Our shopping spree began in Udaipur at the Ganesh Handicraft Emporium. We initially felt like we were on a secret treasure trail when following directions down a narrow winding alley way leading to a small wooden door. We cautiously entered what appeared to be a workroom with numerous sewing machines dwarfed by mounds of material and piles of threads – unbeknown to us, we had been directed to the Emporium’s back entrance!
This little workshop opened out onto a Pandora’s box of countless rooms and courtyards, each one displaying a different selection of artisanal goods – from elaborately carved wooden furniture to a multitude of colourful ornaments, together with mountains of handwoven bedlinen, cushion covers and table cloths … plus arrays of tunics, scarves, saris, trousers/pyjamas!
It was a true treasure trove, as described on their brightly coloured business card adorned with international media recommending this incredible Emporium – Condé Nast Traveller, New York Times Magazine, Frommer’s, to name just a few. Displays of photographs and newspaper clippings proudly presented its notable clients, including those who were on film location in this attractive region, such as Pierce Brosnan during ‘Octopussy’ and Judi Dench for ‘The Marigold Hotel’. And of course clients equally included those in the world of interior design and fashion, namely Tricia Guild and Tory Birch, together with Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen.
I felt like a child in toy shop excitedly overwhelmed by the incredible selection of merchandise, with varied patterns and designs in every colour of the rainbow. It was easy to imagine what fun it would be working as a buyer for a store such as Anthropology – yet another renowned client!