Online Shopping Diaries with Komal Sirwani, Aria Krishnamurti, Anandita Ahuja, Namrata Loka

Shopping is something that we have been doing since we were kids; our parents would take us to shops and buy things, now we can order items even while lying on a couch. Earlier we would go shopping with our parents only when we needed something or were up for some celebration; now nobody needs a reason to shop. When we are bored, most of us love to explore different tabs on websites irrespective of our needs; anything and everything we need is a few clicks away. From clothes, accessories, home décor, appliances to groceries, we shop an array of items online and also have preferable websites that we love to shop from. This pandemic has given us a reason to explore, add to cart and buy! Looking at this major shift in shopping culture, You&I brings some online shopping diaries of people from around the town! - Srivalli

An RJ with 95 FM radio Mirchi, Komal Sirwani shares her love for online shopping with us and says, “I think at a time where everything from viewing to consuming is online, online shopping is the fairy godmother we all need for our special days”. Besides brand pages and retail websites, Komal also favours shopping from several Instagram pages that cater an array of options.

 

Komal Sirwani

Love to Splurge on I can buy anything from clothes, accessories, jewellery, customised gifts to even desserts online now.

A product that holds a special place Well, it’s this pair of handmade/customised earrings I ordered on Instagram from a page called ‘Krafted with Happiness’ for a Mehendi ceremony. It’s very difficult to find an exact matching statement accessory for your outfit on your special days, and Instagram has made it so much easier.

Three Websites of Choice and Best Purchase from each Shimmer pants from ‘Koovs’, outfits from Instagram page ‘Cusp on Insta’ and customised items from ‘Fotories.11’ would be my top three preferences.

Favourite Wardrobe Item I’ve recently bought this black ruffles maxi dress from the label life Sunday flat 1000 deal, and it’s the best impulsive buy ever.

Quirky Purchase I got this quirky home décor from Amazon for my new home, and it’s just loved by everyone who visits.

Something Unique A rare thing to find otherwise is cool trunks; I bought one online from an Instagram page ‘Handmadeshoppy’ as a gift for my sister.

Aria Krishnamurti of Stylemearia is a well-known blogger from the city and has been a content creator for five years now, nationally and internationally. She is also a fashion stylist and made her Tollywood debut as a stylist with Yevade Subramaniam. She creates fashion content primarily but also has gotten into lifestyle & travel blogging. She also manages social media accounts for several brands. Speaking about online shopping, she says, “Online shopping is the fastest growing economy and not only for clothing, accessories and beauty but for everything. So yes, it’s absolutely essential. Especially now, since everything is going digital. It’s a new era, and everyone’s going to be super-mindful about their purchases. Online shopping is redefining”.

Aria Krishnamurti

A product that holds a Special Place I launched my collection in association with House of Couture a month ago, so I shopped a few pieces from it for my friends and family, that’s something very special to be.

Your go-to Wardrobe Item All my dresses from Ajio are my go-to, as they really have altered items that suit curvy figures. Plus, they can be donned as daywear as well as nightwear.

Love to Splurge on Skincare and some sustainable and eco-friendly products have been on my list lately and also a few home décor items that help me enhance my space.

Offbeat Purchase I am into thrift shopping, and Hyderabad and India have introduced thrift shopping recently so I have a few jackets and clothing pieces that you can’t find elsewhere.

Website Recommendations Ajio-a lot of sustainable clothing, Zara-caters several options and Dipti Mrinalini-a designer from Hyderabad, Ilamra-an Instagram page and Vanity Wagon-a skincare website are some of my picks.

Your Online Shopping Mantra I am very mindful when it comes to online shopping; I don’t buy anything and everything. I research, take reviews from people, study the product and then buy it.

“Online shopping is therapeutic and fun, and I absolutely love it!” says Anandita Ahuja, a wedding planner from the city who is going to launch her organic food website ‘Puravida Organics’ in coming days. Opening couriers and sealed packages make Anandita happy, a reason why she calls herself a shopaholic. “Even when I am sending stuff to others, online shopping makes it hassle-free,” she adds.

Anandita Ahuja

Love to Splurge on I love to splurge on clothes, and organic food has now become my new obsession as I need to study the market for my upcoming venture.

Your go-to Wardrobe Item I bought these blue denim pointed heels from Zara that I love!

Websites for Home Décor I have been planning my balcony, and for that, I bought a lot of items from Ikea and Amazon including sofa, table, a few planters, a funky ashtray and a full-length mirror.

Quirky Purchase I draw a lot, so my bother-in-law always refers to me as Majnu Bhai from Bollywood movie Welcome, so I got him a T-Shirt of Majnu’s painting of a donkey and horse from pitchforkfashions.com.

Current Favourite Marinades from Tasty Tales are something I really like at present; even its packaging is cute!

Top Three Shopping Websites Zara for clothing items, Monsoon Harvest for food and Ikea for Home Décor.

An Offbeat Purchase I have this really cool glitter pen from Amazon. Whenever you write, pour this glitter powder in it which gets stuck into the pen and then when you run a heat gun on the entire text, it turns into a foil.

