Startup Story #13: Mommy pampering

“I wanted to make motherhood a period of celebration, a time when expecting mothers should be pampered,” says Akshaya Desai, founder of MommySutra. The journey of motherhood is special and Desai’s venture makes it even more memorable. MommySutra is all about specially curated care packages for the mom to be. To put it simply, Desai exclusively designs boxes which entail a perfect amalgamation of all the essentials that will keep the mom to be and her unborn baby healthy and happy. The packages are curated keeping each trimester in mind, ranging from bath and body products to a wooden massager and books. The idea struck while Desai was expecting her first child and she nurtured it with personal experience. “When I was pregnant the basic thought came across. With the kind of busy lifestyles we lead, we have no time to create something personally for friends or relatives who are going through one of the most beautiful period of their lives. Then I realised there was nothing like this in the Indian market and that’s when it all began,” explains the entrepreneur.

Photograph by Sanket Wankhade
Photograph by Sanket Wankhade

After leaving the marketing and sales sector the mom entrepreneur wanted to pursue something of her own. “I was done with a nine-to-five job. But, I have been working since I was 18 years old and it was very difficult for me to just sit idle. That’s why MommySutra happened at the right time,” says Desai. Beginning with specially curated hampers that were created with a lot of care and research, she now does customised packages as well ranging from rupees 1,500 to 1,800. Each trimester has a package designed specifically keeping in mind what the expecting mother would need during that time. The products range from a hair oil which is useful due to the hormonal changes the mother would face to a serum for stretch marks. Desai has been extremely careful in creating this, “I make sure I personally research about each product and brand that I use. All of them are made of organic ingredients so that there is no chance of a harmful reaction. This has also been done with a lot of guidance from doctors as well.”

The packages which can be ordered online have some immensely helpful and out of the box products. “The MommySutra box for the first trimester has books that an expecting mother would need to read. But, here’s the twist all the books are by Indian authors. While I was pregnant I realised a lot of books were based in the US context and things like the diet required wasn’t of much use. Then in our package called Bundle of Joy which is for after the baby is born, there are beautifully designed nursing cloths. In the market here, it is hardly available and those which are, they are quite expensive,” adds Desai.

From diaper cakes to stoles and face scrubs, Desai continues innovating based on the feedback her clients give her. But, like many, her startup too had a few stumbling blocks. “Being an e-commerce setup, I had the logistics to cater to anyone in India but my main issue was marketing. How do people get to know about MommySutra?” explains Desai. With a number of PR activities and collaborating with websites with content related to mothers and kids also taking part in exhibitions her challenges were solved. It’s been almost a year for Desai and her clientele has reached Dubai and America. But, she aims to expand her startup and venture into more opportunities. “I would like to scale up and collaborate with other brands that specialise in kids’ stuff. I want to organise events for pregnant women that are fun and informative. Also, what I plan on doing is cater to moms after their pregnancy in terms of the kind of food they would need, beams Desai.

Zeenat Tinwala

Zeenat Tinwala

She’s our Employee #1 and is often the first to come in and last to leave office. And she’s an accomplished kickboxer. Stay clear! zeenat@pune365.com
Zeenat Tinwala

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