3 years ago
SMALL THINGS MATTER
KATHMANDU, Jan 18: It is said that great things come in small packages. And when you enter the little store of Little Things at Jhamsikhel, you will see how true the brand name stands. As the store is full of products that are small in size and have minimal designs but are capable of grabbing your utmost attention.
Co-founders and long time friends Abha Dhital and Sabin Bhandari are both illustrators, and had been working together for Little Things since 2015. They took their own sweet time to work on the brand. The duo launched a website in 2016, got registered, and finally opened the store on September 2017. Within a few months, they have gained a spot in the market and are highly sought by art lovers of all ages.
The products at Little Things range from cards to mugs, badges, bookmarks, tote bags, pillows, calendars and bottles, among other items that feature illustrated puns, quirky ideas and happy thoughts. But when the duo opened the store, they felt the store was a little too big for their brand alone. Hence, they decided to share the space with other artists and promote art with a shared effort.
There are total nine brands in the shop including products from Butta, Whaddafish, Sattya, Mint Studio, Mom’s Creations, Kazi Studio, Nepalese Woodcraft Child-craft, Karkhana and Little Things.
Like Little Things, other brands also work in illustrated designs. In fact, the brands here were selected because of this common feature. The brands share the space on a commission-basis. The duo selected the brands from their immediate network first, but is now expanding it in others’ recommendations and frequent art markets held around the city.
The name Little Things popped up from a few unplanned hashtags (#littlesadthings, #littlehappythings) that Abha used while uploading her designs in her social media accounts. Not only that, social media has played a vital role in store’s promotion as well. However, the duo has opted for an organic marketing in their social media. They want to see where and how much the store will boom on its own as they believe rigorous marketing may not always bring the right audience to their doors. “We believe that more than the number of followers, what follows after matters. The way we deal with them results in loyal customers and brand promotion itself,” said Abha.
Abha and Sabin manage the store with the help of Bibek Gurung, who stays at the store at all times. Abha is juggling the store operation with another job, while Sabin mostly looks after the financial and operational aspects. She brings her wild creativity to the store and brand, while Sabin contributes from his experience of being a part of other start-ups. Both come from the same work background, so they understand their jobs, complement and help each other to come up with ideas, as well as act as anchors for each other.
“Sometimes I feel it’s the best decision I have ever made, while there are times I doubt my decision of opening the store. Earlier, I could do things in my own pace and there was no pressure. But, now that there is a physical store, it feels like people are judging if you are making profit or not, how well your business is going, and it creates a certain pressure on you to deliver on time. While I feel I work best under pressure, every now and then it worries me that I won’t be able to perform my best. But you just have to get over it, and I try to calm myself down,” added Abha.
She believes spontaneity works best for her, so she has no plans on what products to come with or where to take the store in the future. They want to continue producing their little things, and make sure that they are relatable.