Article from Creature Companion – Pet Care Magazine (Interview)
At a pretty young age, Tanvi decided to manifest her creativity into something that would keep up her love and compassion for pets. With the support of her family members, she ventured into the pet couture domain. Her pet project, Kitty and the Woof Gang, has witnessed a meteoric rise in the pet fashion segment. She envisions a pet in every house in clothes and accessories designed by her in the near future.
Analysing the behaviour and pet ownership trends, Tanvi observes, “Earlier pets were just kept as animals, but now they are treated as family members. People are realising their worth and they are no longer kept as a source of entertainment or safety.”
What inspired you to start this venture?
I have 6 pets at home. I am very fond of fashion and travelling. While travelling, I take my pets along and I want them to be well-dressed and presentable. I used to search for nice clothes and accessories for them but I was not very satisfied with what I found. So, I started designing for them! Seeing my stunning outfits and offbeat designs, my family members motivated me to start designing professionally. And that’s what I did.
Currently, how many queries do you handle per month? Are you satisfied with the sales?
The flow is always on and we receive many queries on the basis of which we run our store. We also customise outfits on special requests. As we are an online store, we are selling internationally as well. I am satisfied with the sales, but you know, more is always welcome!
Are you planning to build a brick and mortar store as well?
We don’t have any plans for that at the present moment, although I want my products to be retailed from other stores.
Since it is an online store, how do you ensure that the clothes and accessories fit the pet well?
We have videos titled ‘measuring your pet’ on our website which help customers to send in exact measurements of their pets. Apart from that, we have different sizes for pets including cats, guinea pigs and various breeds of dogs. I also make it a point to talk to pet parents before sending over the final product.
There are a lot of categories on your website. Which categories are the most profitable?
Clothing has remained the favourite category for pet owners. They request different designs for their pampered companions. The Indian Wear category receives the maximum number of orders as people want their pets to put their best paw forward at weddings and festivals.
Out of the Apparel category, which item is your personal favourite?
I love everything that I create. Designing for pets is my passion. I do it with a lot of love for the pets, as I believe that they deserve the best.
What do you feel most happy about when you see your own pets wearing your designs?
I like to see them in festive and occasion wear like Christmas clothes.
Do you regularly upgrade your products? How often do you do that? How creative can you be with your range?
Yes. We keep upgrading our range on a regular basis. It totally depends on the kind of requests that I receive and on my creative juices. If I get an unusual idea, I try to implement it as soon as I get time.
Do you refurbish your old items with some atypical elements? Can you tell us about one such piece?
I don’t sell the old stuff with a couple of stars and sequins here and there. Having said that, I do add new elements to the clothes and accessories from time to time. For instance, I have rain capes for pets. Now I am thinking of revamping them and designing them like a full water-proof body suit.
Where do you see yourself in the coming years, in this growing market?
I see my products in every house in the coming years. It is indeed a humongous market with a great scope for expansion. Even in the initial years, I have been able to achieve so much because of the growth of the domestic and international pet apparel market. I am sure it will upsurge further to a greater level in the near future.
Do you have any social agenda on which you work? Any charity services for stray animals, especially in the rainy and winter seasons?
Yes, we do have an agenda in place. Our tag line is: ‘Even pets have a Passion for Fashion’. Pets love being taken care of and they reciprocate your behaviour with selfless and unconditional love.
As all my family members are animal lovers, we have been doing a lot for the stray animals in our area. However, I firmly believe that it is not charity if you are flaunting and boasting about it. We contribute to the shelter homes and take special care of stray animals in the winter and rainy seasons.