The city is expanding including in the number of places to hangout and shop. With a younger crowd and loads of people willing to spend their money on something unique, it is the smaller shops which probably are making sure they stay on the radar. A new store (comparatively new, that is) has opened up in Wanawadi near Salunkhe Vihar and it has an interesting name to support its merchandise – The Little Quirkshop. It is a shop which is tucked away in a corner of Cristal Castle, near Salunkhe Vihar but it does tempt one and all to enter the place and have a look at what it has to offer the buyers. For the uninitiated, the shop is an one-stop place for all things from personal accessories to home décor. And no, it does not have clothes to sell.
Started by 36-year-old Ashwini Kanetkar, an interior designer originally from Bangalore and settled in the city, she had quite some professional changes happening in her life before the shop concept came into being. A pass-out from Raheja College of Interior Design with a specialisation in stain glass, she had worked in Dubai for two year as a merchandiser with The One, before she got married. “I took a breather and travelled a lot before my daughter was born. The travelling was an enriching experience. But somewhere I wanted to open a place where the products were affordable and closer to my heart.”
That is how The Little Quirkbox made its appearance in the Pune scene. As per her visualisation and wish, the shop contains (as mentioned before) home accessories like coasters, cushions, glasses, kitchen magnets, tins and so on to personalised accessories like laptop bags and sleeves, phone covers, mugs and such other funky stuff. “What I have is funny in design. You can find bar accessories, doormats, notebooks, posters, etc, apart from smaller knick-knacks.”
Ashwini’s tryst with these rather eye-catching products started also with her love for Pune’s known shop for quirky products – Either Or. “There are a lot of people in Salunkhe Vihar who visit the shop for such stuff but it is not easy to travel there to pick the stuff. So this place was needed in the area, though I know I could have made more money in other places like big malls and so on.” The concept was always there with Ashwini and so she did her research, studied the way things worked for a shop like this complete with logistics. The business model worked for her at the end and she brought the place where she is currently located. “The corner place works for me as it is on the main road and gets noticed, unlike in a by lane.”
Despite the fact that she took her inspiration from Either Or and runs a store which has a few rivals in other areas, Ashwini feels there is no competition. “Either Or caters to a different clientele, while I cater to a local one. The kind of products are also somewhat different. We are not a carbon copy of each other. Also, I do not keep clothes. I opened this place for smaller merchandisers who people do not know about. When I opened this place, people initially did not know what to expect. But the area is full of cosmopolitan crowd and was exposed to a lot of things. People got the concept due to Either Or. I have been getting positive feedbacks.”
In terms of products, Ashwini is looking for exclusive and new stuff which other shops do not have. “I am getting in a lot of products, especially those which are in the Rs 500 bracket. I do not want my shop to be labelled expensive. I have people to have that option (reasonable price). They should find nice stuff to give and get. I put myself in customer’s shoes when keeping merchandise.” By the looks of the store, we have a shopping destination to hang out and buy with ease.
Store Details The Little Quirkbox Shop No 12, 61/2 Cristal Castle, Salunkhe Vihar, Wanawadi, Pune – 40 Phone – 099 23 810007 Email – firstname.lastname@example.org Timings – 11am-8.30pn (Thursday closed)