‘Do you do anything for dogs?’
Sitting amidst women busy quilting and doing applique work, a young woman’s query on the phone made Chinni Swami laughed aloud. ‘No we don’t. We haven’t thought of doing anything yet.’
It was just an opening that Vidha, a young woman who had left her PR job with a corporate to start an online e- portal: Lanapaws.com needed. A die hard dog lover Vidha had tired of constantly chasing deadlines in her corporate job and decided she needed to work with the love of her life – dogs. She named her new business venture after her mongrel Lily and Labrador Alladin, combining them to call her portal Lanapaws.
Having grown up with dogs the e-portal for her beloved pets was a natural choice. She started off by researching for dog products and started printed fashion accessories like bow ties, bandanas for different occasions along with dog beds, and selling them online. But six months later when business began picking up she decided that she needed to work with an NGO that had women self help groups. A blog listed organisations across India that worked with self help groups. ‘I literally began calling each and every organisation. I called Chinni Ma’am who was most amused by my query and invited me over to see their products.’
That was just the beginning – Vidha got Stree Shakti to make bed covers and dog beds in patch work. She also got them to make applique bandanas personalised with dog names and initials. They were very successful. The new products are striking cushion covers and toys. ‘I love Stree Shakti’s products as the fabric they use is very easy to wash and clean. Their products are also unique in the market, That’s what makes them so exclusive.’
Already in Amazon portal, Lanapaws.com is the front runner and their products are sold in 25 cities across the country through their retail partners. Helped by her husband, Akshay Iyer, a trader with the stock market, Vidha intends opening up Lanapaws.com to the international market this year.