Entrepreneurs in Thiruvananthapuram find a stable clientele for their handmade hair accessories

Some hair accessories from The Bow Story directed by Sanjana JS | Photo credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

When Kottayam-based mother-of-three Asha Varghese was looking for some cool hair accessories for her twin daughters, Sarah and Bella, Instagram helped her. She stumbled across Sanjana JS’s handmade hair accessories online store, The Bow Story. “I have been his client for almost two years now. I even ordered color-matched floral accessories such as tiaras and pin clips for my family members for a wedding,” says Asha. Sanjana is one of the entrepreneurs in Thiruvananthapuram who makes custom made hair accessories for customers of all ages.

Sanjana JS with her daughter Nainika

Sanjana JS with her daughter Nainika | Photo credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Hair bows on the theme of characters like Snow White or Little Mermaid, mother-daughter combo sets of the same color or the same theme, birthday and party specials, tiaras for weddings, flowery headpieces, ruffled bows… we is spoiled for choice surfing the social media pages of these entrepreneurs.

Serendipity and an innate skill for craftsmanship and color helped these entrepreneurs win customers. When Sanjana struggled to buy hair accessories for her six-month-old daughter during the pandemic-induced lockdown, she turned to her knack for crafts to make accessories at home. YouTube tutorials came to his rescue to hone his skills. “As the news spread, my friends and family wanted me to do it for them too,” said Sanjana, 27, a resident of Nettayam. Thus was born The Bow Story (@the_bow_story) in 2020.

Rui's hair accessories managed by Nazreen Najeeb

Rui’s hair accessories held by Nazreen Najeeb | Photo credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Nazreen Najeeb also became an entrepreneur during confinement. A former student of the National Institute of Fashion Technology, she worked in a boutique in Kottayam. After quitting her job in December 2020, she launched Rui (@rui.cares) in January 2021.

Nazreen Najeeb, who leads Rui

Nazreen Najeeb, who runs Rui | Photo credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Meanwhile, Sreedevi’s boutique, My Little Bow Shop (@mylittlebowshop_bysreedevi) is an offshoot of her online jewelry and accessories boutique, Tempting Factors By Sreedevi, which launched four years ago. “Some of my regular customers asked me if I had any accessories for children. That’s what prompted me to launch my brand in January,” says Sreedevi, 27.

While much of their business is done through Instagram or Facebook, these entrepreneurs are also regulars at the city’s sales and exhibitions. Products are imaginative and include hair bands, bows, clips, scrunchies, tiaras, wraps and crowns in myriad designs and color combinations.

Sreedevi G Nair

Sreedevi G Nair | Photo credit: special arrangement

While Sanjana and Sreedevi offer personalized products, Nazreen, 27, a former lecturer, has a stock of hand-embroidered scrunchie ribbons, pinwheel bows, headbands, sailor bows and bunny bows. “I’ve done bridal wear with hand embroidery, so I’ve incorporated that into the accessories,” Nazreen explains, adding, “We have a collection with tie-and-dye fabric, and even a made with turmeric and tea in the tie-and-dye method.

Scrunchies from My Little Bow Shop

My Little Bow Shop Brand Scrunchies | Photo credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

All ship the accessories across India. Prices start from ₹50 per piece. Leather, soft nylon and elastic are also used to make accessories. Beads, beads, flowers, stars, charms, etc. are used as embellishments.

David R. Brewer