If you are tired of searching for ‘something different’ to gift kids around Indian festivals, then keep tuned to this article. We have the perfect Indian festival gift idea for boys and girls, and it’s not the latest toy; it is a unique gift that instigates curiosity in children around famous Indian festivals and teaches them about our culture and heritage in an artistic and creative way.
Kidskintha brings to you brilliant creators and entrepreneurs who are emerging into the limelight and are now ready to showcase their array of talents through their products and offerings. This week, we bring you the amazing Shradha Gupta whose home-grown, little seed of an idea to bring joy to her son, is now seen ‘unboxing’ everywhere.
This pandemic has unmasked layers of hidden talents — culinary projects for some and heartening art projects for others. For Shradha Gupta, the calling was to creatively harness the potential of young minds.
About Shradha Gupta, the creator of Unbox
Shradha is a Senior Designer with Manish Malhotra and has found a quirky innovative way to channel her talent keeping her son, Viaan, as the center of inspiration.
When the world was locked indoors, she discovered the opportunity to bring her creativity to life through Unbox, her pet passion project. Each Unbox showcases her brilliant craftsmanship and attempts to ‘unbox’ the unparalleled potential in her mini-clients.
As they say, every person is talented but it is all about how we hone it! We at Kidskintha invited Shradha over for a chat to show us how she did it, and to unravel everything about Unbox. Read on…
In conversation with Shradha S Gupta, creator of UNBOX
SN: Hi Shradha! Thank you very much for being with us! How would you describe Unbox?
SG: Unbox is the answer to the very difficult question— what to gift a child who has everything? To elaborate further, Unbox is a festival-themed, DIY (do-it-yourself) kids activity box for ages 3 years and above. First and foremost, the aim is to teach the child about the festival, its origin, and its journey through India. Each box, for example, Unbox Diwali, strings together its rich history, the culinary treats that are made around this time, décor themes like Diya in Unbox Diwali, and other creative activities that engage the child and stimulates his imagination. Each box has 10 activities and every box has 1 cooking activity that resonates with the festival. For example, baking for Christmas, marshmallows for Easter.
This box encapsulates the very essence of the popular Indian festivals in all their glory and pushes the child’s creativity to the forefront.
On making the connection between Indian festivals and creativity in children
SN: Tell us about your journey into Unbox.
SG: Unbox started as birthday return gifts for my son, Viaan’s birthday. I have always loved spending time with children and the lockdown was my opportunity to have unending play dates with my little genius. While I was trying my best to teach my 3-year-old the wonders of the complex world, I would come up with few activities that we both enjoyed doing and he also learned in the process.
I encapsulated all my splattered ideas into my first box, Unbox Diwali. The response was so overwhelming and encouraging that I decided to stick to it and do so on all festivities that are celebrated in India.
On her source of inspiration for Indian Festival Gifts…
SN: You are a senior creative designer with one of the top fashion designers in the country. Do you see your work with clothes and fashion inspire your work that engages creatively with children?
SG: Working with Manish over the last fifteen years has brought forward the importance of detailing in the fashion industry. While we have a vision, we intricately work towards achieving the final look. So, it’s the finesse with which the small bits are carried out that makes all the difference. I believe it is this quality that I have taken forward and used in creating Unbox. For example, if I have an activity in mind, I put together all its pieces in the best possible way I know, and then only do I move forward.
On the larger vision behind UNBOX for child creativity…
SN: When a child unboxes an UNBOX package, what do you hope to see?
SG: I put in a lot of hard work and effort to ensure that each activity is different and engaging for the child. I hope to see the kids become a little more expressive and independent as they artistically complete these activities and learn about our famous Indian festivals.
When you give your child Unbox, be rest assured he will learn all about the festival through the ten activities that are provided in the box. The activities are not the regular coloring and painting, art and craft. Each activity is unique and curated with utmost care and precision to ensure it provides pure joy and exuberance, especially themed around the uniqueness of celebrating Indian festivals with kids.
SN: What are your sources of inspiration?
SG: When I was creating my first Unbox as Viaan’s return gift, I knew this was not a conventional party favor. Firstly, it wasn’t something that I had just purchased. On the contrary, this was something I had wholeheartedly and single-handedly made. It was the best gift idea for kids that I could creatively come up with. When the response poured in, I was certainly taken aback by all the appreciation and positivity that came my way, and it left such an indelible impression on me, that I decided to stick with it, extend it as DIY ideas around Indian festivals for culture and heritage, and I continued with Unbox.
On the nitty-gritty of the business side…
SN: What happens from inception to shipping of an unbox package? How many people are involved in the making of an Unbox box?
SG: I start planning my boxes months in advance. That is the only way I am able to manage my full-time job, Viaan and Unbox. You will be surprised to see the amount of research that goes into each and every activity and the time it takes to procure all the material in bulk. Currently, every single element you see in the box is a result of my imagination and thereafter execution. I am very particular about each and everything that goes into my box and its final outcome. While the monetary gain is a part of this process, my focus is to ensure that I deliver a wholesome experience for the young ones.
SN: How have you marketed your product and expanded to a wider circle?
SG: I have only marketed through social media and word of mouth. Everyone has been generously promoting Unbox and that has enabled me to build my customer base. I am open to collaborations and with time I do plan to go down the traditional marketing route.
SN: Do you see demand from outside of Mumbai/India for UNBOX?
SG: I have recently started shipping throughout India. I do plan to expand and shall welcome the demand to ship Unbox to children far and wide.
On her secret to being a successful mompreneur …
SN: What’s the secret to finding time for your passion project with 2 full-time jobs (your designer job and the mom’s job)? How do you juggle them?
SG: Well, it surely isn’t easy. I am in love with all my jobs, and while I am exhausted at the end of every single day, I always ensure I have planned for what is coming next. I need to be prepared so I organize myself to meet all that lies ahead.
SN: What’s the one habit of yours that you are proud of that other entrepreneurs could use?
SG: I am very observant and attention to detail is my forte. I think this is something that entrepreneurs could use and exercise in their own field. If something is done carefully, very carefully and with love, the outcome is positively magnificent.
SN: What’s your vision for UNBOX?
SG: The possibilities are endless at this point. I want to expand all over India and at a later stage, I am open to starting with customized boxes, birthday return gifts, and explore other themes apart from Indian festivals as well.
How to get your own UNBOX?..
SN: What is the best way for parents/teachers to reach you?
SG: You can get in touch with me on 9820118586 or look me up on Instagram @shradhasgupta and message me. Do check out our latest Unbox Holi & Easter.
SN: How would you describe Kidskintha?
SG: Kidskintha is a parenting encyclopedia for me that keeps getting updated with the changing and challenging times.
-Stringed together by Saniya Nair