Kochi ad man’s lifestyle startup sells Kerala stories

Coconut Stories
Coconut Stories specialises in products such as apparel, stationeries, souvenirs, accessories, decor, personal gifts and corporate gifting. Photo: Special Arrangements.

When Ratheesh Menon, an ad maker by profession, decided to launch his own business, he chose to brand his own culture. That is how he started Coconut Stories, a homegrown lifestyle startup that designs and sells a range of merchandise that celebrates the culture of Kerala. 

The Kochi-based brand specialises in products such as apparel, stationeries, souvenirs, accessories, decor, personal gifts and corporate gifting. What makes these products unique is the way they have been designed, communicating Kerala’s cultural ethos.

Ratheesh launched his products on a pilot basis in a flea market event in December 2019. The company is now registered as an MSME.

Being an ad man, Ratheesh is someone who knows the power of storytelling and he believes he is telling stories through his products. His products come in categories such as Floral of Kerala, Art forms of Kerala and Literature of Kerala.

The products flaunting these themes include T-shirts, picture frames, wall clocks, souvenirs and corporate gifts. Kerala’s traditional art forms like Theyyam, Kathakali, and Ottan Thullal, flowers such as oleander, cassia, and plumeria, and Malayalam literary legends such as Kunjunni Mash and Basheer are all on display in his products. They are all available for sale individually or as a bulk option on their website and social media pages.

The Kochi-based brand specialises in unique products that communicate Kerala’s cultural ethos. Photo: Special Arrangements

Coconut Stories has featured their merchandise and got traction at the Kochi Design Week 2022, Kerala Literature Festival 2023, Kochi Muziris Biennale 2023, and Olam Festival 2023, Trivandrum.

Ratheesh told Onmanorama that his aim is to build Coconut Stories as an authentic Kerala brand. “Since the launch of the brand, I have realised that there is definitely a market for products that are Kerala’s own. All of our products have got traction. We have been getting orders from Bengaluru, Mumbai, US and UAE also,” he said.

Production remains a challenge though. For most of the printing works he has to go outside Kerala and it is an expensive affair for limited edition stuff. Ratheesh, however, is confident that he can address the issue as the necessary expansion happens.

(Startup Saturday is Onmanorama’s weekend series featuring promising startups from Kerala. Find the previous stories here

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.