Uncommon entrepreneur Shatakshi Khaitan has created a niche for her passion in the form of her brand Creative Middle. This feature seeks to highlight the insights into this memorable journey that exudes inspiration in those who read it.
The very affable and courteous Shatakshi is a trained fashion designer, presently working on multiple design consultancy projects, but it is her stationery brand Creative Middle that is creating waves in its own way.
Shatakshi narrates the concept behind the brand –
‘Creative Middle stands for all things design and creativity related. I wanted a name that can include more than stationery products as it grows.
Also, I have usually taken the middle route in a situation, and believe things are not just black and white- they are grey, and thus it felt personal and authentic to include the term ‘Middle’.’
Creative Middle’s best sellers are our gift tags, both during festive and non-festive seasons. The gift tags come in sets of twelve to twenty-four, and at pocket friendly prices. These are accompanied with our gifting accessories- notecards and greeting cards.
We are in the process of launching our stationery gift sets and adding new product variety in the coming month.
The genesis of Creative Middle
A stationery and craft lover, and Shatakshi’s need for non-generic gift wrapping materials and pretty yet affordable stationery products- led to the birth of Creative Middle. She reminisces, ‘At the start of 2017 I started researching and experiencing with various formats and designs for products best suited to my needs. All of this hard-work led to the first collection in May, and ever since we have added new designs and products. Our second biggest collection is launching in December.’.
The biggest milestone was to actually start the brand last May. The idea was on my mind for a while in various forms, but the actualisation of these products is a big personal achievement.
The inspiration for Creative Middle:
To build a brand is to build an entire life around it. Shatakshi names her sources of inspiration, among which are the creative bloggers she has been following since high school!
They are women who have a unique voice and have been able to monetize their passion for design. Shatakshi admits that she strives to do the same via Creative Middle, a brand that creates happiness.
She adds, when it comes to the products at Creative Middle- I get inspired from anything that brings a smile. For example, our bestselling graphic- the confetti- is inspired from my love for desserts. A set of fresh flowers around the house, random wall colours, inspiring quotes- all of these are part of my current inspiration board.
The building of the brand – the highlights of the journey so far.
Brand building is an everyday journey. One important factor is being authentic- it’s difficult for an introvert entrepreneur like me- but being authentic has led me to connect more deeply with customers and contemporaries alike. There are over ten other companies doing something alike- but authenticity in product making and in our brand voice is what makesCreative Middle stand apart, in my opinion.
The USP of Creative Middle is that our products are both utilitarian and appealing to the eyes. Our keywords when designing any product are ease and happiness. We strive for our products to make your work life and personal life easy, while brightening your day. For example, our notecards are easy to write on, pocket friendly, and bringing back the emotion inducing culture of snail-mail.
Creative Middle’s floral collection, including greeting cards and journals, is a favourite of our Kolkata customers.
Learning lessons from the marketplace
Shatakshi is happy that the market has accepted Creative Middle’s products well.
She admits, There is always a nervous anticipation of acceptance when introducing a new product, especially for a niche like stationery and gifting, but thankfully we have been able to achieve a better understanding of our customers.
One important factor is to know your target customer- there may be more than one type for the various selling retail outlets. For example, what sells well on a particular marketplace might differ from what sells better on your own website. Each outlet has their own bestseller.
Advice for budding entrepreneurs
One requires passion and an unending will, to pursue a similar career. There will be times when you want to give up, but always remember your ‘why’ and that will motivate you, and keep you on the right track.
Entrepreneurs must listen to their gut, it’s often a healthy mix of logical thinking and feelings.
Secondly, always prototype your product/idea. There are great sounding ideas which end up being unfeasible, and there are difficult ideas which end up being much easier. When your prototype/ sample you get a hands-on knowledge of the nitty-gritties.
To combine creativity, passion and keen business acumen yields results such as Creative Middle. Team Uncommon Box wishes Shatakshi and her brand Creative Middle a brilliant future.
You can follow Creative Middle at:
More about the brand.
They have a specialized range of planners, notebooks, greeting cards, notecards, checklist pads, gift tags and gift sets. The prices range from Rs.85 to Rs.1650.
Their product range includes Social Media Planner, Blog Planner, Indian Wedding Planner, Small Business Planner, along with weekly and daily planners. These have been designed with focus on modern careers and lifestyles of urban women. They help keep life organized, and their followers are in love with the colour story.
Presently the notebooks have three concurrent themes- modern floral art photography, inspiring quotes, and geometric graphics. They are available in both plain page and lined page variations. The notebooks have a mix of binding styles to suite personal comfort- perfect binding, wiro binding and saddle stitch binding.
You can follow “THE UNCOMMON BOX” at the following social channels