Four startups that are helping Indian consumers make a lifestyle statement with their unique and quirky products

This article is sponsored by Haywards 5000 Hausla Buland Academy

There are two main segments of consumers who dominate the Indian market today. The first loves mass manufactured products: that are in vogue, promises value for money when it comes to prices, and stays in sync with current trends. The second segment consists of those who want to create a distinct identity for themselves that reflects personal preferences, ethos, culture, aesthetics, and helps them make a style statement. This thirst for identity is reflected in their choice of everyday products and services. For many, the products and services are an extension of their thoughts, and even themselves.

There are multiple large and small businesses that cater to the needs of both segments. In this article, we feature four startups which are enabling those who want to create that distinct lifestyle statement with their products.


Shoes are available in difference sizes, colours, materials, or texture, but getting a shoe that was unique or expressive used to be difficult. This is where Rivir Shoes made a difference. Rivir shoe designs are inspired by various facets of life, subjects of interest, ideas and inspiration, fables and fantasies. The startup is driven by the belief that shoe designs can express more than just make “statements”. Rivir’s concept works on the idea of freedom to express one’s personality through footwear.

“An Engineer by education, a designer by passion,” is how Rivir’s founder, Ankeeta Deb, introduces herself.  Through Rivir, a casual footwear startup, she hopes to make art wearable. The startup brings together bright minds, handicraft expertise from industry and a unique concept to stitch together a range of bold, colourful and head-turning shoe designs.

Watch this video to know more about Rivir’s startup story.

Brown Boy

His love for fashion, design, and New York and desire to create fresh, high-quality items he wanted himself, inspired Prateek Kayan to found Brown Boy. The high-street fashion and contemporary clothing line is exciting at many levels.  Brown Boy uses 100 per cent organic cotton and non-toxic ink and dyes – thus scoring high on quality and health parameters and causes minimal negative ecological impact. Brown Boy is also strictly vegan and is PETA approved. The brand comes under the 100 per cent Fair Trade agreement – from seed to garment. The startup has also taken steps towards fighting for basic human rights and inclusivity measures. Brown Boy is India’s only and one of the first few companies in the world to feature a transgender model in its ad campaign.

The focus on sustainability, and the quality of products, has led to a lot of word-of-mouth and organic publicity for Brown Boy. Bollywood celebrities have been spotted sporting the label during photo shoots and events.

All their pieces are designed and created in-house. Instead of overwhelming the customer with limitless choice, Brown Boy focuses on offering customers tightly edited collections of key pieces and helps them build a wardrobe around these.

The Postbox

What if things you use every day – tablemats, bags, books — were a reflection of art? It is this thought that Madhuvanthi Senthilkumar and Nikhil Joseph are exploring through their venture, The Postbox.  The art and lifestyle platform marries functionality and art beautifully through a careful list of handcrafted products.

Their art-inspired products not only offer value for money, but influence contemporary India to perceive art and design as a way of life.  Their designs on everyday products range from graphic art to inspirations from movies, music, nature, cities and handicrafts, among others. Jute tote bags handcrafted with Ikat designs, wooden mobile cases, terracotta cutting chai glass with handwoven cane, trays with hand illustrations and graphic illustrations, to a ceramic mug inspired by traditional motifs, products from The Postbox are unique and create a lasting impression. These niche products are retailed from their own e-commerce platform. The platform also enables upcoming artists to collaborate and design products, and provides the artisan community a solution to sustain their traditional crafts and art forms.

The Postbox caters to those who are looking for niche products, which score great on design, cultural richness and yet has a universal appeal.


A home is a lifetime’s dream for many, and there’s much thought and emotion that goes into furnishing it. Livspace, a Bengaluru-based online home design startup, makes this process easy for home owners.

Livspace is becoming the new hotspot for designing, decorating and furnishing a dream home, minus the hassles and woes of finding the right people to do the job and on time. Customers can explore a wide range of design ideas on Livspace, with plenty of options on colour preferences, styles and price range that reflect their needs, culture, and lifestyle. From just a couch, to a living room to an entire home, the startup enables homeowners to customise their home according to their preferences. Because customers can visually experience their fully designed homes in 3D virtual/augmented reality with products from the Livspace catalogue even before making a purchase decision, they are more confident. The startup also comes with an e-commerce integration for modular kitchen, wardrobe systems, and related furnishing, thus making the entire process transparent and easy.

Livspace also connects customers to certified designers — both in-house and freelance interior designers, interior design studios and turnkey contractors. This helps customers get in touch with the best professionals, and helps interior designers and studios expand their business.

In short, home owners in cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore, are now able to get the entire home design experience in one place.

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