The 101-year old brand, The Bombay Store, opened its first outlet in Hyderabad late in 2005, which has since become popular, despite the low-profile it maintains. The low-key approach, of course, adds to the exclusive, rich feel of the store, and The Bombay Store strives very hard to maintain its chic even while remaining faithful to its philosophy, and to freedom-fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak (he inaugurated the first Bombay Store) - to promote Swadeshi products.
The single-level store divides its display into four broad categories - home accessories (including a vast collection of gorgeous, embellished stationery), home furnishings, fashion accessories (pretty jewelry, kohlapuri slippers, mojdis) and fashion (their kurtis and Tantra tees are fabulous). Put together, these create 'India in a store'. And India does resound in almost every exquisitely-crafted product here.
The friendly staff informs you that that the handsome deer sitting on a shelf has been created using only minakari enamelling. And those delicate, flawless neck-pieces and earrings demanding owners are handmade Theva. Snap open their 'summer' umbrellas, and the colorful filigree of Rajasthani thread work leaves you mesmerized.
Alternatively, there are imported items for sale as well. One such quaint piece is the 'rainy stick' - wave it around and you can hear the distinct sound of rainfall.
Predictably, the prices at The Bombay Store are on the higher side, but not unreasonably so; a minakari and teakwood mirror frame will be a very expensive purchase in any urban retail store, and handmade mirror-work bedsheets may set you back by Rs. 9,000 elsewhere too.
There are cheaper items that are great value-for-money. For example, incense sticks (a hot favorite with foreigners, who form a chunk of the customer-base here) cost only Rs. 17 per pack. Combine that with one of their refined wrapping paper rolls and you have two purchases collectively under Rs. 100. Or pick up a couple of cushion covers - some of them cost only Rs. 180 each. This is perhaps more than what you would pay for cushion covers at competitor Fabindia, but the finish is better here.
In fact, the finish of the products here is uniformly outstanding; that should be reason enough for you to buy them. But we would appeal to you to loosen those purse-strings and purchase what you can afford from these impeccable pieces anyway. It may be a token, a mere drop in the ocean, but it will encourage indigenous art, keeping our heritage alive. After all, this was why The Bombay Store was originally founded.