Tabloids

Lady Twinpreneurs – Kithmi and Kalasi Weeratunga

By Mahika Panditha

We love meeting and chatting with talented and skilled people. Today, we are introducing the wonder twins, Kithmi and Kalasi Weeratunga, who successfully run two of their very own businesses.

Kithmi is an undergraduate student at Sabaragamuwa University, currently pursuing a BSc in Food Business Management. She is also a G17 university co-ordinator of the G17 University Ambassadors Consortium representing her university. As for Kalasi, she also studies at Sabaragamuwa University and is currently pursuing a BSc (Hons) in Financial Management. She is the SDG Ambassador of the G17 University Ambassadors Consortium. On top of all of that, they run Kikasho By Twins and Chocolate Clicks.

Let’s dive into more details in our conversation with the girls.

Before we get into it, tell us a bit about both of you.

In a nutshell, we are Kithmi and Kalasi Weeratunga – the sweet twins for our family and friends. But we see ourselves as a dynamic duo who could take an extra mile as small-scale entrepreneurs. The secret behind it is that when we make wishes it always becomes double! So many good things come in pairs and so are we. Kithmi is the bossy twin and Kalasi is the hyped twin.

You both run Kikasho By Twins and Chocolate Clicks. What is the story behind those businesses?

Since our childhood, we always needed to do something different as twins. Kikasho By Twins started in 2017. With the first letters of our names, the brand Kikasho was created. Thinking back to our childhood, it was full of coloured sheets, glitter, and glue. From the abundance of hobbies out in the open, what we enjoyed the most was cutting paper, scrapping books, and trying out anything and everything creative. We enjoyed it because even a mistake turned out to be something amazing. It was our passion all along and we loved doing it. Luckily, our friend loved that tryout of ours.

Giving gifts is simply making someone’s day. We could create happiness together by giving, and our customers (friends) were happy receiving these creations. Then we realised that there’s no secret recipe in this. When we did it from our hearts, slowly our passion turned into our profession, and it was the best feeling ever.

Chocolate Clicks started in November 2020 and is a mix of Kithmi, Kalasi, and Ishan. Everyone was trying out new recipes during the Covid-19 lockdown and for two bake maniacs, this was a great opportunity. It was in our favour to position another brand, and it turns out that the potential market for bakes is very high. As a result of that, at present our new brand is flying among many sweets lovers across the country.

What made you decide to start your own business?

A business woman is one of the roles we play; apart from that, we are still daughters and undergraduates. Therefore, our plates are always full and hands are tied when it comes to responsibilities. Handling a start-up is not easy. As long as we keep on focusing on business and as long as we make sure it is on its smooth sail, we slowly achieve our targets. Our strength is each other and we see eye to eye in everything.

Having our own business is simply freedom and independence. We get to be our own leaders and influence others as well. Moreover, the world that was exposed after us being business ladies is outstanding. We get to associate with more entrepreneurs and hustle in the market with professional figures. Waking up every day with a hope of giving and creating the best is an indescribable feeling. We think that that effort is what brought us this far. We have our unique ways of doing the business. With proper planning, we manage our resources and time.

How do you separate business and family life?

Creating a schedule and working on that (normally we start our business stuff after 6 p.m. and until that, we are focused on our family and studies, unplugging from technology (more time for family and loved ones), and engaging our family and beloved people in the process and making them a part of our success. Our Thaththa and Amma are the most supportive people for our businesses, along with our cousins and even our small cousin sisters and brothers. Most importantly, our respective partners, Ishan and Tishan, are our pillar of our strengths, and even their parents are helpful. Also, our university lecturers, school teachers, school friends, and university friends are also giving so much support to us.

Other than being extremely talented entrepreneurs, what do you spend your time doing?

As we said before, we are here today because of our family. They are the strong pillar that holds us without falling. Therefore, prioritising family is essential for us and comes as number one, always. Plus, it’s because of them we started this business in the first place. Apart from that, since our university is in the Sabaragamuwa Province, we love tripping to beautiful places around the area.

What has been the biggest challenge running your business and how did you overcome them?

Currently, being businesswomen is really an uphill battle. Obviously, challenges are inevitable no matter who we are. What’s important is how we face them. As long as you have the go-getter inside you, everything will work out just fine. Starting a business is a big achievement for many entrepreneurs. But maintaining one is the hardest and the larger challenge. So the challenges come when it comes to us finding good customers, dealing with competition, financing, time management, dealing with the unknown, decision-making, balancing with studies, and so on.

Do you have any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?

It’s never about getting ahead elbowing others, but discovering ourselves and providing the best output for the world. When we are honest and truly dedicated, we don’t have to follow success, as success follows us automatically. Challenge yourself, take the risk, manage energy and not time, learn from mistakes as well as from complaints, and deliver more than expected.

Any memorable or funny stories for us?

Taking an all-important phone call from a weird place. Sometimes, our end product is very different from the idea we started with, especially when it comes to new recipes.

PHOTOS RANJI BANJI