We can’t remember the amount of times we said ‘oh cool’ while interviewing the owner of a website you probably have stumbled upon, The Flintstop. In big smiles, we were welcomed into Tejas Jhaveri’s home and were immediately shot with a blast of positive energy. This is the first time we had met Tejas and the chirpy personality he is, it’s difficult not to smile around him.
For those unaware of the Flintstop, it’s an online store with the quirkiest of items that you want and find nowhere else. Better still, the online portal will make you want to buy things you may not even need but still want. Like the owner says himself, “we have something for everyone”. The store is a must-visit.
Clad in a white linen shirt and jeans, we couldn’t help but crack up at the sight of Tejas’s feet. They looked comfortably warm in a pair of quirky blue socks, one of many off-the-wall graphic pair of socks Tejas owns. We couldn’t help but want to know more about this high-powered individual and we just got right to it.
WM: Tell us the USP of your website.
TJ: We have something for everyone. Whether you are an alcoholic, or a gambler or a house wife, a techie or someone who just loves quirk, we’ve got something for you. For example, if my maid hasn’t come in today, we have a robot vacuum cleaner that could clean the house after you set a time for it. Also, for people who can’t wake up, we have a running alarm clock. You’ll have to chase it around and so you wake up in the process. Cool eh? For an alcoholic, we have a lot of games for them too like the drinking roulette. (Laughs)
WM: You look like someone who would want a shiny new toy every day. Tell us a little more about you.
TJ: Once I got done with my Bachelors in Management Studies and my Masters in Commerce I worked with an HR firm for a year. Lots to learn and I got to interact with various people at various interviews that I assisted my boss for. But, that wasn’t something I wanted to do for good. I was always a techie and a toy guy since I was a kid. Even now, I am more fascinated than my ten-year-old sister when it comes to toys and candy shops.
WM: What inspired you to start the Flintstop?
TJ: I went to Honk Kong for an exhibition on electronics, tech and all sorts of products actually and I would love to buy all those products but they weren’t available here so I saw a gap in the market in India and took the opportunity to start something cool. I stared it in October, 2013.
WM: How has your journey been with Flintstop?
TJ: So, when it started we were working out of my room and I was my only employee for the first one and a half years. I used to do the uploading myself, the PR, the deliveries and all sort of things. Eventually after that we managed to hire two interns and then we got an office. Today, we’ve got a team of thirteen and it’s still growing. The numbers of products increase too. We have roughly four hundred products on our catalog and every week almost a new product is added.
WM: How do you’ll decide upon a particular product to sell on your website?
TJ: Firstly, we see a problem and then think of products that help solve it like the alarm clock for someone who can’t wake up or the Wi-Fi doorbell that you put outside your house. You can connect it to the router of your house and every time the doorbell rings you will get a notification. You could even speak to the person outside. The best part is that it allows me to even open up the door if I’m feeling too lazy.
WM: Do you know who your customers are?
TJ: Yes ofcourse, we sell in terms of B2B and B2C and we also sell on our website and sites like Flipkart, Amazon and over 63 market places. We also do corporate gifting and exhibitions. Some of our customers include companies like Etihad Airways, Viacom18, etc.
WM: What about pop-ups?
TJ: Oh yes! We have done roughly abut eighty-five exhibitions and among many have been pop-ups like Lil Flea and Kitsch Mandi.
WM: Do you think it helps to do these exhibitions?
TJ: Yes, for sure. My products are very interactive. You need to see them and feel them. These exhibitions are the only place where my customers can experience my products before buying them.
WM: Let’s talk about you. What sort of dresser would you call yourself?
TJ: So, two years back I wasn’t an experimental dresser. It has changed over time with influence from friends and especially my mom. She is into fashion and she’ll send me pictures of what I could wear and stuff. So, I have slowly started to dress quirky.
WM: What is that one thing you’d like to buy from your store right this minute?
TJ: I would buy the Iron man Arc Reactor t-shirt.
WM: What are the three quirkiest of pieces you own in terms of clothing?
TJ: These funky socks that some like and some make fun of. I also have this peachy shirt that wouldn’t have bought if my mom hadn’t forced me to buy it and a t-shirt with lightning rays.
WM: How does your store mirror your personality?
TJ: I have always been a toy and tech geek. I loved opening stuff and finding out how they’re made and stuff. I think my store mirrors me in that sense.
WM: Would you consider using a closet management app?
TJ: I’m a lazy person and I will have to give that minimal effort to upload my closet onto the app. However, if that could be automated I would use the app otherwise I wouldn’t.
WM: What would you call your own style?
TJ: Depends on the occasion. Mostly minimal with a little element of quirk in it.