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‘We believe retail spaces should be fun’

By Smita Sinha | July 16, 2019

Retail4Growth chats up with Alifya Slatewala, Creative Director, Design Dollops to know about her journey as a designer and how she integrates technology into the store design.

Design DollopsAlifya Slatewala, Creative Director, Design Dollops, believes in the power of design as a catalyst that links environments to emotions, and the ability to convert emotions into brand equity by triggering just the right impulse in shoppers when they are interacting with the retail space.

With 8 years of working with some of the leading names in retail design and visual merchandising. Alifya set out to spread dollops of fun with her own unique flavors through her Retail Design studio Design Dollops, which specialises in designing SMART Retail. Retail4Growth chats up with Alifya Slatewala, to know about her journey as a designer and how does she integrates technology into the store design.

What drove you to start Design Dollops? When did you start this?

This question brings on a lot of thoughts in me. It's not an idea that happened Design Dollopsovernight, but a gamut of events put together. But one major driving force has been the opportunity I see in filling the gap between retail and functional designs. There is a void. Most store designs today, are focussed on the beauty aspect of the stores and not as much on the functional aspects. They look beautiful from the outside but operationally they lack value. With Design Dollops, we want to ready a team that understands retail and brings value to the retailers with every project we do.

Could you throw some light on the working philosophies of Design Dollops?

It's simple and precise – ‘we believe spaces should be fun, interactions joyful, transactions fruitful.’

So accordingly can you elaborate a bit on your approach to retail design?

As our philosophy goes, we design spaces that deliver. The ultimate goal of every retailer is to achieve high sales. This is where our thought process begins.

What really got you into retail design?

I got into retail first and then design. I was always driven by creativity. Without any future directions, as a fresh graduate, the only thing I knew was I had to get into something creative. That's when a relative spoke to me about exploring VM and I hopped onto it. He even got me introduced to Ms. Cherishma Mehta and I started my training under her. She recognized my strengths in understanding spaces and gave me opportunities to learn and explore more. That's when retail design happened to me. Working along with her for five years, I have mastered the art of visioning the space from the eye of a retailer.

Read the full interview in the August 2019 edition of VM&RD.

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