Store Review of Shaastra: The Place Where Religion Blends
“What a beautiful collection you have. I guessed it from the artifacts showcased outside,” these were the words of a customer who entered Shaastra, a boutique of traditional handicrafts. Believe me, this was the same opinion I had of the store as I entered its doors.
For a moment you feel like you’re in paradise, sitting with all the gods and goddesses, talking to them, and then decide to take some of them home. You will find products ranging from idols of Buddha imported from Thailand to Lord Ganesha and other favorite idols made in India — Rajasthan, Bastar, etc. The store also house Tanjore Paintings, new as well as antique, and Torans that are put up on the front door to welcome guests and to beautify the house.
Since most of the products are made of brass, each product is priced accordingly. The other handcrafted products are of wood, fiber and powdered marble, all priced from Rs. 200 to Rs. 350,000.
Till September 2011, collecting artifacts was just a passion for Gauri Rao. But what motivated Gauri to convert her passion into business was her daughter Divya’s idea to open up a store that focused only on art and artifacts. Since Gauri had enough knowledge of the same, putting the store together was not as difficult as coming up with the name for the store. “I made a list of about 30 names. It took me exactly 4 days to freeze on ‘Shaastra’”, said Divya, adding, “The reason we decided to call our store Shaastra was to reflect Indian culture, tradition and heritage. According to our family priest, the letter R would bring in prosperity, and the word Shaastra has the R.”
Within 3 months, the store has managed to attract a lot of eyeballs mainly because of its location in Bandra. What adds to the attraction are the beautiful pieces displayed outside the store. “We just realized that everything has a season, and when we keep something at the entrance, it’s sold out at a blink,” said Divya. Initially, the store hardly sold out Buddhas, but after a point they started selling like hot cakes. So much so that the Raos had to place orders for more idols, squashing the idea of keeping limited number of pieces.
When asked how the store has been faring so far, Gauri Rao said, “Since the launch, we’ve grown beautifully. We shuffle all the racks every week, source new collections every 3 weeks and import products from Thailand once in 3 months.”
Check out what’s new and old at Shaastra. When you visit the store, the mother-daughter duo will be there to help you choose in case you’re spoilt for choice. They also take pleasure in interacting with their customers regarding the products the store houses.