Woven dream

Jullaaha boutique. Photo: Special Arrangement  

In a snug corner of Anna Nagar East lies a small boutique. Characterised by wooden interiors and dull lighting, this shop exudes warmth, comfort and luxury. One would expect it to be extravagantly priced as well but the tags are not too hard on the pocket either. The staff is efficient, polite and cheerful, sometimes even taking that extra effort to ensure the customer's comfort.

Even from the outside, Jullaaha convinces you of its authenticity with the doorframe bordered by Kalamkari prints. As you enter Jullaaha, you are greeted by a large, golden Buddha forming a roundtana of sorts, providing both aesthetic elegance while also ensuring smooth flow of customers.


The first impression is one of vibrancy and colour, sophistication and class. The boutique offers various styles of clothing, from the quintessential sari to customised, namma Chennai T-shirts, sporting slogans with the local flavour. Also within the four walls are souvenirs aimed at tourists as well as accessories, primarily handbags.

Jayadevi, the designer of Jullaaha, is the Director of Research and Development in the Cholayil Group. and handles prominent brands like Medimix. Ask her why she branched off into designing and clothes and she will tell you about how it was a passion her family encouraged her to cultivate.Originally starting as a one-woman show, the boutique today supports over thirty families while also providing employment to people who stay in Banyan, the NGO for destitute women. “The boutique, which started out as an NGO initiative, is not a particularly profitable business proposition,” says Jayadevi, “but what is more important is that I am able to provide livelihood for the abandoned and ensure them a sustainable income. So even if we are not able to mass produce and the costs of production are really high, it does not matter to me.”

Ask her how the response has been to her boutique and she can tell you about how tourists have come searching for her shop because stories of her brand have travelled around the world. “Some people know about handicrafts and Batik printing, some people don't. At Jullaaha, it is our job to educate them as well.” she explains. With an eco-friendly production process using only locally sources material and natural dyes, Jullaaha is the result of Jayadevi's dream.

Well coined

The name ‘Jullaaha' is the brainchild of Jayadevi's son. Being the Urdu word for ‘weaver'; Jayadevi thought it apt as she uses only pure cotton in her clothes and practically every fabric is woven. Jullaaha's target audience is said to be those above the age of twenty-five with Jayadevi explaining that she makes what she sees herself wearing and so does not consciously target college-going girls or anyone below that age. Yet, the variety and the styles at Jullaaha ensure that any modern woman will find something to match her taste. within the four walls of the store. And men need not despair. The store offers exclusive Kalamkari shirts for them.

Jullaaha is a store worth visiting. Though it may be too expensive for regular student patronage (with T-shirts up to Rs. 400, bags from Rs. 350 to Rs. 2500 and saris around Rs. 3000), Jullaaha is the perfect solution if you are looking to shop for a special occasion: a birthday, a graduation, or even when your parents are ready to foot the bill!

Where at

Address: 8, J-Block, 6th Avenue, Anna Nagar East, Chennai - 600102 .

Ph: 044 32973331 / 044 32973331/ 9841748263

E-mail: >support@jullaaha.com

Yashasvini has just finished her A Levels.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2022 7:03:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/nxg/woven-dream/article2047498.ece

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