An Interview with Pet Product Entrepreneur: Gauree Pai

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India Pet Care Market has seen a rise in double digits. New innovations and unique products are now being made available for pets. Almost everything available for humans from clothing to accessories and food to furniture is now found in pet stores custom made for dogs and cats. One such product is a scarf. Scarf for pets are nothing but an added fashion statement and considering the fact that pet parents want the best clothing and accessories for their pets, scarves definitely make a good choice. Using the same concept, Gauree Pai started ‘Amaari Petwear’ which manufactures and designs custom made scarves for dogs and cats.

Fiona Vaz talks to Gauree Pai, Founder of Amaari Petwear, about how she developed the idea of scarf for pets and her story behind the business being recognized from India to a global platform.

How did you develop the idea of Scarf for pets?

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Amaari is my 7-month-old golden retriever. She was a breeder’s reject because she has bad kidneys. We fell in love with her from day one and despite being warned about the extra efforts we would need take for her dietary requirements, regular medical check-up etc. we decide to go ahead with her adoption.

It was her birthday in a few days and I was confused, as to how can I make this day special for her? It was then that I decided I would make her a scarf unlike any of those available in the market and personalise it with her name. A scarf that was comfortable, colourful and stylish; one that even I would be proud to wear!

How did others know about your scarf designs?

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On her birthday, I uploaded photos of Amaari wearing her new personalised scarf on social media. I got a lot of likes and inquiries from friends as to whether I could make the same for their pets too. To my surprise, I also got inquiries from friends who didn’t own pets as to whether I could make similar scarves for them to wear with their dress and tops.

That’s when I realised that not only was there was a market for my handcrafted pet scarves but I could also make them for pet parents/ siblings so that they could twin with their furry babies! And it was then the seeds of my startup “AMAARI” were sowed!

Is it just for dogs or other animals too?

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These handmade scarves are for dogs as well as cats, across all breeds and sizes. I have customized some even for rabbits. They are also worn by human adults, children and even toddlers. The scarves come in 4 sizes which cater to neck sizes from 8 to 22 inches. We also custom to make scarves if your pet is larger or smaller than our standard sizes. One of which was the one, I made for Simba, a Rottweiler who has a 34-inch neck size.

Which material is the scarf made of?

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I have a summer scarf collection which has vibrant prints with pompoms as well as a celebration scarf collection which is perfect for festivals and weddings. These scarves are made from a variety of fabrics like soft silk, tussar silk, modal silk, cotton mull, brocade, etc. They are embellished with pompoms, sequence or coloured stones and are personalised with the pet’s name which is hand embroidered on them. They have a button fastening, making it light-weight and comfortable for pets to wear for longer hours.

How much is the cost per scarf?

The scarves are for Rs1000 each. It’s an additional Rs. 150 for the pet’s name to be personalised with hand embroidery on the scarf.

In which parts of the country has your business expanded to?

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Amaari Petwear was started a year back. I don’t supply scarves to any stores nor do I sell online. The only sales I get are through word of mouth or by participating in pet-centric exhibitions. Over the past year, I have has orders coming in from Mumbai as well as all parts of India be it Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Pune, Nagpur, Kolkatta and even Shillong.

How did you reach globally?

As sales increased, I realised while a lot of customers bought the scarves for their pets while others said it was the perfect gifting idea since it wasn’t directed to any individual in the family they were visiting but to the single most important member of that family i.e. their pet!! Soon I got orders from people abroad who had already been gifted an Amaari scarf. They, in turn, wanted to gift them to their friends and families since these scarves were unique from what was available in the stores overseas and handmade & personalised products are valued more for the effort it takes to make them.

Which part of the world do you plan to expand the business?

I went for a holiday to London and Scotland, this March. I noticed while there were a lot of pet dogs & cats in the UK, none of the pet stores sold scarves like the ones we make. Pet owners worldwide, especially those from the UK love to spoil their pets and buy gifts for them. Appreciating the fact, I sold a few scarfs in London and received a positive response. So I thought why not try to tap this market. On 2nd June a stall would be up at the Gunnersbury Park Fun Dog Show from 11 am – 5 pm.

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About the Author: Fiona Vaz

Passionate about writing, Fiona is best known for her features and abstract writing. A sports lover, an avid shopaholic and a travel freak, Fiona expresses thoughts through words and considers herself totally opinionated, and rightfully so!

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