Started by 27-year-old Bhavna Bahri and 29-year-old Samarth Mungali as a design initiative in the scenic valley of Dehradun, The Tadpole Store was launched in 2011.
We chatted with these two young and talented entrepreneurs about their love for design concepts and introducing us to a world of good design.
Armed with a Post Graduate Diploma in Strategic Design Management from National Institute of Design Ahmedabad and Bachelors in Commerce from Delhi University, Bhavna has more than 7 years of experience in Communication design and Branding.
She has worked on several international assignments in the Middle East and has been featured by Femina and Rediff Business for her design and entrepreneurial endeavours. She has also been a finalist of the “power of ideas” and is the co-founder at No Formulae and Tadpole.
Samarth holds a Bachelors Degree in Electronics Communication Engineering from Delhi College of Engineering and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Strategic Design Management from National Institute of Design.
With 4 years of experience as an entrepreneur and 2 years in the IT industry, Samarth has been recognised for his design and entrepreneurial concepts that have earned him Philips Simplicity Challenge Award, Pride of NID, Eureka Business Plan Challenge, IIPC, etc. He is the co-founder of No formulae (a design innovation firm) and Tadpole.
Tadpole was started with this objective of bringing the good design to everyone. Just as everyone knows what a doctor or engineer does, Bhavna and Samarth wanted the society to appreciate and understand good design and talented designers.
Tadpole stands for “The Academy of Design Promotion through Observation, Learning and Exploration” and has been conducting workshops, exhibitions and lectures on various design disciplines.
“From our experience, we observed that people around us were oblivious to the meaning and value of “design”. The “design” that we learnt and were practising in our studio was restricted to corporates and classrooms. We wanted to take the design to the people. To let society experience and be touched and transformed by design,” explains Bhavna.
While working on Tadpole, Bhavna and Samarth wanted to bring some design goodness to the people of India, which usually gets lost due to unavailability or difficulty of proper channels. This is one of their endeavours to promote design and designers amongst the people of India and bring all of them a little closer to each other.
Samarth further adds, “We bring our customers one step closer to quenching their thirst for creative designer products. They can interact with the designers, view, comment, review, buy their designs and get closer to the best talent in the country along with owning the best-designed goods.”
“We did not allocate a fixed budget for the venture at its commencement, but we did pool in most of the resources that we had to see its success. As most of the work was done in-house by our team, our investment was more on a time and effort scale, explains Bhava.
Through design Bhavna and Samarth wanted to bring in a transformation and coined Tadpole with a reference to one of nature’s greatest transforming creature.
“Tadpole stands for “The Academy of Design Promotion through Observation, Learning and Exploration”. When we thought of creating an online platform to spread the Goodness of Design and make it accessible to all, Tadpole Store was the obvious choice,” smiles Samarth.
The online market is flooded with a lot of websites trying to retail anything and everything loosely labelled as “design” and “designer”. Coming from the design community both Bhavna and Samarth felt that it was their responsibility to create a separate space for Design – specifically Good Design.
She says, “We strongly stick to our focus of good design and are witnessing the fruits of creating the niche platform for good design. It’s encouraging when we get customer feedback such as – ‘Tadpole Store is the only website that is all about design’ or when a designer tells us ‘Your site is the only online shopping site, which doesn’t have the clutter of cheap Indian looking products. And I hope in future the standard of designers or products will be consistent on Tadpole’.”
To a discerning buyer, a single visit to Tadpole Store is sufficient to experience the quality and class of Products and Designs as compared to any other website.
She further adds, “Being practitioners of designs ourselves we understand how best can design be presented and experienced and we keep working towards bringing the best-designed products to our customers along with an immersive design experience.”
What makes The Tadpole Store unique?
Tadpole Store is starkly different from its competitors due to its authentic and exclusive product range that are designed by the designers selling them.
“Our products, unlike our competitors, are not sourced, handmade, homemade, craft, etc. We ensure that the products come directly from its creator and are of utmost quality. The designers selling at Tadpole Store are handpicked by our team to ensure the quality and uniqueness of products being sold,” mentions Samarth.
All the designers retailing at Tadpole Store are professional Designers and not craftsmen, artisans or resellers. Hence most of the products at Tadpole Store are not easily available in the market and thus can only be purchased online at Tadpole Store.
He further adds, “All our competitors operate with the sole motive of selling anything and everything. However, Tadpole Store strictly adheres to its objective of offering authentic design products with an immersive design experience.”
Tadpole Store’s special features such a “Behind the Scene “ – that showcases the evolution of the design and “Design Diaries” – delving more about the Designer give their customers an opportunity to not only purchase authentic designer products, but also get exposed to the process of design and learn more about design and the designers.
Such an experience enhances the value of a product manifolds by inculcating interest and involvement; thus, ultimately increasing the chances of a sale of such exclusive and niche products.
Bhavna explains, “Our intention of creating Tadpole Store is to provide designers with a platform whereby their creativity does not get caught up in handling the non- creative challenges or running their own show.”
So the Tadpole Store provides designers with the platform with complete freedom and independence to run their business, to present, describe and price their product as well.
Tadpole Store handles the sales, marketing, logistics and customer follow-ups so that these designs stay focused on Designing better and more delightful products.
Tadpole Store is not an online version of a typical design retail store where they stock products and sell them with their own markups. It is, in fact, a platform where designers sell their own products themselves, with their own presentation.
“We work in a model where the designer is free to decide the price of his product, offer discounts etc. Tadpole Store only charges a 15% commission on the sale of the product. Most of the products showcased on Tadpole Store are ready made; however, we do encourage customizations. In apparel especially a lot of time the designer’s tailor fit the garment as per the customer’s needs,” adds Samarth.
Tadpole Store sole mission is to spread the goodness of design, as that happens through authentic, quality design products. Bhavna and Samarth carefully choose their designers and their products so that they are certain that the products offered to their customer are of highest quality.
She adds, “Our designers understand how integral customer delight is in every design process and take utmost care in crafting every piece. Additionally, we have policies to ensure product quality and handle returns and refunds.”
“The Journey has been more exciting than we anticipated; we started getting orders within the first week of our launch and made our first international sale in the first month itself. From a modest 5 designers that we started with, today we have over 40 designers associated with Tadpole Store”, recalls Bhavna.
Just as no design is permanent, and like a living being all designerly creations have the scope of change with the changing context Tadpole Store too is evolving.
She further adds, “We are constantly working to improve and refine Tadpole Store, aiming towards a delightful creation that successfully answers the need to “spread the goodness of design”
Our pool of designers and products is growing. We are constantly improving with the feedback we are getting from out customers and the designers. “
You’ll be spoilt for choices with a range of items that you can pick up from the Tadpole Store. There are products that range from designer wear for men and women, innovative designs for Furniture and Interior, Art & Photography, Lifestyle & Accessory, Office Stationery and Publications.
2 Municipal Road,
Dehradun – 248001
Phone: +91 135 2716773
Monday to Friday 10 am to 6 pm
You can get live updates on the products and activities of Tadpole Store by connecting with them on: