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shopping online

this post is a request for advice..

I mentioned early that the whole shop idea has morphed into an online shop now. I have decided on a name finally but I dont want to put it up here as I haven’t purchased the domain rights yet!

But I would like to have some thoughts from you (you, who I thought was pretty much just my family and friends and who i have discovered, with my snazzy ‘visitors map’, actually come from all over the world! So hello to you! and thanks for coming!).

– Do you have any favourite online stores whose design you particuarly like?

– What do think makes a website stand out from the rest?

 – What features do you look for when shopping online?

– What would stop you from shopping at a online site?

– Do you shop online very often? Why / Why not?

Any other ideas / thoughts you want to share..?

If you want to email me you can reach me at:

the.anchans (at) gmail.com 

Appreciate any advice/ideas/input!

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I currently have a wee pile going beside my bed and am reading about 5 books all at the same time.. plus my new OPRAH magazine finally arrived – I subscribed online about 2 months ago and had kind of given up hope on it, what with the notorius Indian postal system and all.. but my first shiny issue arrived yesterday, the first of twelve that cost me all of $40 including postage to India.. I am quite amazed at the price – imported magazines are usually around $10 each at least in the bookshops here, so I have scored me a bargain it seems. And if you think Oprah is cheesy I say take a look at it – I am a magazine-addict but am really getting over endless articles featuring size zero girls in $3000 shoes etc.. Oprah has nice life advice stuff that tends to give you a lift, as opposed to the other magazines which make me feel self concious and unfashionable.. so thats gotta be good right?!

So of course to continue in the the must-exercise-must-eat-right theme that I seem to have fallen into over the last few months, I am currently reading French Women Don’t Get Fat, by Mireille Guilliamo. It is a Me type of eating – lots of fresh fruit and vege and unprocessed food. Allowing yourself a glass of wine with dinner and a few pieces of chocolate in the weekend, but in moderation and under control. It also offers sensible advise like taking the stairs where possible, not watching TV while eating, drinking plenty of water, getting variety in your food and controlling your portions.  All good ideas and the book is well presented with lots of anecdotes from her life. It is also probably the only diet book I would allow nyself to read as I refuse to calorie count of even let the word ‘dieting’ into my vocab. I am instead focussing on eating healthily and exercsing right, which will no doubt have the side effect of weight loss. Unfortunatly the temptation of fabulous but heavy and huge Indian meals is always around, as is the wining and dining of clients with K and the bottles of wine that tend to go along with that.. but I am learning.. and improving.

Next is After the Quake, Haruki Murakami, one of my favourite fiction writers. This is a book of short stories all based around the Kobe earthquake of 198 . As usual Murakami’s stories are a fabulous mix of the mudane and real, with the wild and surreal. His characters are from the Japanese working class and are memorable and complex despite the shortness of the stories. They all deal with themes of death, separation, emptiness, and transformation and the news of the Kobe earthquake is a constant in the background of them all. Great before-sleep reading.

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 This book by Philip Legrain, Immigrants: your country needs them, I have actually only read the first few pages of, but I am dying to have a good few hours to get into it. The theme is something I feel quite strongly about but as I’m terrible at argueing my points with someone opposed to my ideas I looking forward to hearing the arguements articulated and proved.

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Next is a short story book by acclaimed New Zealand author Patricia Grace, Small Holes in the Silence.The stories are her usual beautiful and thought provoking work with enough New Zealand themes and language to make me feel right at home. I savour every word that she writes and hope she doesn’t mind that her book is actually my ‘toilet book’ right now (which I think you all know what I mean by that). Short stories book are perfect for this role..

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The last two books sitting by my bed are from the great ‘Teach Yourself’ series..

First is Teach Yourself Hindi, which is resting at the moment, due to be opened again when i restart my lessons in a few weeks, after about 9 months gap (oops) and second is Teach Yourself to write a business plan (or something like that) which gets poured over everytime I get a new surge of energy for opening this shop..  which by the way may now be turning into an online shop after realising that the area with some of the most expensive property in the world is probably not the best spot to open your first shop.. at least not right now. But anyway, more about that later.

So are YOU reading anything good right now? What can you recommend?

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I recently made a decision that I don’t really want to be working for my currently company for years and in fact I would quite like to leave as soon as I can. It’s not an industry I am passionate about and watching my husband, who is passionate and talented in the industry, inspires me to go after something that I can really feel drive and satisfaction from. And so I have decided that I would like to open a shop in our main tourist district of Mumbai. Let me tell you a bit about it and then I have a small job for you, dear readers, to help me decide on a name.

The idea is that I would be selling Indian furniture and other locally made products – beads, homeware, tiling, flooring, cosmetics, silk fabrics etc – a mix of antique and new – plus would also showcase local artists and hold exhibitions. The shop will be air con, comfortable, spacious and contemporary, while still retaining a kind of bargain hunting feel.. ie not too snobby.

The image can be described as-

Contemporary
Local
Colourful
Calm
Western/European tastes
‘Genuine Indian’ products
Eco -friendly

It will (hopefully) be close to the many hotels and guesthouses in the South of Mumbai and so will aim primarily for the tourist market and secondly for the local market.

I am currently location-hunting, which could take up to 6 months, plus another few months for renovations, so I am still a long way away from opening day.

Would like your suggestions for names. Let me know which one you like from below, or leave your own suggestion in the comments section. Look forward to hearing from you!

I was going to make a fancy poll here but am not that tech savvy I’m afraid, so instead I’ll make a list and I just need you to tell me which one you like in the comments. Imagine each one on it’s own, with a suitable font, logo etc.. ok?

So here’s the list:

Manuka

Bombay Artspace

The Mumbaiiker

Lotus

The Elephant House

Mish Mash

Kanuka

The Studio

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