Local Flair is back and for the first feature of 2017, I would like to welcome Ayshwarya Chari to tell us all about a brand new e-shop called Kidore for kids that provides value offering but does not compromise on quality. Read on to find out more about how this website idea came to sprout and what Ayshwarya hopes to achieve with it.
Tell me a little about yourself.
I am a 30 something mom of 2 kids, Atira and Vivaan & have been working with E-commerce in the region for 7 years now. This is a very exciting time to be a digital entrepreneur in the UAE and this environment fuels my passion; I love doing what I do! When I’m not working I love to read and spend time with my family and friends.
Tell me about Kidore and how it all began.
Kidore came to me as a realization that as parents who live in the UAE, the one thing ALL of us look for is value. I felt that there was space in the market for a portal that would offer parents good quality products for their kids that wouldn’t break the bank, with easy, hassle free service and a quality shopping experience. The idea took root and just wouldn’t go away.
I decided to validate the concept with a survey. 150 parents participated in it and the results came resoundingly in favour of launching Kidore! 8 months later, here we are!
How did you go about choosing the name “Kidore” and the logo design?
A friend who was about to launch her start-up & I were researching names for her business on a website that offers premium domain names when I came across Kidore. I fell in love with the name! It stuck in my head & was a good fit for what I wanted to do so I went back and negotiated the purchase of the domain.
As for the logo, I hired a graphic designer and we sat down over many sessions but I wasn’t able to get what I wanted. A friend then suggested that I probably need more people working towards it and mentioned www.99designs.com and it was just what we needed! I received 130 designs and this one spoke to me in its most rough form. I worked with the designer on refining it to get it down to the final version. I love the happy colours and the simplicity of the logo.
What’s been the most rewarding part for you in regard to this e-commerce website?
For me, the most rewarding thing so far has been the positive feedback we have received from our customers. People have loved the concept have told me over & over again that a store with emphasis on value is something that they needed and wanted. People seem invested in us and want to see us succeed. We have received so much constructive feedback; I couldn’t be more grateful.
What’s been the most frustrating or challenging aspect of your business, and how have you overcome it?
My biggest struggle is being an E-com entrepreneur in a market where E-commerce has not come into its own yet. I have huge plans but I am not able to implement them for my customers, as the industry infrastructure is not in place. Yet. It is changing everyday and I am not taking no for an answer so with some great partners on board, I plan on tackling each of these challenges head on. Stay tuned!
What’s the most unique trait about Kidore?
At the moment we have 1500+ products on www.kidore.com and every single one of these products is priced at less than AED 100. I would say this range (which increases everyday) together with the value component is Kidore’s USP and strength.
I love that there is a built in blog that goes along with the Kidore website. What do you hope to achieve with it?
I am a busy parent and time is my biggest luxury. I want to get the most value for every minute of my time. If I could use my hard earned 10 minute break to do some shopping and catch up on beauty trends or look up some of my parenting questions in the same virtual space; wouldn’t that be perfect? Hence the “Be Inspired’ blog was born. It is very close to my heart and something I have big plans for.
Where do you source your products from?
We have a good mix of local and international brands. We have the big names people know and love as well as some great exclusive international brands that we have found. Gini & Jony is a great example. They are an Indian kids wear brand that didn’t have a presence in the UAE but now are available exclusively on Kidore.
What are the main things you look for when sourcing products for Kidore?
Quality, range & price. I would like to offer a range where everyone would find something they like, of premium quality, under AED 100. We add to our range everyday and have a very aggressive catalogue target for 2017.
What are the current best sellers from the Kidore website?
Gini & Jony T-shirts are always very popular but by far what has been flying off the shelves is the bath slime from Zimpli Kids.
What are your favourite picks for your children from the website?
Oh! So many things. My kids have a range of GJ denims, which are just fabulous. My daughter loves the 3C4G range of bracelets and funky accessories and my little guy is just starting nursery so he’s completely sorted with our Gruffalo range of lunch boxes etc. Top tip – the pack of 4 Gruffalo snack boxes are just PERFECT for nursery!
Tell me about a day in your life, as the owner of Kidore?
My day starts very much in mom mode. I get the kids ready and off to school & nursery and then start my work day with a super strong coffee and reports. I love reports!
I have a full morning of work and then it’s back to mom mode at about 2 to bring the kids home and settle them in, back to work at 3.30. I finish up by 7 and don the mom hat for bath and bedtime. After the kids are in bed it’s a couple more hours of work before I turn in for the night. It’s pretty non-stop but I love it!
How do you manage to juggle the business along with family life?
I am blessed with a rock solid support system. My in laws live with us; a blessing I thank God for everyday. We have a lovely nanny and friends who are like family around us. I am able to do what I do, because of these people who will step up and watch the kids, make a meal, do the pick up etc. if I am stuck. The secret to my effective juggling is the village holding me up.
What’s your advice to other mothers in the UAE planning to start a business?
Mums often tell me that they would like to start a business so that they can be there for their kids. To this I always say that while this can be an important contributing factor, the decision to start a business needs to come from passion. It is a long and often lonely road and to be able to keep yourself going, there has to be a deep love for what you do. Flexibility is a fabulous perk but it can’t light the fire you need to keep you running when things aren’t going as per plan (which is about 15x a day in the life of an entrepreneur)
Where would you like to see Kidore in 5 years time?
I, of course, want to see Kidore as a successful, established E-commerce player in the G.C.C but most of all I would like our story to say that we were the first online store in the region that made E-commerce accessible to everyone; not just a select, elite few. To have contributed to that regional change in E-commerce buying patterns would be awesome!
Kidore is working on a month of offers in January 2017. We have worked backwards to get some fantastic deals for our customers so keep an eye out! It’s going to be very exciting!
Thank you Ayshwarya for your insight into Kidore, a website that I believe definitely fills a gap in the UAE market. It is clear to see your passion for your business and will come in handy for so many mothers wishing to make shopping easier and more convenient without needing to break the bank or compromise on quality.
Note: All photographs in this post belong to Kidore and have been used by the owner’s permission.