Meet the Maker: Uzma Ahmedi – Kya Cheez Hai!

Fun-loving, striking, unique, young, original, quirky, colourful, vibrant, Indian, and joyously-functional are a few of the words that this founder, Uzma used to describe Kya Cheez Hai!. Let’s get to know the products and person behind the Bangalore-based Kya Cheez Hai! better.

Fun-loving, striking, unique, young, original, quirky, colourful, vibrant, Indian, and joyously-functional are a few of the words that this Maker used to describe Kya Cheez Hai!. Let’s get to know the products and people behind the Bangalore-based Kya Cheez Hai! better. We spoke with Uzma, the founder.     


How many (if more than one) members make up your team?

Kya Cheez Hai! is Uzma – founder, creator, designer, and illustrator. She is 38 years old. Uzma is assisted by Shrusthi, who is the inventory manager and DTP artist. Shrusthi is 20 years old.

What were you doing before you started doing this?

I was freelancing as a furniture designer. Before that, I had a job at the design firm.

Why did you choose to do what you do?

The lack of availability of well-designed, simple, and fun products for everyday use motivated me to explore the idea of fulfilling this need because I always ended up customising my gifts and giveaways. I felt I could bring this skill set to delivering better products through Kya Cheez Hai!  

We are fascinated by names. What’s the story behind your brand name?

Kya Cheez Hai! is here to deliver products that are simple, unique, fun, and very functional. Yes, they solve a simple need, but one look at them makes you fall for their cuteness and simplicity. As a result, you are pleasantly surprised when you see the functional aspect of the product and how extraordinary it looks. This makes you go, “Wow!” This Wow-ness is what we wanted to bring into the name, in Hindi. Thus, the expression of exclamation – Kya Cheez Hai! became our name and signature.

Which are your best selling products?

Our mobile holder, coasters, mouse-pads, wrist band pen drives, over the door hooks, carabiner keychains, magnets, bookmarks, key hangers, and notebooks are super-popular with our audience.  

What kind of people do you create your products for?

Young, between 15-35 years old, people who enjoy the fun of the pun in their lives with a touch of great design, energizing vibrancy, and gorgeous colour. In short, we’re for tasteful folk who love themselves and strive to live the “WOW” life.

What are the challenges you face in connection with achieving your goals?

We grapple daily with the challenges of competition from cheaper Chinese goods, plagiarised designs, taxation, inflation of raw material costs, and insensitive customers that do not understand the struggles that one has to endure to run and sustain a small brand in an environment and economy that favours big enterprises.

Where do you see your brand three years from now?

It is our endeavour to take Kya Cheez Hai! to people all over the world. We want to be available in many countries. We’d like to be the Pylones of India – Pylones is a much-loved French brand of gift products.   

What would you be doing if you weren’t doing this?

No idea! Truth be told, I can’t really think of not doing this. Still, if I must answer this question, I’d say I’d be teaching design or freelancing as a furniture/accessory/interior designer.

Visit the Kya Cheez Hai! Shop on Engrave.

Avinash Subramaniam

Avinash has been an advertising writer, fiction writer, poetry writer, freelance writer and serial wronger. Other roles he has been in include those of an editor, brand builder, and teacher. His interests include advertising, scrabble, body building, chess, cinema, making money, reading, internet culture, cricket, photography. To hear him air his thoughts, follow him on Twitter @armchairexpert.

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