Caution: Don't mess with this bag

Evil eye warding off bags, Gussewali Aunty notebooks and fire and rain motif laptop bags are some of the products that Delhi-based brand PushMe Pull You offers. The Guide spoke to the twenty-something duo who might not see eye to eye with each other occasionally, but are causing quite a stir with their imaginative creations

Kawleen Singh (26) and Nidhi Jalwal (22) make for unlikely business partners. They admit to having opposite mindsets and were on fighting terms with each other throughout their Bachelor's in Fashion and Apparel Design (with specialisation in Leather Design) at Delhi's National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT). But they were united in their desire to start their own venture.

Buri Nazarwale Tera Muh Kala tote

"Once we graduated from NIFT, Kawleen worked for an export house for a while and I was planning to study Product Design. We realised that while a job offers stability, it curbs you creatively. So, Kawleen quit her job and after we pooled in our savings, we started PushMe Pull You in April this year," says Jalwal.

The brand name is inspired by the Pushmi Pullyu character in the book Doctor Doolitle, which is a cross between a gazelle and a unicorn and has two heads at opposite ends of its body. It also represents different personalities and opinions that Nidhi and Kawleen possess that went on to shape the brand. Their mascot is also an animal with two heads (one smiling, the other grinning).

"Kawleen is clued into graphic designs while I love handicrafts and subtle designs. So, its a sort of tug of war to zero in on the final creations," adds Jalwal. Luckily, they strike a balance. You'll spot products that include graphics with earthy themes. "We offer products that we were looking for when we were students. Most of the items equate kitsch with 'Indianness' but that's not the overall picture. We offer subtler, non-kitschy designs," adds Jalwal.

Their range of products includes notebooks, scarves, badges, totes, laptop sleeves, handbags and sling bags with an emphasis on using faux leather and canvas as a raw material. The products sport adorable emoticons such as the Gussewali Aunty (the angry aunty living next door with her hair in a bun and a frown on her face), Swamiji (a South Indian character with a benign smile), naughty schoolgirl Radha who studies in a vernacular medium school and a smiling Sardarji. While other brands also feature Indian emoticons, Jalwal feels that their brand is different thanks to its minimal designs and plain artwork.

We loved their electric blue laptop sleeve, which conveys the message of 'handle with care' through the symbols of fire and water. Their Crazy sling potli with smiley ghungroos brought a smile to our face. We would also recommend their Idea notebook to jot down ideas that might strike you any moment.

PushMe Pull You will soon be launching a collection of magnets and a Christmas collection towards the year-end. "We are also experimenting with traditional handicraft techniques and contemporary graphics," shares Jalwal. While Jalwal loves travelling, collecting handicrafts and dancing, Singh is an avid photographer, keeping an eye on things that can fuel their creations. "We disagree at times, and don't talk to each other for 20 minutes. But then, we get back to work. It ensures versatility in our products," reveals Jalwal.

Log on to: PushMePullY0u
Cost: Rs 900 onwards for bags, Rs 949 onwards for scarves, Rs 300 onwards
For: notebooks, Rs 10 onwards
For: badges

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