Shopping inside a kaleidoscope
Krsnaa Mehta’s India Circus mixes the quirky and the contemporary with a burst of colour in its first brick-and-mortar home décor store in the city
Walking into the India Circus store at Palladium is like entering a kaleidoscope. Bright cushions, colourful wall art, vibrant crockery, floral rugs, elegant lanterns and other home décor essentials line the walls. The designs and prints are all very quirky. “Actually a fair mix of quirky and contemporary classic,” says designer Krsnaa Mehta who started the brand in 2012. Back then there was no physical store, it was just online. “We couldn’t afford a store at that point. That was the time when online commerce was picking up and there was no one doing what we were, so it took off,” says Mehta.
Initially, clients placed small orders, and once they got a feel of the quality, the numbers grew. Mehta says, he knew a brand couldn’t be built without creating an experiential space. “I’m all about light and shadow and none ........................................................ ........................................................ of this can reflect online. So we started the first store last year in Kala Ghoda, Mumbai, followed by another in Palladium there and now we are here in Chennai,” he says adding, “Chennai is among the top five markets when it comes to our online sales. Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and Hyderabad are the others.”
Mehta recalls when he was stu- dying design in the US, every time he came to India, he never found anything to carry back as souvenirs. “I wanted to make something that people could take with them as gifts and be proud of the country,” he says. The idea of the name came after he designed a poster for a brochure. It was called India Circus and it depicted a train with circus happening on it. “That name stuck in my head. India is like a circus. There is always something happening, a medley of things,” he adds.
India Circus continues to add new products their collection. Mehta and team is always interested in the initial reaction the new launch evokes. “When we launched mobile phone covers in 2013, we sold almost 800 in a day,” he says. The designer has also given trendy makeovers to products that have over the years been labelled uncool. These include large steel tumblers with intricate prints in red, yellow and green among others, and lunch bags with roses, flamingos, cranes and Mughal-inspired prints.
Their fortunes have now changed, with them becoming instant hits among clients. The new line of shower curtains too have a bunch of eager shoppers flocking around them, feeling the fabric and comparing motifs. “We are creating a lifestyle around our design. Whatever product a design looks good on will do well,” he says.
India Circus is now launching bedding. Interestingly, before Krsnaa Mehta became a brand, the first thing he ever designed was a line of bedding and cushions with organza and dupion sari borders for Zeeba, a textile brand owned by his family. Over the years Mehta has also collaborated with Westside, The Bombay Store and Good Earth. For Big Bazaar he’s created The Dream Line, a collection of bedding and towels, and has just signed a deal with Bombay Dyeing.
Next, the label will launch stores in Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad, Calcutta and Pune.
We are creating a lifestyle around our design. Whatever product a design looks good on will do well
(Below) Krsnaa Mehta is giving new life to products that have over the years been labelled uncool, such as steel tumblers and lunch bags
A trendy makeover