A wedding planner and a journalist, Namrata Loka is on the road to living a cleaner, healthier, and a more environmental-friendly lifestyle. Supporting young startups with similar values has been a huge part of the online shopping journey through the lockdown. Elaborating on the same line of thought, Namrata notes, “That’s the gist, but of course occasional, indulgent shopping is also part of the picture. I’ve just been a bit more mindful about it”. 

Namrata Loka

A product that holds a Special Place Blue Tokai Coffee; the discovery, trial, taste, and learning that it was almost zero-waste (the easy pour bags are compostable, and the sachets are returnable) - the whole experience was super pleasant.

Top Websites for Skincare Products ‘Ilana Organics’ and ‘Dot & Key’, both are organic and local brands.

Favourite Wardrobe Item A white satin blouse and some rose gold customised jewellery; didn’t buy it from a website but have worked with someone over WhatsApp to get it done.

Love to Splurge on I am currently making that switch to good quality, sustainable items that will last longer. This comes with a premium cost, which I guess is a way of splurging too. I bought some bamboo kitchen towels, facial tissue, and garbage bags for home from Beco and I’m definitely a subscriber now.

Where to Get Dog Essential From? Amazon has some rare finds, like this interactive training slow dog feeder.

‘For the love of Dog’ is also impressive and has amazing customer service, and ‘Heads Up For Tails’ never disappoints.

A purchase that you regret? House plants from Ugaao.

Pranit Surana is one such shopping enthusiast who enjoys purchasing a variety of items from websites and Instagram pages, including sneakers, décor items, apparel, and kitchen essentials. “Especially in Corona times, online shopping seems like the way forward. It’s easy, efficient and up to date!” mentions Pranit.

Pranit Surana

Love to Splurge on Shoes and Apparel! It’s quite an addiction to keep adding these to the wardrobe.

A product that holds a Special Place I recently got a customised pair of Nike Blazer Mid as an anniversary gift, my wife. Love that it’s been customised with our anniversary date, so it’s super special! 

Websites/Instagram Pages of Choice My picks would be collectiveindia, marketplacebymainstreet and homeartisian.

Three Unique Home Décor Purchase A decorate stand from Sta, an abstract painting for our Home Artisan and a fancy opening light bulb from Ikea. 

Apparel Website Recommendation First and foremost is Zara (I am sure everyone shops from there). A few more picks would be Vegnonveg, Andamen, ASOS and Collective. 

Purchase that you regret? Every once in a while we get products that don’t look the same as they look online, that’s something that’s a given when it comes to online shopping.

Ishna Rawlani is a full-time fashion content creator and absolutely loves to shop online. Sharing her idea of online shopping, she explains, “A lot of people don’t prefer online shopping because they want to experience the product first hand and I completely agree. But before I buy anything, I do a lot of research, reading reviews, watching YouTube videos. That helps a lot! In terms of clothing, I know my sizes; at some point have tried the pieces from specific brands, so the sizing doesn’t go wrong while shopping online”.

Ishna Rawlani

Shopping Mantra I think I buy a lot of clothes and accessories. Being a fashion content creator, I buy pieces very wisely that are versatile and can be worn many times.

Websites of Choice Zara, Colorpop, Amazon USA, and Nykaa will definitely be my pick.

Love to Splurge on I love Zara! It’s one of my favourite fashion brands. I weekly sort my favourites and save them. I think more than visiting the store… the app is my go-to place to shop.

Quirky Purchase I bought these fake bangs from Amazon recently for a hairstyle change!

Shoes Shopping  Public Desire is my most favourite website for shoes. They are amazing!!

Website Recommendation for Crockery Home Centre, IKEA and Amazon India; I love buying crockery as well as kitchen appliances from them. Recently bought a sizzler plate off Amazon as I love to cook and that would be next dish!

Shailya Bhandari is an entrepreneur with a flourishing storytelling and communication enterprise for children in the city known as ‘Twist a Tale’. She also pursues freelance content writing in her free time. Shailya calls online shopping a getaway from anything mundane or stress-inducing factor. Adding to it, the entrepreneur says, “It definitely is a boon in these times of crisis when we are locked inside our homes”. Ease of exchanges and instant gratification is something that Shailya loves about online shopping.

Shailya Bhandari

Love to splurge on Straight from clothing, décor items to shoes, I splurge on anything and everything when it comes to online shopping.

Three Websites of Choice It’s difficult to choose only three, but in a nutshell, I would say IKEA for delivering anything big or small within two days, Zara of course for comfort wear at home and Nykaa for being my instant go for personal care. 

Any Festive Shopping Yet Just before Rakshabandhan, I indulged into festive shopping from Neerus over a video call. I bought a beautiful combination of green and mustard set of embroidered dhoti kurta with foil print, teamed up with elegant black mirror work footwear from Yuva by Neerus.

Quirky Products Home isolation has inclined my choices toward quirky home décor products. Wall art from Homey Domey, tableware from ‘A Vintage Affair’, terracotta lamps from Neerja International of Jaipur, a quirky metallic bike from Pepperfry are some of my offbeat online purchase.

Recommended Home Décor Websites My All-time favourites are Cyahi for wall plates, ‘World Art Community’ for handcrafted artefacts and décor cart and ‘Ekam Online’ and ‘Lighthouse Candle’ for scented candles to create just the perfect serene ambience at home.