Haute Shop

Slice of NE in the IT capital

07 Mar 2014

Tucked away in the buzzing Indiranagar neighbourhood in Bangalore is a quiet Northeastern corner. This pretty little store cum cafe brings to the IT capital of India a slice of the Northeast through its range of clothes, accessories, furniture and food. The Ant Store, as it is thoughtfully named, was set up in 2007 with the “objective of creating a space for the textiles and crafts of the Northeast”. An offshoot of the NGO ANT (The Action Northeast Trust), which is based in the Chirang district of Assam, the store is an initiative of two driven and devoted individuals, Smitha Murthy and Pradeep Krishnappa. The two are responsible for the creative and management aspect of the store.

The store sells a wide range of products such as textiles, beads and stone jewellery, colourful baskets, eri silk shawls, desk top items, black pottery and bamboo chairs. Each of these products are made by artisans working in different far-flung areas of the Seven Sisters. As Krishnappa explains, “We work with artisans who have organised themselves into groups or are a part of an organization, and we place orders for products/ crafts they are already making or we train them in making products that are a part of their community and culture.” This also explains why the store has taken pains to put up boards which introduce the buyer to the different type of weaves existing in the Northeast in addition to little nuggets of information on the region’s cuisine, craft and textile tradition.

A small café at the store adds to its attraction with freshly ground beans coffee and a delicious menu to choose from. Regularly, events featuring cuisines from the different states in the Northeast are also held. Book readings, film screenings and musical evenings, too, are organized.

The Ant Store
Indiranagar, Bangalore

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