The Design District welcomed its latest decor store, Shastra Home, a few weeks ago. The mid-sized boutique specializes in fair-trade artisan goods created in India.
"India has so much to offer. It's like a creative person's heaven. For your senses, I don't think it can get any better than India," owner Anu Agarwal explains. "Traditional forms of making products are fading away. It's now fast, disposable and cheap. ... Everything [at Shastra Home] is handmade and environmentally conscious." Agarwal, who's originally from Kolkata, has been selling wholesale items online under the Sastra brand since 2000. "It was a scaled-down operation, and online only. Items would be shipped directly to the consumer from India."
The storefront, which plays into Agarwal's environmentally conscious concept (it's made out of re-purposed materials), offers everything from incenses and linens to brass kitchenware and clothing. Prices range from $10 (for small home decor items) to $250 for saris and a few select jewelry pieces. A percentage of all sales goes to The Living Dream Foundation, a nonprofit organization benefiting artisans in developing countries.
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