Delhi Girl creates ‘Passion Merchandise’, sells crazy stuff that fosters novel interests, and calls her venture WHAT’S YOUR KICK.
A Narrow Escape:
In 2015, Neha Dua was selected to be a part of Everest Base Camp Trek with Jamling Tenzing Norgay, son of Tenzing Norgay, who along with Edmund Hillary was the first climbers to reach the summit of Mount Everest in May 1953.
Neha was one of the lucky 10 women contenders to get shortlisted for this trek through a TV contest. She had prepared for this expedition by all means and anticipated to be a terrific adventure.
Like they say ‘Man Proposes, God Disposes’, fortunes changed and a massive Earthquake of 7.8 magnitude shook the country of Nepal on the night of 25th April.
Neha felt the shock waves beneath her feet. “Everyone ran outside their lodges in the chilling cold. I saw buildings come down like a pack of cards” she recalls. “The moonlight was nervous, men and women with folded hands and prayers all around”.
News reports suggests the earthquake triggered avalanche on the Mount Everest with loss of life and rendered thousands of Nepalese homeless. The country was struck with the worst natural disaster in history, flattening villages in many districts and destroyed several UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Besides others, Neha was one of those trekkers who were stranded there for 3 days and had to be evacuated and airlifted in a cargo helicopter.
Salvaging the Plan:
A month later, she revisited Nepal to fulfill her dream, but this time her focus was to explore the life and beauty of the place.
Neha wanted to witness the life of people following the aftermath and be in their shoes. Unafraid, she even volunteered to pick-up the rubbles and made temporary shelters.
The fearless girl was awestruck by the courage the locals demonstrated and their zest for life. Perhaps, that was the turning point. Neha was caught by the travelling bug and thereon never looked back.
Until this year, Neha has travelled to more than 35 countries and hopes to visit all in this lifetime.
In times of joy and sorrow, she has found solace in the six letter word ‘Travel’. Her planned and unplanned expeditions gave her thrill, where she even met her fiancé.
Since 2017, the couple have taken up frequent journeys creating memories and collecting unique stuff, all of which has become part of their home décor.
What’s in a Name?
Somewhere in the chaos of corporate life, and somewhere in the solitude and silence, one evening she asked her self “What is that one thing that fuels me? … and that brings me happiness?
That self-indulging moment sparked a thought … WHAT’S YOUR KICK?
If I may call it The Eureka Moment!
Excited about this new thought, her wisdom replied to her clarion call – Travel, Travel and Travel!
So what started as a hobby, got converted into a business idea. She decided to make passion inspired merchandise.
Harping on the individual interests, WHAT’S YOUR KICK caters to the needs of every passionate soul.
A concept that nurtures the creative appetite with a subtle nudge to keep the enthusiasm moving.
WHAT’S YOUR KICK adds flavour to one’s taste and assures to compliment your palate.
In a nutshell, the brand retrofits to the multi-dimensional layers of passion and profession led consumer sentiments.
The Devil is in the Detail:
Neha was clear about taking her passion to the next level and launched a range of refreshing merchandise in January 2019.
In a short time, the brand has produced over 10,000 products and already catering to more than 50 passions, professions and hobbies. It plans to widen the product offerings with more themes catering to varied interest groups in the coming years.
Thoughtfully curated Merchandise motivated by your passion, products that are sure to energize you and keep your Kick alive.
Neha’s diverse collection is conceptualized on exclusive themes and curated with love.
“Our designs are unique where every piece is differentiated and sure to evoke madness in you, such as these upcycled bike chain range”.
Working with Artisans:
Neha closely works with the Artisans across the country, especially those who are based in North India. She is associated with them on a range of projects such as upcycling of old material, for example décor products inspired by cycling theme whereby the artisans create products such as photo frames, pen holders, table clocks etc out of old bike chains .
The brand believes in maintaining an inclusive and progressive working relationship and intends to build an eco-system of mutual trust and benefit with its partners. Following a fair and uncompromising approach, Neha tries to empower her resources for instance, she has enrolled a few artisans for English speaking classes so that they can take their skills to a new height.
“The idea is to boost their livelihood. Every partnership is valuable and every Artisan is encouraged to deliver the highest quality” she says.
Not everyone fits the Mold:
How about a coffee mug or a wall clock that reminds you about your passion even in your busiest day?
The brand maintains customer-friendly policies and allows you to pre-order a customized product for a special occasion or even otherwise, for a special someone that could be your own-self.
While most brands are focused on standardization, WHAT’S YOUR KICK is open to personalize and tailor-made designs that meets customer satisfaction. One can make a customization request to email@example.com and the rest will be taken care by the brand.
The Startup is currently present on e-commerce platforms like Amazon India, Etsy and their own website whatsyourkick.com and gradually aims to scale-up in the global market places.
Neha says “Our research shows there is a lot of scope for handcrafted, sustainable artisans made products in US and UK. In the next couple of years, we are planning to showcase our products on global ecommerce platforms”.
She further adds “We are also looking at entering in the retail market like sports shops etc. where customers could get their hands on their favourite products in real time”.
Neha works as a Lead Auditor, India Operations at Fair Working Conditions. Throughout her 10 year career, she has emphasized on protecting worker’s rights by ensuring her clients are providing equal opportunities and healthy work environment to its employees.
Her penchant for managing industrial labour has a deep reflection on her own entrepreneurial venture.
From picking-up debris to converting imagination into a business idea, her journey is all about creative transformation.
If you wish to emulate her feat, LIFE IS NOW! Ask yourself … WHAT’S YOUR KICK!
For Sales inquiry, write to firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo credits: Neha Dua
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Author: Vijay Malhotra, Mumbai