City start-up toys with eco-friendly teethers
City-based Ariro, is an eco-friendly online start-up specialising in wooden toys for infants, with a product line comprising neem teethers, rattles, stacking and slider toys. The company, whose name was inspired by a lullaby, was founded by Vasanth Tamilselvan and his wife Nisha, who were hard pressed to find organic, safe and natural products-based toys for their baby.
Finding a niche in the organic toys space, the co-founder of the company talks to us about the demand for such toys and the opportunities to include rural artisans as part of the company’s success story. Vasanth tells us, “The idea for this product line came about after an episode involving my daughter Nakshatra during her infancy, in early 2017. After being exposed to a certain range of toys, she contracted dermatitis. This got me and my wife Nisha, a Montessori teacher thinking whether we could get our daughter some safe eco-friendly teething toys. The US-made ones available online were exorbitantly priced. So, we decided to create these toys from scratch. Close to 90 pc of our toys are made using neem wood and vegetable dyes. As part of our R&D, we toured Europe and Shanghai which hosts the Wooden Toys Fair, where our toys got a great response.”
The couple has invested about Rs 40 lakh on these handmade toys product line and has been buoyed by the response from the US market. Having launched its products on its own portal and a major e-tailer, the company has as many as 20 different varieties of toys and they plan to add two new toys on a monthly basis, to have a total of 48 new variants in the next two years.
When asked about the price point, Vasanth says, “From the drawing board to the finished product, each toy takes about 90 days to create. And there are trained rural artisans who aid us in this venture. We soon plan to introduce a traditional Choppu Samaan (kitchen set) for toddlers and a wooden rocking horse, modelled around the scooters of the 80s like a Lamby.” The company sells close to 100 individual toy units per month, up from 20 units that it sold in its first month and is looking at expanding its operations gradually.
Our heartly thanks to DT Next