Suman Prasad | Prateek Thakker
Natasha Jain comes from an entrepreneurial family that helped her to be successful and where she is today. After finishing her studies at Stanford she started Freshmentors, an online college mentoring platform to help international students like herself through the process of applying to adapt to life abroad.
Soon she realized that she was ready to go home and start her next venture in India. Natasha revolutionized everyday payments by creating an app called Ruplee, designed to ease dining out woes, which was later acquired by Paylo. After this acquisition, Natasha wanted to shift her focus from service-oriented business models to something on product creation and creating job opportunities in the manufacturing sector. Natasha, along with her father, made this happen by co-founding and bringing Bent Chair to life.
In an Exclusive Interview with Unkrate, Natasha Jain, CEO and Co-founder of Bent Chair spoke in length about different aspects of her home-decor entrepreneurial venture in India, the opportunities in this industry and the upcoming trends that will outshine in the upcoming years, among other interesting facets.
The Bent Chair Story
Bent Chair, an e-tailer home décor brand led by father-daughter duo, Natasha Jain & Neeraj Jain was born out of creative and unconventional young individuals who wanted to create a one-stop shop for all furnishing needs. Naturally inclined towards aesthetics, Natasha was inspired by the innovations in furniture design she saw in the US, where she lived for a few years, and decided to bring that innovation to India.
Since the online home décor and furniture market is no longer a niche segment, differentiation and a competitive edge are imperative. Keeping this in mind, Natasha started Bent Chair in New Delhi in August of 2016.
Bent Chair conceptualizes, designs, and manufactures its own products, and exercise an omni-channel approach for sales including selling online, creating a marketplace, and selling offline through pop-ups via a Bent Chair studio and the franchise model.
Cutting the Clutter
Bent Chair has its roots in engineering & technology and follows a methodological approach towards its products. In addition, Bent Chair uses technology like plasma vapour deposition, which no other furniture-manufacturing unit in India currently uses.
Natasha Jain, CEO & Co-founder of Bent Chair says, “Unlike other premium interior brands, Bent Chair has supported Make-in-India in a big way since the beginning. We have created a platform for Indian artisans and craftsmen to get global exposure and recognition for their work”.
Jain further adds, “The creation and manufacturing of our products take place after research into what is trending in the home decor and lifestyle space”.
All the manufacturing takes place in Ambala in Bent Chair’s 50,000 square feet state-of-the-art facility that houses the latest woodworking machinery as well as a huge space for assembly, storage, and testing of the finished product. Addressing to customer’s preference, Bent Chair enables customisation of products adhering to the finest quality. The brand is omnipresent i.e., the products are available at all retail stores as well as online. In addition, the company is well organised and follows a systematic way for customisation of products, manufacturing, sales, after sale service, etc.
Bent Chair’s First Store in Bengaluru
With the growing demand for traditional Indian craftsmanship, Bent Chair has been able to successfully secure its spot in several cities around the globe. Talking about the journey of Bent Chair, Jain says, “In the span of two years, we have expanded our footprints through the franchise model, setting up almost ten retail outlets in cities such as Hyderabad, Chennai, Lucknow, Agra, Raipur, Tirupati, etc. As per the systematic yet calculated plan, we have opened our first store in Bengaluru”.
Spread across an area of 3600 sq. ft., the Bent Chair store in Indiranagar, Bengaluru houses some of the best-selling products by Bent Chair including the Rocky Star Home collection, Tropical Paradise,
Earth-line collection, Metal Line, the Lokalferi Line, Bent Luxury Collection and much more. The store provides the customers a chance to see products in their magnificent yet splendid form, further helping them choose ideal products for their home.
Plum by Bent Chair – True Retail Restaurant
Plum, India’s First True Retail Chair is a collaboration between First Fiddle Restaurants and Bent Chair. Carrying forward the legacy of both worlds, this restaurant offers a dining cum shopping experience under one roof wherein visitors can buy products they like at the restaurant. The inventory further extends many other edgy products lined up for sale in a special catalogue. Plum by Bent Chair was first launched in the buzzing area of Mumbai- Kamala Mills and in New Delhi the restaurant is located in World Mark 2, Aerocity.
Trends to Look Out For
From a splash of pop color to playful patterns and tropical furnishings, Jain shares few interior trends that will outshine in the upcoming years.
- Maximalism: From bold shades and luxurious fabrics to metallics and detailed pattern, maximalism is undoubtedly one of the major interior trends currently. This design theme is the epitome of the power, passion and joy that can be expressed through an interior space, and is a much-needed switch from the long-prevailing minimalism concept.
- Decorative Plates for the walls: A good, colorful decor will lift up both interior and the mood. If there is a budget constraint to buy expensive decor like an ornate mirror or a painting, decorative wall plates comes to rescue.
- Tropical Elements: Switch the decor to a more natural vibe with the “tropical play”, a trend that never fades. Try to incorporate serene vibes and embrace nature in the best way possible. One can create a tropical paradise through lush green planters, succulent plants, floral prints, marine accessories and animal figurines with a surreal tint. These elements will help to bring an exotic ambiance to any space reflecting refreshing decor around your urban adobe.
- Bright Colors for The Walls: The warm coral tones, a tint of yellow, blues and whites not just give an illusion of a bigger space but set off a neutral palette to play more colors and textures and helps to keep up with one’s quirky side. For a character, adding a pop of color with the textured curtains will make a serene change in the interior. One should avoid matching curtains with the color of the walls.
- Velvet Takeover: The old world styling is back in fashion and how. Velvet has already gained all the attention and many designers believe that the velvet trend will be one of the most sought-after trends. Sumptuously seductive, velvet fabric in furniture is one of the most covetable ways to bring a refreshed luxury look to any space.
With the aim to bring fashion and home décor on the same platform, Bent Chair collaborated with Fashion Designer Rocky Star to introduce an affordable designer home décor and furniture line. With the introduction of this home décor range, Bent Chair has offered a pioneering designer range in affordable price brackets for its consumers.
Defining the quirk quotient, Rocky Star Home by Bent Chair presents a high fashion home décor line comprising of his watermark designs as well as a baroque and chic botanical pattern in vibrant hues. One can get the feel of couture into your homes with the eccentric summer spring collection, offering the ethereal Jewel Anthropod and the mysterious Maya collection impressed on furniture and dinnerware accessories.
“Be it high-street or high-end, the worlds of fashion and interior design have never been so closely aligned,” Says Jain. She further adds, “Recent years have witnessed numerous collaborations between prominent fashion designers and homeware brands which has led to massive competition. Breaking the barriers between two creative fields, designers have brought a whole new design perspective in the industry. We at Bent Chair, always keep a lookout for young talent and are keen for associations in order to curate exquisite assortment”.
Bent Chair’s Growth
Currently, Bent Chair has one studio in Gurgaon, one in China in collaboration with BD homes, and 15 franchises stores across India, setting up outlets in cities such as Hyderabad, Chennai, Lucknow, Agra, Raipur, Tirupati, etc. Also, Bent Chair is unveiling its first flagship store in Delhi in the month of July.