Sonia Gupta reached out to tell us about her new organic clothing company, My Little Pakora. Her idea was to integrate South Asian design elements and traditions with green movement principles, in the hopes that conscientious desi parents would be just as attracted to the products as non-desis. So, aside from baby clothes that say Om or Haathi on them, you can find a primer on incorporating Ayurveda into one's pregnancy.
The eco-friendly clothes aren't cheap: a onesie like the one modeled here costs $22, while a baby blanket is $45.
We asked Sonia, who's based in Massachusetts, a few questions about her products, and her target audience.
SAJAforum: Before you actually launched, what did you learn about marketing your products?
Our target audience can be categorized as Dual Income South Asian professional households with newborns in the top 30 MSAs (metropolitan statistical areas). This specific niche has the discretionary income, comfort with e-commerce, and desire to invest in their children that make them the ideal customers and reinforce their cultural identity. Their e-commerce profile is in line with Forrester's and Net/Neilsen's e-commerce affluents who appreciate a bargain or free shipping but are not especially affected by the downturn.
In this market segment where are the design cues coming from?
Design Cues are coming from Moms like myself. We tested our designs across South Asians and non-South Asian alike. While global organic cotton retails sales are to cross $3 billion in 2008 and Walmart & Banana Republic have their own line of organics, our target market is not well addressed by Western retailers.
How do you expect your customer base to break down, in terms of the percentage who are desi versus non-desi?
While its still to early to predict, we have anticipated South Asian moms and non-desi customers who are in tune with South Asian culture. This smaller (non-desi) segment may account for 15% of on-line sales, but 70%+ of retail sales.
What sort of novel ways do you have of reaching customers?
The response to our community-based viral efforts have far surpassed our expectations. While it requires more creativity and effort than an adwords campaign, it's both rewarding and fulfilling.
Journalists can contact Sonia Gupta at soniasgupta[at]mylittlepakora.com or Ph: 857-373-9263