In 2010, Sonal Gerten was pregnant, and began looking for cute clothes for the baby boy she was expecting. "I just wanted clothes he could get dirty," she recalls. "Something really bright and fun."
Although there were no shortage of clothes options, nothing seemed quite right, especially for boys. She found a wealth of muted colors, but nothing like the beautiful colors and patterns that she saw every time she visited relatives in India.
She decided to abandon her search and start her own company instead, launching Tumblewalla
(the Hindi word for "one who tumbles") in December 2011. She focused on making play clothes without zippers, stiff fabrics, or complicated button closures, and the colors are crayon-level bright.
One distinctive part of the company is Gerten's emphasis on initiatives that give kids more opportunities to play (whether wearing their Tumblewalla duds or not). In an effort she calls Tumble & Tickle
, the entrepreneur supports The Priynaka Foundation
, which supports children facing chronic and terminal illness, as well as One Home Many Hopes
, a Kenyan organization that houses and educates abandoned and orphaned girls in that country.
Over a year after starting the company, Gerten is seeing traction and is hopeful about growing and expanding operations over the coming year. She wants to increase awareness of the two Tumble & Tickle organizations, and to expand her product line as well. She's been getting picked up in some local retail stores, and envisions going beyond clothing into other play-related items like coloring books and toys.
"I have high hopes for this, and I'm excited about how it's been going," she says. "We're just gauging the consumer appetite right now, but it's looking like a very bright future."
Source: Sonal Gerten, Tumblewalla
Writer: Elizabeth Millard