A quirkier edge
Entrepreneur Natasha Jain’s online store Bent Chair offers eye-catching furniture and home décor items that come with a creative twist, says Anupma Mishra
- Published 11.12.16
Imagine a toaster that doesn’t toast but is actually a teapot that promises many steaming cups of tea. Or a horse-drawn carriage to hold your favourite wine bottle and cheese and even faux botanics to decorate your home. Well, if you like these imageries then it’s time to click on the brand new interiors portal, Bent Chair.
Bending the rules of dressing up homes, this avant-garde online store lets you buy everything imaginable (and unimaginable). Known for its quirky and out-of-the-box designs, the website is a one-stop destination to cater to all your furnishing needs. So, from funky wine holders to teapots designed as typewriters and dogs, down to offbeat soft furnishings such as sofa cushions with bold 3D prints, the brand offers everything with a twist.
Launched just four months ago, the brand has already broken even and, now, buoyed by its success, 28-year-old Natasha Jain — co-founder of Bent Chair — is going ahead full steam to expand her business. She’s just bought a 3,000sqft studio in Gurgaon to display her collection and has set out to promote her brand vigorously by holding pop-ups in Delhi. “We have recently gone global, which means that we can ship our products across the world,” she says with unflinching confidence.
Currently operating out of Delhi, Bent Chair also partners with various home décor labels listed under the Sale icon on the website. “We don’t charge any upfront cost for listing but take a commission every time an item is sold though our website,” says Jain. Prices start at a modest Rs 500 and go up to around Rs 70,000. The brand also offers bespoke services.
Click to experience a whole range of furniture and home décor accessories. You can browse through the vast inventory of zany furniture pieces made in metal, poly-resin and wood that score high on functionality as well as design.
For those who like to give their inner spaces an edge with Indian textiles, there are handcrafted chairs made in wool, mohair and velvet using the rug-weaving technique originated in Bhadohi, Uttar Pradesh. One of the eye-catching pieces is the Yangon Bookshelf that has been given a contemporary look with tempered glass and a nest-like stainless steel frame in brass finish.
“I always loved the idea of doing up homes. I started by informally doing the interiors of the homes of my family and friends. That’s when the idea of launching my own start-up struck me,” says Jain, who lived in the US for nine years before shifting base to Delhi. A Stanford graduate with a Masters in Management Science Engineering, Jain dabbled in variety of online business ventures before the creativity bug hit her.
“I launched the Fresh Mentors Initiative in 2012 while I was still in the US,” says Jain. “It was an online college-mentoring platform to help college applicants get live one-to-one video interactions with students currently pursuing their degrees in the form of 30-minute video chats,” she says. Back in India in 2014, Jain launched an online venture, a payment app called Ruplee that enables one to pay directly through smartphones.
Once she made up her mind on what to do next, her father, Neeraj Jain, a three-time recipient of the Red Dot Design Award — a prestigious international award for product design — immediately came on board to look after the brand’s in house furniture label called 9 Design that she set up in Ambala last year. “We have a 50,000sqft design and manufacturing facility in Ambala where we have employed local artisans through a co-operative business ownership model,” she says. While her father takes care of designing the furniture, she curates home décor accessories from across the country as well as from China, Europe and Thailand.
Jain has also worked for popular restaurants such as Punjab Grill. Her beau, Priyank Sukhija, a Delhi-based restaurateur, banks on her skills to curate bar stools, chesterfield sofas and even contemporary pieces with leather detailing for his restaurants.
The brand keeps adding to its existing collection every four weeks. “We have just added stoneware to our décor section,” she says. Check out the stone platters with traditional Japanese Tokusa designs. Its repertoire now also extends to dinnerware in a huge range of ceramic and glass that’s sold by the piece.
So, let your imagination run free and go whimsical, funky or sedate at a click of a button.