Sunday, April 6, 2014

The story behind shopAraish- Part 1

Hello peeps!!! How have you been?

I'm back!!! .....and a lot has been going on, all this time while I was AWOL. Researching, curating, creating, photographing and marketing my products for my etsy shop is almost a full time job. And doing all this with another full time job plus managing a household with two kids...ahhhhh...can you imagine????

But it has been an exciting experience, so I'm not complaining. 

Today seems like a good day to share the story behind shopAraish with you, my readers- on how it all started, and what's going on now. Because it was exactly a year ago when the idea for this shop was born. As I'm sitting down to write, I'm going to share with you all the details. It's going to be a rather long post.....So....please sit down, with a cuppa coffee (or tea), relax....and read along.....

Born and brought up in India, I've been in the US for more than 11 years now. In all this time, my fascination for India- its culture, the history, the textiles and crafts from different states- has only grown. Each visit there, and I come back more enriched. I bring back more....A month or so later, I'm craving to go back and shop again:) Yes, that's me!

It all started while I was visiting India last spring. Delhi is my usual stop, but this time I had the fortune to stay in Jaipur for a month. A city I truly love for its culture, beautiful architecture and a multitude of crafts. 

A glimpse of Jaipur- carved arches at the City Palace!

Being an avid fan of block printing and wood blocks, I made a few trips to Sanganer- the mecca for hand block printing (details coming up in part 2). Jaipur is also well known for the finest jewelry makers in the country. And so, exploring the jewelry market was on the top of my list. I scouted the narrow 'galis' of Jaipur's Johri bazaar in search of the most unique finds. 

One April afternoon, I stumbled upon this tiny little shop tucked away in a narrow alley. As I entered, under the glass counter, I saw neatly lined steel bowls heaped with a variety of the most eye catching beads. These bright colored beads were made using traditional jewelry making techniques such as Meenakari, Jadau and Pachhi work. As I admired these beauties in the palm of my hand, I knew I had to bring them home with me. That's when the idea for an etsy store popped up in my head. 

The more I thought about it, the more exciting it was. What better reason to shop for these gorgeous finds than to create jewelry out of these and sell them in my own shop. If it was only for myself, how much could I shop. 

First step was to pick out the best beads and make my designs with them. Next steps.....deciding a name for the shop, lining of products, understanding how etsy works- in short, a lot of work. It all happened, but slowly. 

I started the shop in August last year, and since then we (me and the shop) have come a long way (I think!). To begin with, I started with jewelry (earrings!). I have recently added a home decor section to the shop. More details coming soon....stay tuned for part 2!

Images: Mine and subject to copyright. 


  1. Congratulations! it takes a lot to act on your passion and execute it.. good luck to you on your venture...
    hope you wont slow down with the blog- i do enjoy reading you!


  2. Neha, congrats for setting up this wonderful store, and the best of luck to you! Love the collection, intricacies and all.

  3. That was wonderful and inspiring. That is how an idea takes birth in all of us out of our love for something. All the best. Will visit again to read next part :-)

  4. The arch is spectacular.


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