A little ways of the beaten track in Rosehill you will find the quaint little shop called “Zardozi by Akshat”. A little boutique dress shop where you can not only find some beautiful Sari’s and traditional Indian wears but which also sports a small range that is suitable to most women for casual wear. A range of tops and dresses which mostly have a classical feel to it and a few offbeat designs that you won’t find just anywhere all extremely reasonably priced.
I did not know Akshat personally before my foray out to Rosehill to visit his shop but I have been following his FB https://www.facebook.com/zardozi.mu/ page fervently since he launched his new business venture a month or so ago. I couldn’t help but admire the beautiful outfits that he’s been posting daily as I have a fascination with the beautiful traditional Indian outfits for as long as I remember. I contacted Akshat and asked if I could visit his shop to be able to see these gorgeous dresses in person and write a small blog to share it with others.
Meeting Akshat in person was indeed a very pleasant experience. He is a kind soul with a quiet persona. He’s thoughtful and welcomes you into his shop with an offer of tea or coffee and there’s even a glass jar of chocolates which I unfortunately discovered too late. 🙂
One of the first things I had to ask Akshat was about the meaning of Zardozi. It is not a word I have ever encountered but I liked it from the word go and when I heard the meaning I liked it even more. As explained in his own words ‘ Zardozi is gold thread work on clothes. It can be on any cloth like saree’s, gowns, lehenga’s etc. It is a persian word and Zar means Gold and dozi means work; Gold Work.’ Apparently in earlier centuries the gold thread was only to be found on the cloth of royals but nowadays it’s a more common practice to have gold thread stitched into the fabric.
I did take some time to see what Google tells us about the word ‘Zardozi’ as well and found this Wikipedia link with plenty of interesting info. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zardozi
Akshat is despite his soft-spoken demeanor, a businessman with a vision. He opened Zardozi by Akshat with many of his own designs lining the one rack. I was desperate to try some on but unfortunately, the ‘boere-genes’ left me in the lurch as I am from solid South African ‘boere’ stock which means that my ‘child-bearing’ hips were just one size too much for the awesomeness of his designs. I was heartbroken as I’ve always wondered what I would look like in those pretty frocks. Nevertheless, I did not let that spoil my morning and I moved on to the other racks where there were definitely some yummy dress and tops that I wanted to try out which I consequently did. Akshat and I did an off the cuff ‘photoshoot’ to show you what you can find when you visit Zardozi by Akshat.
I was very impressed when I discovered that Akshat does his own designs and I made sure to ask him for a sample to share on here as I find it fascinating as to where designers get all their ideas for clothes and accessories from. Sometimes it seems there cannot possibly be any new ideas out there just to be surprised when they pop up with something totally out of the ordinary.
As I have mentioned, Akshat designs many of the outfits himself by doing the sketches and then having his sisters assist him by choosing and filling the colors for each specific design. The sewing of his designs are done in India by friends of his that own a factory in India. Lastly, it is brought to Mauritius where it’s displayed and sold in his shop.
Living in Mauritius we are often not keen to mix or meet with the locals and this was foremost in my mind as I approached Akshat to ask whether I could visit his shop and write a blog about it. Here is a local entrepreneur whose main market is the local Indian ladies but, if you take the time to visit you would see that he does cater some stock for the Westerners too. Something neither myself nor others would have known if I didn’t decide to venture out and have a look. I am sure there are many such small businesses out there that could do with our support.
So get out of the house and venture into some local businesses to see what they have got on offer. I thoroughly enjoyed visiting Zardozi by Akshat and we had some riveting conversations going on by the time I was ready to leave. Not only did I find a lovely little nugget of a shop I also made a new friend and learnt some things about the Indian culture that I never knew.
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Address for Zardozi by Akshat
2, Ollier StreetBelle Rose, Moka, Mauritius