How a shop was builtby Priya Kapoor
One of the most rewarding aspects of being a part of a dynamic publishing house such as Roli Books is the opportunity to diversify and explore new avenues of creative expression. The kind of people one encounters regularly ranges from chefs, doctors, graphic designers, photographers, sociologists, historians, jewellery designers – after all, everyone has a story to tell! As one of India’s premier illustrated book publisher we sit at a unique cross section where the best practitioners of their fields come and enrich us with their knowledge and expertise. Around two years ago an exciting opportunity presented itself, when the Rajasthan government, after having taken notice of our expanding chain of bookshops, CMYK, awarded us the tender to create state of the art gift and souvenir shops at three premier locations in Jaipur – Albert Hall Museum, Jantar Mantar and Amer Fort.
CMYK Gift & Souvenir Shop at Albert Hall Museum, Jaipur
While the thought of replicating museum shops in India was exciting to say the least, it was also a very daunting task. We have the expertise to make books and do it well but how could we extend this to creating products to fill an entire shop – the Amer Fort shop itself is around 8500 square feet. But a deep love for anything related to history and culture made me dive straight in. The learning curve was steep – we had to create interiors which were inviting for a very varied customer base. There had to be something from everyone – as inexpensive as a pencil to products for the discerning shopper who was looking for the finest Rajasthan had to offer. The sourcing trips were fascinating but confusing… what were we to base our order quantities on? We had never done this before!
Mementos inspired by art, craft and culture of Rajasthan
Two years in, the gift and souvenir shops in Jaipur are here to stay. We have learnt so much and had so much fun creating new products be it coasters, magnets, bags, table mats, prints and so much more. We have had thousands go through our doors and learnt from each interaction.
The Jodha Bai Collection
Most importantly we have learnt how to harness the incredible wealth of craft and skill that Rajasthan has to offer. Personally, the time spent in setting up these three shops just confirmed what I have always believed about Jaipur – it’s the most stylish city we have. So what are you waiting for – come visit your favourite bookshop in a new avatar in Jaipur!