Meet the Maker: Shamira Anand – The Tiny Elves
“We are The Tiny Elves and we make personalized products to preserve every wonderful memory.” – Shamira Anand, Founder, The Tiny Elves
Our Makers are talented people. We meet them every week. They share their stories with us. We bring them to you. Every week. This week’s Maker is the very adorable and memorable The Tiny Elves. Let’s get acquainted.
Where are you located?
We are located at Churchgate, Mumbai, right opposite the Cricket Club of India.
How many (if more than one) members make up your team?
My products are handmade by me. Certain times, products that require framing or cutting of wood are outsoured to others, who, if I may add, I had to train when I began working with them.
What were you doing before you started doing this?
I was a fashion designer. I was working part-time for a company called Les Indiennes. It was based in Hudson NY, USA.
Why did you choose to do what you do?
It all started with a gift I made for a Batman fan (my newphew), which he loved. I wanted to make something unique, something we couldn’t buy off a shelf. This encouraged me to start doing it proffesionally. Gradually, one thing led to another, and here we are.
We are fascinated by names. What’s the story behind your brand name?
I wanted something unique, a name that no one had, and also something peppy for the kids to remember. I used to read the story The Elves and The Shoemaker to my little girl – about how the little elves helped the shoemaker. Since this story was famous among kids, I decided to choose The Tiny Elves and have it trademarked.
Which are your best selling products?
- The Alphabet Name plaque (a large size alphabet with the childs name placed at the centre).
- The Superhero Alphabet ( a self-standing alphabet with a superhero comic of your choice decouped on it and a lego sitting on the lines of the alphabet).
- The Memory Frame (a frame which contains all your new born’s firsts, like their shoes, swaddle, mittens, etc., whatever the client wishes to preserve)
What kind of people do you create your products for?
My clients mostly consist of mothers wanting to do up their kid’s room or nursery, or clients who wish to gift others unique products that are personalised for them.
What are the challenges you face in connection with achieving your goals?
It was a task to train my outsourced staff to adhere to my requirements. They were used to very basic and simple lines of work, and here I was trying to get them to change their mindset and concentrate on things like finishing (which I am very picky about) and various designs that I wanted crafted to my requirements. My initial setup was what challenged me the most. Thereafter, everything was great. I’ve been blessed to have wonderful clients who have always loved and appreciated my work and returned for more.
Where do you see your brand three years from now?
We have already started to branch out into doing various other home décor items, which are not centred on children’s products.
We have had requests where we have made personalized items for anniversaries, 50th birthdays, etc.
We have also branched out into doing return gifts for various occasions.
Hopefully, in three years, our elves will be busy making a lot more than just children’s items.
What would you be doing if you weren’t doing this?
I’d be a stay at home mom if I wasn’t doing this. Not that that’s a bad thing, but I want my child to learn the importance of earning her own money.
Initially, she wasn’t very happy. She was under the impression that only fathers go to office and moms stay at home. But when she saw what all I do, she started to get very excited and happy and does love helping me out at times, too.