Gems from Delhi’s Janpath market, now a click away
An Instagram account set up by two women adds in surprises from other parts of the country too.
You can now go shopping at Janpath, wherever you are. The quintessentially Delhi street market is where you can buy thick, plush woollen mufflers for Rs 200 or halter crop tops for Rs 300. There are also boots, jackets, and junk jewellery.
At @janpathonline on Instagram, you can see some of the pieces you might see on that street — many are in fact sourced there. You can ask, just as you would on site — “Can you get earrings like this jhumka but not for wedding wear, but actually for work wear?” And the answer would be the same: theek hai, thodi der mein check karna (all right; check back in a while).
@janpathonline founders Sheetal Munshi and Deeksha Khanna, both Delhi women, actually got just such a request, and worked with their artisans to offer more junk jewellery for work wear. Best of all, the prices on their page are close to street market rates, ranging from Rs 250 to Rs 850.
Munshi and Khanna have been friends since college, and their favourite hang-outs used to be Connaught Place and the nearby Janpath street market. “Through the years, we would discuss how fantastic it would be if we could start a venture together,” said Munshi, 30. “The plans were always vague.”
Then, in 2017, Munshi finished a research course at TISS and returned to Delhi, the two friends reconnected, visited Janpath again and realised they could mirror the concept of this particular street market online.
“Most of the handcrafted Indian jewellery on Instagram and Facebook is really expensive,” said Munshi, who now works on the site full-time (Khanna has kept her day job as a marketing executive). “We give the suppliers their asking price and make sure the stuff is affordable to customers too. That’s our USP,” Khanna said.
In addition to sourcing from Janpath, they also now feature street jewellery from three other cities famous for it — Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Chennai.
Himanshu Bhasin, 27, is among the Janpath vendors now represented online. He runs a junk jewellery shop in the street market, with his brother. “I did have an idea about Instagram and how people sell on it but didn’t have the courage to start by ourselves,” he said. “On Janpath Online, they present the jewellery in a really good way. Selling through their online portal has been really beneficial for me, especially when the market was closed in the lockdown.”
Neha Mehta, 32, a risk and people manager from Bengaluru, shops at Janpath online because she says she likes to support businesses run by women, and because she likes the range and prices all on offer in one place. “They are also offering a platform to artisans,” Mehta said.
There were plans to add artisans and vendors from more cities to @janpathonline, and expand to purses, dupattas and more. “But of course we couldn’t in 2020,” Khanna said. “We now hope to in 2021.”