This is a tale of two sons named Meer Ashfaq and Meer Arif. And it’s a happy, inspirational tale that will make you proud. Channapatna Toys is not a new business, but it is a new brand! A brand that has seen the far-reaching power of the eCommerce world.
The Meer brothers are first-generational digital entrepreneurs who have decided to revive enthusiasm for their traditional handicrafts. Here is the story of how Channapatna Toys went from selling in a small village to selling all over the country!
A bit about Channapatna Toys
Channapatna Toys is an artisan brand for handmade, sustainable, eco-friendly wooden toys for children. For 200 years, artisans have churned out these toys bringing joy into the lives of children in their home state of Karnataka.
This brand is now owned, run and managed by Meeran Art and Crafts Company (established by the two brothers. They are the ones who made the decision to expand their presence online.
“Our generation of adults do not choose our forefather’s handcraft profession because of extremely low income and profit. It was a dying art. But we decided to give it a chance to thrive. This is when we shifted from just offline to online. Now our story can be heard by customers all over the country. We see parents buying our handmade toys even from cities and metros”
Why are these toys so loved?
The toy industry sees extreme success in any part of the world. The Indian toy industry especially is among the fastest-growing globally, projected to reach $3 Bn by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 12% between 2022-28.
Want to be a part of this business? Here’s a friendly guide on how to Sell Toys Online and Start a Successful Business
But what does Channapatna Toys bring to the table?
They make traditionally Indian toys that stimulate and excite wide-eyed children. The toys are made from soft ivory wood or ‘hale mara’, a particularly soft kind of wood that is majorly used in the production of wooden toys.
Children often tend to put things in their mouths. But these toys are painted with toxic-free and lead-free paint that won’t harm the children.
In a world of plastic toys that just contribute to increasing waste and pollution, these wooden toys are bringing back the joy of the simpler things in life.
“Our online store selection includes wooden rattles, egg shakers, neem wood teethers, pull-along toys, roly-poly toys, baby walkers, ABC and number counting toys, colour and shape sorter puzzles, wooden spinning tops and stacking and balancing toys. For preschoolers, we have memory games, nesting dolls, peg dolls, puzzles, 3D puzzles, kitchen playsets, vehicle toys, art & craft DIY kits, activity toys, brain development toys, learning toys, pretend play toys, open-ended toys and more.”
A 200-year-old business revived
Meer and Meer’s grandfather and father are still very involved in the manufacture of the toys. Their family also faced similar challenges that traditional artisans in India usually do.
Some examples are:
- Scaling up successfully
- Setting market competitive prices
- Keeping generational traditions alive
But the sons decided to go one step ahead. They were determined to not let their family tradition die out. Growing up as a part of Digital India, the Meer brothers decided to let the online world do its magic!
Once they opened up their online store on Instamojo, they immediately saw a few benefits:
- Customers all over the country
- Seeing increased and robust demand
- Being able to see business growth, without having to relocate
- Easy to manage
Here are some things we loved about their store!
See how they have highlighted their brand story by adding lots of images and text.
They also have a well-structured navigation for their multiple categories.
Their online store also has an integrated blog where they visually take you through the process of handcrafting these beautiful and brightly coloured toys!
Plus: Each product page of their store is well-defined with informative product descriptions!
Challenges first-generation artisans face
Even though Channapatna Toys is seeing incredible growth and new customer bases after shifting online. It hasn’t been easy.
In a world where grabbing attention is becoming increasingly more difficult, there are some challenges that the Meer brothers face.
Their biggest pain points remain:
- Learning the ropes of social media
- Paid ads and their success
- Getting into influencer marketing
- Understanding the Search Console and technical issues of a website
If you are also a small business, you might relate to the Meer Brothers. We won’t say it’s easy, but there are things that you can do:
1. Read, read and read.
You can subscribe to our business newsletter which frequently discusses trending economic and industrial concepts. You can also get the information and resources you need from our business growth blog.
2. A/B testing
Always test and analyse your efforts to see what methods are working and what aren’t. From choosing the best social media platform to choosing paid methods of advertising, always set a short duration for experimentation. And then change your method accordingly.
3. Build a community
For handmade businesses, word-of-mouth marketing is the most effective way. Loyal customers will always refer to your business. You can encourage more sales by
- Asking customers to leave testimonials on their social media
- Starting a referral program
Instamojo as Channapatna Toys’ chosen eCommerce platform
The reasons were three-fold:
As first-generation digital entrepreneurs, they needed the process to be simple. And with Instamojo and its all-encompassing dashboard, they could manage everything they wanted easily. From order management, inventory management, analytics, discounts to shipping – all in one place.
2. Zero-coding required
They did not need to learn coding. As a premium Instamojo subscriber, they had a fully functioning online store which they could completely customise and personalise without having to type in a single piece of code.
3. Marketing was easy
With features like product bundles, discounts, integrating blogs and videos, Builder, and testimonials, the Meer brothers could tell their story to the world.
Just like Channapatna Toys, do you want to continue your family heritage? Start with Instamojo for free.