You can shop anywhere you travel, but finding unique local brands can be tough. Inevitably if you ask someone where the good shopping is in a city, you’ll be sent to a street that has a slew of chains you can find just about anywhere in the world. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of H&M. I was an even bigger fan of H&M when I forgot to bring gloves with me to Germany in the dead of winter, but packing mishaps aside, if I’m looking for things to bring home I usually want unique items (a.k.a. not cheap tourist gear) and I want things I can’t find in the states.
One of my favorite fashion finds in India is Chumbak. Chumbak is a local line with 35 stores located across India and it’s a perfect example of why shopping locally can be so much fun.
The prints sold at Chumbak are fun and whimsical. The color combos are bright with a distinct Indian flare. Best of all, Chumbak doesn’t have a crazy high price point. With the average tee costing around Rs. 995 (about $15) you won’t break the bank picking out a few new items for your closet back home.
Once I went into a Chumbak store and learned a bit more about the brand, I fell in love with it even more. Founded in 2010 by a husband and wife duo, Vivek Prabhakar and Shubhra Chadda, Chumbak was created in order to create, “…a range of fun souvenirs for India and Indians.” One of their mantras literally is, “Let’s give the world something cool to take back from their travels to India.”
In addition to a wide range of women’s clothing and fashion accessories…
…Chumbak also has dining and home decor offerings in its stores.
At Chumbak you get to see the soft and (very) cozy side of India. The bright patterns and playful sayings evoke a contagious energy. It rubs off on the easy going employees and makes Chumbak an oasis of sorts for stressed customers who might just initially be ducking into Chumbak trying to escape the frenetic pace of Mahatma Gandhi Road.
Luckily for non-Indians and the travel averse, Chumbak also has an online shop where you can check out its wares.
If you are planning on heading to India, it’s worth popping into Chumbak to see if you can sneak a slice of India or, at the very least, a few smiles in your luggage. Even if you don’t buy anything, chances are you’ll walk out of Chumbak with a smile plastered on your face.
Address: No. 141 on the Ground Floor of the Sasoon Building, Mahatma Gandhi Road *Also Known Locally as MG Road
Kala Ghoda, Mumbai 400001
Hours: Monday Through Sunday 9:30am to 9:30pm
Pricing (All in Indian Rupees or Rs.): Womens Tops 395 to 1,795, Bottoms 695 to 1,995, Dresses 1,295 to 2,295, Jewelry 295 to 1,295, Scarves 795 to 995