Aum Ganesha

Ganeshaone of the most worshipped deities in Hinduism. Ganesha – widely revered as the remover of obstacles and the bestower of spiritual gifts such as intellect, knowledge and wisdom. Ganesha – the God of beginnings.

The Royal arcade is famed for it’s curious little shops and quirky cafes, but it is also known for a little boutique that houses all things Ganesha.

Aptly named Ganesha Handicrafts, after the majestic elephant God, this colourful multi-level store houses a wide selection of ethnic clothing, jewellery and Eastern inspired handicrafts. What’s special about their products is that they are ethically sourced from India and Nepal, ensuring that the craftsmen and women who hand make the store’s product range receive a fair wage for their skilled work.

If you’re hunting for a gift out of the mundane selection found elsewhere, then this shop doesn’t disappoint. Items like cloth messenger bags and backpacks for example retail for just £10 upwards. These bags come heavily embroidered in bright colours, are soft to touch and easy to sling on your shoulder or back. Choose from mirror work, patch work, tassels or simple knits, depending on how subtle or flamboyant your style is.

If traditional jewellery is more up your alley, the store has a wide collection of rings, pendants and necklaces, studded with vibrant gem stones from the Far East. Some of the natural stones used in the jewellery pieces include blue turquoise, Indian ruby, Japanese opal and black onyx. Though the jewellery is simple, it’s timeless and elegant, and makes the perfect accessory to complement any spring or summer outfit.

 

And speaking of outfits, the store is stocked with ethnic wear for both men and women. The boho gypsy skirts, are sure to catch your eye as they glisten in the sunlight, almost as if they are showing off their pretty shades and mirrors.

The shop smells as fragrant as oriental Jasmine flowers thanks to the aroma released from burning incense sticks, which are also available to purchase.

Kelly who loves shopping here says excitedly, “I cannot wait for pay day! I’m heading straight to Ganesha Cardiff!”

However, even if you were to leave without buying anything, just the experience of visiting the shop will leave you with a sense of calm and well being.

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Thank you, Ganesha – the God of good fortune and success.

 

 

 

Art in the arcades

With the holiday festivities over, and the Christmas lists done and dusted, you might wish to detox by immersing in activities less stressful than shopping.

A walk in Bute park, morning yoga, jazz concerts and visits to museums are some of the more therapeutic activities that spring to mind, to calm the mind.

For some, if art is your ‘go to’ place, then look no further than the Duke Street Arcade. Step into Jian Chen’s Fine Art studio and whether you’re an art lover, collector, enthusiast or just a browser, this colourful little gallery will transport your mind to a more spiritual zone.

One where fairies and butterflies co-exist with parrots and penguins.

Every piece of artwork in the shop is derived from the artist’s original paintings, which can be viewed in her basement Gallery.

The artist, Jian Chen says uses watercolours to create her masterpieces. She has been painting since she was a child.

Here you can sneak a peak into Jian Chen’s exquisite collection

“I believe I’m now at a point where I exist within creativity,” Jian explains.

“I have the need to paint every day, just like when I was a child. Inspiration comes from everywhere, anything can trigger me.

“With regard to what to paint and how to paint, I just follow my instinct,” Jian expresses.

Jian’s candles, keychains and tshirts are ideal to present as gifts, while the paitings make perfect keep sakes to decorate your home. They are affordable with small prints starting from just £2.50 upwards.

One of the store’s best buys is the Sloth (featured below). Katie Mitchell who recently purchased a Sloth watercolour acknowledges that Jian is very talented.

“I love her work and I’m looking forward to hanging the beautiful painting up in my house!” she says joyfully.