Place strategy

Designing a Place Sparks Conversations: Vandita Purohit, Design Entrepreneur

Vandita Purohit believes the design of where you live or work can have a significant impact on how you feel, affecting your productivity in several ways. “Design is meant to interact with people and spark conversation, creativity and increased productivity,” she says. Vandita’s friend, Shivani Vyawahare, on the other hand, has always been inclined towards the furniture and home improvement industry. The two minds collaborated in 2021 and founded Kalapentry, a design and renovation company that designs collaborative spaces for clients, renovates furniture and interior decor, and creates a sustainable range of interior products. “We are not only reinventing, but also restoring the old,” says Vandita.

Vandita’s idea to refurbish and reuse furniture was validated when the first garage sale they held in August 2021 received a great response. They also successfully designed a workspace for a design firm earlier this year, another milestone in her entrepreneurial journey.

The team at Kalapentry

“At the heart of this success is my team. I’m interested in design and strategy, and my co-founder Shivani Vyawahare is an architect. We also have a product designer and three freelance professionals partner with us on projects. A team of carpenters, fabricators, painters and other suppliers also work with us on a project basis,” she says.

Entrepreneurship is difficult. You need to be in your best frame of mind to perform at your best. Mastering multitasking and wearing many hats as an entrepreneur is inherent. –Vandita Purohit

Kalapentry Products

Entrepreneurship course

A crucial lesson his entrepreneurial journey taught him is that executing ideas at the right time is the key to successful entrepreneurship, and you need the right kind of funds for that.

Another critical factor contributing to their success is the organizational and time management skills they apply on a daily basis. “We rely heavily on Google Sheets for all accounting, progress mapping, strategy, and timeline activities,” she says.

“Furniture and design are capital-intensive businesses, and we’re constantly finding ways to go easy, but sometimes it’s hard to work to the best of your abilities without funding,” she explains.

Does it get overwhelming at times? “It does and that’s when we kind of stop and focus on our mental health. Entrepreneurship is tough, and you need to be in your best frame of mind to perform at your best. Mastering multitasking, wearing multiple hats as an entrepreneur is inherent,” she says.

Advice to other entrepreneurs

Her advice to other female entrepreneurs is to be unstoppable. “Create your own identity and make this world an even better place,” she says.

Women need a strong support system to thrive as entrepreneurs. She agrees but also believes that women need to become their biggest support system. “You have to build yourself first, make yourself capable of taking care of yourself, and you are your biggest support system,” she says.

Future plans

What’s in the pipeline for Kalapentry? “We are having a big garage sale in January where we will invite many companies selling sustainable decoration products and vintage furniture, restoring the old. There would be a design and sustainability conference, a flea market, art installations, an auction of old furniture, food and music. It will be a one-of-a-kind festival of sustainable design and decoration,” she said. In addition to this, the entrepreneurs are also working on a product line for home decor and furniture.