Nikita Dawar and Nivedha Charles converted their hobby of creating handmade hair accessories into a successful business, Pigtails and Ponys

From being classmates in design school to setting up their own enterprise, Nikita Dawar (22) and Nivedha Charles’ (21) friendship has come a long way. While one hails from Delhi and the other from Vellore, following their accessory design at NIFT Bangalore, the duo set up Pigtails and Ponys, a hair accessories brand providing handmade hair accessories.

Each piece, being hand done, has its own charm and grace. Apart from retailing their products on their website, the girls put up stalls at various flea markets and also retail to a few boutiques in town.

Speaking of what got them started, Nikita says: “We used to make hair accessories for ourselves and got pretty good at it. Selling them was a brainwave we had one fine day. Being college students, Facebook was our best tool to market and sell, as it didn’t need any capital investment or intensive work. We came up with the name ‘Pigtails and Ponys’ and its pig logo which was fun, playful, unique and quirky-all the qualities we and our designs could relate to.”

According to Nivedha, what spurred them to take their idea more seriously was “our first ever flea market. We were still in college and we’d put up a stall with around 60 headbands that we’d made in our spare time. It did very well and our customers gave us positive feedback and there was no turning back since.”

Hailing from two different cities, setting up shop in Bangalore was a unanimous decision. Nikita explains: “Bangalore was a great starting point for us as there is a huge demand for exclusive handmade products here. People here prefer unique products to commercial ones and they never hesitate to experiment and try new things. When we started off, there weren’t many brands offering hair accessories; that worked for us too.”

About the challenges they face, Nivedha states: “Initially we did face issues like delegation of work, not knowing our consumer’s taste, the entire process of taking the order till delivering the package, Facebook marketing skills etc. It took us nearly six months to convert ‘Pigtails and Ponys’ from a hobby to a proper business. One by one, we tackled all our obstacles — including manufacturing not according to our likes and dislikes, but as per the consumers’ choice.

“Our product innovation and quality improved by deciding and studying our market target. Over time, we have been able to delegate work to each other in accordance to our abilities and interests.”

Looking ahead, Nikita says: “We have launched a line exclusively for kids and babies and will soon release a line of bridal hair accessories. We also plan to supply to boutiques in every major city and extend our reach in all directions.”

For details, contact Nikita (9535037322) or Nivedha (9916953749). Email: pigtailsandponys@gmail.com Website: www.pigtailsandponys.com.