What was the inspiration behind creating Co-Originality?
Co-Originality was born from our personal experience with gifts. On various occasions, the gifts we’d received seemed to fail to convey a message and were often unused. But we found that gifts we presented people were always well-appreciated and we’d receive a lot of compliments for them. This inspired us to create a personalised gifting service because we truly believe it is not about how much you spend on the gift but how much thought you put into it that makes the recipient feel special.
How did you two meet and how do you collaborate?
We are cousins. Although we grew up in different parts of the world (Prerna in Hong Kong and Nupur in India), we always kept in touch. (Prerna has a degree in design from Parsons School of Design, New York and Nupur did her masters in Fashion Management from National Institute of Fashion Technology, Delhi.) A few years ago, we both moved to Dubai and grew even closer. Recently, we decided to put our creative minds together to launch Co-Originality. (Prerna is the creative head of the company and Nupur handles the financial aspects.) We follow our gut instincts when it comes to respecting each other’s creative differences.
What does Co-Originality specialise in?
We focus on putting together practical, personalised and exquisite gifts and do not believe in curating anything ordinary as there is nothing personal about standardisation. A personalised gift is not a run-off-the-mill gift that is store bought. We go beyond that and make an effort to understand the person the gift is for and the things they use in their daily life. There are also some Co-Originality specials – our own range of gifting boxes such as Lego frames, perfumes, apparel and cufflinks, among others.
What goes behind personalising a gift to individual taste and preferences?
The main aim is to understand the interests of the recipient – like what they like to do and use every day. We have a questionnaire which the client answers; that helps us get hints about their personal tastes and preferences. There is also a lot of exchange of ideas and options before the final decision is made. We are also ready to take on a challenge and do something that has not been done before.
What have you learnt in this process about choices of people in the UAE?
UAE is such a cultural pot of different ethnicities. Each person has their own individual thought process. We try our best to understand what they want and deliver it to them in the most beautiful way possible.
Who are your customers?
We have clients ranging from real estate professionals and event planners to new moms. Then there are festive gifts that people choose from us for their loved ones. Diwali this year was a busy time for us as we have both corporate and personal gift business.
How did you develop the idea for the subscription series?
While curating gift boxes, we realised that a lot of people taking interest in our boxes for others didn’t actually have the option or the time to self-indulge. And that’s when we thought, ‘why not offer them an option to gift themselves?’ We call it the Dubai Discovery Subscription series and it has four categories, which are: Baby, Child, Health and Lifestyle.
What can your customers expect from the boxes they receive?
In each category, we have collaborated with well-established and upcoming brands to curate gift boxes. For instance, if someone signs up for the health series category, then each month they receive a gift box from one of our partner health brands. So, one month you could receive a gift box from a company that specialises in yoga and meditation, the next month from one that focuses on health foods, and so on.
As mumpreneurs, do you have any advice to fellow moms about plunging into business while handling kids and home?
We both have two kids each. In fact, Prerna had her second baby only a few days ago. So, we feel there is never a good time to start being a mumpreneur and it is never easy. It is all about dedication and time management. We definitely miss out on many things as a parent that a stay at home mom might not, but that is a choice we have made and as it goes with parenting there is no right or wrong. It is just what’s right for you as a mum.