It’s challenging to find success in a start-up in this country. But when someone decides to put in the effort and pursue something original, they are simply unstoppable. A made in India company called “Dabble” was founded in Bengaluru. The start-up creates art supplies for young children that are toxic-free and safe for children. Their goal is to encourage creativity and unrestricted expression in order to spread the joy of art.
Karen Saldanha and Neha Bajaj, both from Mangaluru, founded Dabble after discovering a lack of kid-friendly, toxin-free products for play and art. At NSRCEL, IIM Bengaluru, a women-led start-up is being nurtured. As deal winners on Shark Tank India Season 2, the team also received a grant of Rs 25 lac from the ITBT department of the Karnataka government as well as the Elevate award for innovation.
When Karen and Neha, who were both mothers, struggled to find safe art supplies for their own kids while pursuing expressive arts training, they came up with the concept for Dabble. It enabled them to freely imagine their own products. PlayArt is a new category that encourages kids to think creatively and colour outside the lines. “Free play is healthy play,” is their catchphrase. And unstructured art contributes to that. As the company’s founder moms, they personally develop each product with assistance from a group of well-known scientists and food technologists. All of their products are also tested by NABL-certified labs and have BIS certification.
At an expressive art therapy class they both attended in Bengaluru, Karen and Neha became friends. They developed a close friendship while pursuing it, and they even had babies four days apart. They both saw the need for safe options at home while purchasing art supplies for their kids from other countries. Crayons, natural waxes, and other goods were all the subject of months of research by the pair, which began in Neha’s kitchen and continued in a location provided by a very close friend. They spent months creating goods and testing them on their children and friends’ children. Business concepts emerged gradually, and Dabble was founded in May 2018 to offer innovation and safety to the early childhood market. Soon after, they hired a group of scientists and food technologists who had experience creating kid-friendly products. A group of professionals, including speech therapists, art instructors, and early educators, evaluated the goods at every step.
Dabble has very specific guidelines for what goes into, what comes out of, and how their products are manufactured. The dangerous parabens, phthalates, and silicon that are frequently present in children’s products have been banned. Traditional crayons typically end up in landfills because they contain paraffin wax, which takes 100 years to biodegrade. Products from Dabble are manufactured with environmentally friendly, sustainable ingredients.
Choosing ingredients from nature, such as coconuts, soy, vitamin oils, vegetable butters, food-friendly colours, and kid-safe waxes, took them many months of trial and error. “Just Right for Kids” is checked next to each ingredient.
the way they are made
Every product is made to support children’s natural use and correspond to children’s developmental milestones starting at age 12 months. For instance, their crayons have distinctive designs that encourage kids to use a tripod grip. They are large, which makes them simpler to handle, and they come in three primary colours that may be combined to create other hues.
Dabble’s finger paints are also available in easy-squeeze bottles that children can handle and that leave parents stress-free because they wash off so effortlessly. This applies to any product they create. No giving in on it.
how they’re evaluated
All of their items must be kid-friendly. They undergo testing throughout, beginning with the ingredients. They have undergone stability testing, microbiological testing, and BIS certification, which means they meet all toy safety standards. Most significantly, they are prepared for moms to test them.
Since Dabble has roughly 15 physical storefronts in Mumbai and Bengaluru, parents may get their toxic-free art supplies through the company’s website, Amazon, First Cry, FlipKart, Nestery, Happy Clouds, Kidstack, and other online marketplaces. Additionally, they are currently scaling up on Amazon, First Cry stores, and other renowned retail outlets in India.
They have over 17K followers on Instagram and over 400 dabbler parents in their active WhatsApp Creative Parenting community who connect, support, and encourage one another on how to introduce art and creative expression in infancy.