Art Of Bespoke Gifting
Pooja Chopra, Founder PNA, recently spoke to EE about the scope of Bespoke Gifting and how PNA is leading the way in this sector.
PNA, the brainchild of Pooja Chopra was conceptualized in 2012 to usher an era of ‘Obtainable Elegant Luxury’ in the realm of designer accessories. Based out of New Delhi, PNA was awarded “Ethical Fashion Brand 2017” by PETA India in the year 2017. Recently Chopra spoke to EE about the success of the brand and more.
You launched PNA Origine, a name synonymous with bespoke gifting, at a time when the concept was in its nascent stages. What were the roadblocks you had to overcome to establish yourself in this niche market?
When I started bespoke gifting all those years ago, one of the major challenges that I faced was creating something exclusive for every client while keeping the pricing bearable. In the case of extreme bespoke gifting, like what I started with, a well-established brand, or a label that is a branch of a bigger brand will charge a much higher premium cost. I had to keep my products price sensitive – an amount that people are comfortable with and which will make them want to come back and make me their go-to gifting person.
The roadblock that I faced was being compared to other bigger gifting brands. I had to sit down with my clients and explain to them that the same product that other brands are offering for INR 5,000 – something different and especially curated for you – I am offering at one-fourth the price. There is no comparison! In other cases, you are not sitting with the brand owner or creative person, you are just dealing with the representative and they are selling you what is made. Whereas, in my case, you are sitting with me and we are curating something aligned to your style and taste. Also, I feel people were apprehensive about the fact that I was new. So, once we passed that stage, the blockage of getting the clients to believe in me also cleared.
In May 2021, PNA Origine celebrated its 9th anniversary. How has the journey been?
It has been almost a decade and the journey has been very loving to say the least. My clients have loved the service and what I was presenting to them. It has also been a bit of a challenge because PNA Origine was originally meant to be a brand for bags, one that was completely anti-leather. I had decided to be an animal-cruelty free brand from day one. So getting people to understand the concept, accept it and then pay a good price was a challenge. But the journey has been fun; I have met so many people and have grown as a person.
Also, I can see the difference in the bags I designed in the beginning and the ones I design now, and through that I see my personal growth too. A lot of hard work has gone in to reach where we are today. We never had a showroom. We were briefly on such e-commerce portals as Amazon, Flipkart and Limeroad, and had a small shop in Shahpur Jat for some time. But the word of mouth spread purely on reference and network basis because the quality of my products speaks for itself.
What would you say, sets you apart from the other bespoke product companies/ brands in the market today?
Right now I think, and I can affirmatively say this that other brands are not doing bespoke gifting bags to the level that we are doing. We are open to make even one bag and even a 100 bags of the same design or different designs. I am more like a gifting consultant who can curate the whole thing for you down to the last minor detail. From incorporating the clients’ vision and paying minute attention to every little attribute to adding a personal touch – we go all the way. I even sit with my clients to understand their perspective and their requirements, and then add my creative inputs like presenting them with colour, design and material options.
Speaking of design options, flowers are our signature gifting motif. We use it in our decorations and packaging. We have even had clients suggest that we go a little less overboard with flowers but we assure them that the final product would be no less charming and luckily, all our clients have been happy with the end result.
The brand boasts a variety of quality and premium products ranging from corporate gifts, personalised objects, bathing bars to plantable pincels (pencils). What other products are you planning to add in the days ahead?
There is nothing major planned for the New Year but yes, we will be adding hand washes, foot creams and hand creams in our bathing range. And like every year, we will be launching a new range of bags for the spring-summer collection.
Where do you draw your inspiration from? What keeps you going?
All my inspirations are international – their storyline and the way the brands create their products intrigue me. In the domestic market, where most of my clients belong, I derive inspiration from our rich cultural heritage. As a nation, we are so culturally diverse in terms of colours, designs, patterns that it never ceases to amaze me. The patterns in Punjab are different from that of Assam and when you go to Rajasthan, the motifs change. I enjoy reading history and what draws me to our past is fashion. We have always been opulent when it comes to colours and vibrancy. For example, if you visit the villages of Rajasthan, you will come across elderly women adorning neon coloured garments. As a colour neon appeared in the international fashion scene only a couple of years ago but we have had it for generations!
Around The World