Pune seems to be going the quirky mode and stores catering to the city’s quirkiness have sprung around in sizeable number. We spotted one in Aundh, aptly called Surprises Any Hour Anywhere. It is run by 33-year-old Arpita Darooka, a former HR professional. The place is a one stop shop for not just buying quirky home decor or gift items but also to organise parties and corporate gifting. The place is described by Arpita as a very quirky lifestyle store. “We also plan surprises like seven surprise gifts for seven days, birthdays, corporate gifts and so on. We are quite popular amongst corporates and we have registered with major companies and IT firms. They give us the requirements and we provide solutions,” Arpita explains. When she left her cushy corporate job after 10 years, she realised there was a need for such kind of venture. She first started an online venture which still exists. The actual store came in when a friend spoke about a store space on rented. One look and Arpita decided to go ahead. “Not everybody shops online.”
“I realised that Aundh and the surrounding areas has nothing in terms of shops like these. After I started this shop here, people have started coming from places as far as Market Yard and even from Lonavala,” she adds. The pricing is vast, from Rs 50 to Rs 15,000-20,000. You get things right from mugs, dinner ware, wallets, cushions, clocks, magnets, cake stands, tiffins pen drives to all kinds of home decor stuff and even something for your garden. “We are not concentrating on something that is traditional. I have 58 designers with me, right from branded ones like Chumbak and Happily Unmarried to local and all over India. The pen drives are my trademark. The shipping is free if you buy products above Rs 2,500.” She has received orders from people living Mumbai and Bangalore as well.
Arpita’s face lights up when we ask her about the fantastic response the store gets, with customers of practically all ages coming in to buy things to suit their quirky souls. She admits that people have been buying things more for themselves than gifting it to others. Surprises Any Hour Anywhere plans big parties for people, right from bachelorette parties to office parties.
Arpita is honest in revealing that from Pune, only four designers provide her of her items , due to less designers and her high expectations. “I have different criterias for different things. For example, for t-shirts, it has to hand painted and with neat work. I keep adding products. Three more designers are in line to give products. I want to keep this place exclusive and so I have no plans to expand.”
Surprises Any Hour Anywhere is located at Shop no 4, Radha Apartments, Gaikwad Nagar, Opposite Chitale Bandhu, Aundh, between 11am-8.30pm except Thursdays. Email – firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.surprises.co.in/ or https://www.facebook.com/SurprisesOccasions.