Store - English - Noun a shop of any kind or size
Walla Hindi - Noun a person involved in a distinct activity, usually an expert in that area
I'm so glad you found Storewalla, an online retail space born out of a longing to stay connected to India and from my obsession with shopping there.
I was born in England to parents from India. I travelled back regularly with my mother, I didn't appreciate how lucky I was to have this dual heritage. In 1997 I went to India on my own and stayed for three months. I had fallen in love with the country, its people and crafts. I went back and forth, later taking my English husband, so it was like seeing India through different eyes.
Fast forward ten years, there was a visible difference in the shopping experience there, as well as the usual Fab India, stores like Good Earth and Forest Essentials had been established. The stores were laid out in an inviting manner, the merchandise was of great quality and I loved the fact that although these were contemporary brands, they looked to India's rich past for inspiration. I used to take empty cases to India because I knew I would find unusual, well made and wonderful things to bring back
Just before the UK went into a national lockdown I went to India for a fun trip to Mumbai, followed by a week in Goa at a Yoga retreat. On the way back at the airport I picked up the most delicious granola bar. I contacted the company and tried really hard to find a way to import the bars and start a new business. Well it wasn't meant to be, but what it did do was spark an interest in bringing into the UK some of the gorgeous, handmade and unique gifts I had picked up in India. I spent months finding niche products supplied by a variety of sources from the best concept stores, independent designers and artisanal markets across India. Each supplier is passionate about their range of products, they care about the people making the items, they want to keep dying arts and crafts alive and have invested in ways to be more sustainable and provide a better future for all the people involved.
Fashion, design and home décor coming out of India has evolved so much in the last decade, I feel so passionate about Indian arts and crafts, I want everyone to see what incredible India can create. Creatives are thinking beyond elephant cushion covers and mirror work hangings (they are still lovely though) and creating exceptional items that are modern, have a place in a home anywhere in the world, they just happen to be Indian made. I love nothing more than to seek out modern, exceptional gifts, hand-made design and luxury crafts, to bring the best that contemporary Indian lifestyle brands have to offer.
Storewalla's unique and handpicked products, though rooted in South Asia, can sit comfortably in homes anywhere in the world. Whether you are looking for an unusual gift, Indian books or modern home decor, you'll find something different at Storewalla.
Thank you for visiting my store.
Reena AKA Storewalla x