India Today - - SIMPLY PUNJABI - By Re­wati Rau

En­ter Sona Makhni's house and show­room dec­o­rated like a Ra­jasthani haveli and you'll for­get you are in Am­rit­sar. An an­tique palki greets you up front while work­ers are busy weav­ing or carv­ing as you go past the door. Inside, there is a spread of hand­crafted trousseau boxes, a wooden bar with bar stools, coat hang­ers, cup­boards of vin­tage value, wooden din­ing tables and side tables. " The most pop­u­lar items here are the an­tique doors and the bar that comes with a ta­ble and bar stools," says Makhni. We loved the trousseau boxes, which can also be used as side tables or as reg­u­lar stor­age boxes. Her hus­band Vikram Singh has im­pressed Western­ers with In­dian car­pets and an­tique fur­ni­ture made of mango, shee­sham and teak wood for over 25 years— they have shops in Switzer­land and France. Makhni de­cided to utilise her free time at home and started retailing from Am­rit­sar. Her ven­ture of one- and- a- half years has given her an ex­clu­sive clien­tele in the city. Makhni also cus­tomises fur­ni­ture. All the wooden prod­ucts are made at the fam­ily's man­u­fac­tur­ing unit in Jodhpur. The Makh­nis started their busi­ness with hand- knot­ted silk car­pets. The wool for these car­pets is im­ported from New Zealand and the weav­ing is done in neigh­bour­ing vil­lages. " We've em­ployed over 300 housewives from the vil­lages," she says. Makhni also stocks a range of phulkari and Pash­mina shawls at her store.

WHERE 5, RB, Duni Chand Road, Lawrence Road, Am­rit­sar COST Rs 500 ( an­tique box); Rs 50,000; ( wooden cup­board) TEL 01832223845


USP A Ra­jasthani

haveli styled store, stock­ing vin­tage, an­tique prod­ucts with a twist

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