Sunday, 09 December, 2018

‘And So’: bridging the gap between aspirational life and reality

‘And So’, the newly opened experiential design atelier in Porvorim, is setting a new trend in lifestyle interior solutions. It has a vision for Goa, but it’s founder Anjali Mody is not ready to talk about it for now, but has a surprise

09th April 2018, 07:19 Hrs

BHARATI PAWASKAR  


Launched on March 31 in Goa, the experiential design atelier ‘And So’ has succeeded in receiving an overwhelming response and bagful of orders in the first week itself. A first-of-its-kind flagship design store at Porvorim, ‘And So’ offers home décor products and services, with curated handpicked pieces of furniture, lifestyle interior solutions from across India and international markets.

Promises Anjali Mody, founder and chief curator at ‘And So’,  “I am looking to make ‘And So’ into a platform that supports art, design and artisans, and we are going to go in a very big way. I have some plans that are still brewing (that I can’t necessarily talk about now) but ‘And So’ will become a very strong platform internationally - we will be bringing our top-notch brands from abroad to India. It will be very exciting,” 

An alternative retail store which is a one-stop solution for the contemporary customer’s space design needs, ‘And So’ aims at bridging the gap between an aspirational life and that of reality. Growing out of pure need to have ease of comfort in shopping, Anjali wanted to be able to provide a space that allows customers to buy everything under one roof. ‘And So’ is also a collective of designers, with strong and interesting stories to tell. The store caters to a multitude of brands from across the world, specialising in well crafted, good quality pieces, ranging from furniture, lighting, accessories, art, carpets, linen and even plants.  

The kind of clientele Anjali is looking for is mostly second home owner, someone who’s looking to move to Goa or have a second home in Goa and also the builders, architects, interior designers along with people who are interested in design and who want to invest in it. “The beauty is that the design at ‘And So’ is so universal that it doesn’t only hit one target or one kind of aesthetic. It’s a neutral design, everyone would like it. It’s something that’s timeless,” says Anjali. The age group that she is ideally targeting is someone from 28 to 55 - young blood, in her words, who’s not only curious about design but who also wants a good quality product, who doesn’t want to keep changing pieces of furniture in the home but opts for pieces that stand the test of time. “And of course this age group has the spending capacity. ‘And So’ range is affordable and not expensive,” she smiles, adding, “We start from as low as Rs 1200 and can go up to Rs 99,000 – nothing is more than that.”  

Housed in the Delta Centre, on the NH 17 at Porvorim, ‘And So’ displays model set-ups, mostly that of living rooms, bedrooms, studies, den area, meeting area etc. Some of the spaces can double up as a study or den/meeting area too. The rooms at display are bright, yet soothing and calming. The warm lighting blends with the natural sunlight trickling through the large windows, bathing the cotton, cane, wood, marble, leather and metal home décor. There are 14 brands as of now that go into the making of this spacious showroom, along with Anjali’s home brand ‘Josmo’. Her eight years of experience of having run ‘Josmo’, a product design firm, has given Anjali the ability to bridge the gap between the good design and the right price. Being an avid design fanatic, she spends most of her time looking for young talent that can best be represented at ‘And So’ as she aims to build this atelier into a worldwide brand that becomes the most credible voice for great design in India.  Anjali has a very strong attachment to Goa. She recalls, “My father built a house in Nerul in 1990. I grew up here. And why Goa? - Because it’s the right time! There are so many people who are building their homes here. Goa is especially dear to us. It is a melting pot of ideas and ideals. There is consciousness towards the art of making and about safeguarding environment.”

Anjali is a hard worker by her own admission. “I started young. My parents are workaholics. And work is not work in the literal sense when you do something that you like and enjoy doing,” says this daughter of celebrity parents - corporate lawyer Zia Mody and industrialist Jaydev Mody. Anjali studied in America for four years and is trained as an industrial designer. She worked in New York for a year and came back to India with her brand ‘Josmo’ eight years ago and now launched ‘And So’ in Goa.   

Anjali boasts of getting trained under lot of people - product designers, clay makers, interior designers. “And I have been lucky to have good mentors - who have given me a flavour of different things. I have worked a lot with Dashrath Patel, a genius without whom NID (National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad) wouldn’t exist and Pinakin Patel (in Alibaug) and with a company in New York that taught me graphic design and how that translates into everything that you do. It’s a combination of things,” she adds. Yet, it’s not a one-woman-show for Anjali who is blessed to have a great team from all over – Mumbai, Pune, Goa – that supports her endeavours.   

Anjali has a vision, which is ambitious. “Over the next three years, ours will be the biggest brand in terms of lifestyle in Goa. We will have own factory, which will open in June at Pilerne. Over the course of next two years, we wish to expand in four metropolitan cities - Mumbai, Bengaluru, Delhi and may be Pune,” she states.  

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