Mohanlal, Vidya Balan, Shefali Shah, Nazriya Nazim, Meghana Sarja, and so on.

Humble beginnings in a seaside city

Till just a few years in the past, Ritwik and Pallavi had common 9-5 jobs. The couple aspired to be entrepreneurs, and so, on the age of 23, Ritwik left his job as a software program engineer and Pallavi give up his job as an Architect to turn out to be their very own boss.

In September 2017, they launched an e-commerce web site to help small companies, however “lack of promoting information and lack of money led to its failure,” remembers Pallavi. once more.

The duo determined to take a break day and go to a craft village close to Mysore. There, they got here throughout the well-known Channapatna toys, conventional and colourful Indian wood toys handcrafted by artisans in Channapatna village.

The concept caught their curiosity and on the way in which again residence, the duo began researching toys and the right way to make them. “Later, with the assistance of a carpenter, we developed a number of prototype dolls, retaining in thoughts the floor end and colour. We did some high quality assessments on their prototype,” stated Pallavi.

By July 2018 that they had developed a completely handmade, hand-painted and sturdy wood doll named Gulbonda doll, which was displayed for the primary time at a flea market in Indiranagar, Bangalore, in September 2018. As a result of the response is just not good, the couple is depressed. On the recommendation of a good friend, the duo determined to eliminate their fixed worries and determined to go to the films. The film occurred to be born in ’96, and its inspiration turned Gulbonda’s fortunes eternally.


Ritwik Mekkayil and Pallavi Muraleedharan with a good friend on the Bangalore flea market

Nonetheless, in accordance with Pallavi, their journey has needed to take truthful turns. Whereas wood dolls are very talked-about, it’s a enterprise mannequin that’s tough to scale. For his or her miniature dolls, the couple determined to change from wooden to high-quality engineering supplies to make sure a quicker manufacturing course of and shorter supply occasions.

“Now, all of our merchandise will attain our clients inside 5 to six enterprise days. Now we have created over 35,000 collectible figurines and have over 26,000 glad clients and counting! We even have pet collectible figurines,” provides Pallavi, saying that the products are shipped freed from cost throughout India however worldwide orders are accepted for a further supply charge. fig.

Pallavi and Ritwick’s small workforce has now expanded to a workforce of 10 that features illustrators, content material creators, social media managers, and e-commerce and operations employees.

Gulbonda has expanded its portfolio to incorporate customized fridge magnets, framed portraits, and company presents. Costs begin from Rs 899 for a single customized miniature mannequin to Rs 1,398 for extremely personalized humanoid miniatures.