A new store in Thiruvananthapuram has hand-made products sourced from different places in India

Amidst heaps of assembly line and machine-made merchandise, home- and hand-made products present an old world charm. Outlets that stock such products have a rustic appeal, such as the new outlet opposite the auto stand at the busy DPI junction in the city. Aptly called ‘Homemade Handmade’, this shop has a collection of home- and hand-made products meticulously sourced from different parts of the country.

While rural Bengal contributes to the range of home furnishing, a village named ‘Reddy’ in Maharashtra supplies the miniature terracotta ware. Tamil Nadu represents itself through enchanting temple jewellery and Kerala through its natural fibre products and spices.

Interestingly, the shop has not restricted itself to one line of home- and hand-made products but has a varied range, including clothing, footwear, jewellery and food flavourings. Clothing, both unstitched fabrics and ready-to-wear, occupy the majority of retail space at ‘Homemade Handmade’.

From Khadi wear, jute silk and hand-painted saris to fabric materials with exquisite Shantiniketan embroidery, the display is both trendy and elegant. Tejaswini Dash, proprietor of the outlet, says, “The concept of such a shop emerged from the desire to promote Khadi, and to make Khadi wear fashionable.” True to her aspirations, she has stocked some not-so-commonly seen Khadi trousers for women. Men can choose from an inviting collection of Khadi kurtas.

To complete the ethnic look, the shop offers a variety of accessories, including handmade jewellery, bags and footwear. In the jewellery range, the shop presents Dokra, terracotta and temple jewellery sets. “Dokra is essentially a tribal art; the jewels are made of metals including brass and copper. They come embellished with tribal motifs and designs and are also considered good for the body as it can absorb heat,” explains Tejaswini, who hails from Bhubaneshwar, Orissa. Terracotta jewellery can be a worthy buy for those looking for jewellery options. These sets in earthy colours cost between Rs. 560 and Rs. 1,840. Temple jewellery made from real gold is available at prices beginning Rs. 840.

These ethnic products can also spruce up your homes, as the collection here proves. Diwan set covers in pleasing colours, embellished with embroidery, are for drawing rooms. At prices starting from Rs.850, the set comes complete with covers for five cushions, two bolsters and a spread. Those who prefer the European style décor can select from the mix ‘n’ match range of home linen.

Exclusivity seems to be the mantra of this shop and only limited numbers of each product is stocked. “Each piece is handmade and handpicked by me and my team. I search the Internet and scour exhibitions to identify skilled artisans and get the stock from them directly. I also liaise with the artisans to customise products to suit local tastes,” says Tejaswini.

Bags and stationnery made from hand-made paper, mats and other products made from nature, fibre mats, organic food flavourings, including turmeric powder and dry ginger powder, and personal hygiene products are some of the other stuff to look out for. To avoid plastic, Tejaswini presently dispenses curry flavourings and masalas in aluminium foil pouches, and hopes to recreate a culture wherein people will take home supplies in their own containers.