In Conversation > Radhika Poddar/Cinnamon


*An Indian By Design Exclusive*
I remember the first time I walked past the giant metal doorway, smooth pebbles curving into my flats, and experiencing Cinnamon. There was an air of quiet elegance about it. Along with a light-filled positivity that made you want to linger. Quirky artifacts, accessories and clothes were artistically placed around the 2000 sqft space, each handpicked for character and design. I remember picking quaint wooden bees on sticks, newspaper roll containers, Jason Cherian skirts, Michael Aram silver, glass fish. Today, I feature it with much nostalgia and hope that it remains as relevant to tomorrow as it was for yesterday. Here’s Radhika Poddar, owner and aesthetic guardian of this lovely place, in an informal chat about her love and longing for Cinnamon.

Indian By Design: It seems like you’ve been around forever. Why, when and how did Cinnamon come about?
Radhika Poddar: I started in Oct 1999. The concept was to sell stuff that I would like to buy. I still follow that basis when I source for the store.

Indian By Design: If I said ‘Cinnamon kind of design’, that means something today – did you set strict guidelines for the kind of aesthetic you would feature in the store?
Radhika Poddar: Absolutely. Anything that I don’t like, will not find a place in the store. The look is very contemporary, yet classic. I would not call the fashion at Cinnamon trendy. It is timeless. And we stick to that, because that is what appeals to us.

Indian By Design: Are there labels that retail only at Cinnamon?
Radhika Poddar: There are a couple of people we work with that don’t really retail elsewhere in india – SALT, NAYIKA, Rajka.

Indian By Design: What role do you see yourself play in promoting Indian art, craft and design?

Radhika Poddar: We use the traditional Indian craft but use contemporary designs. If you see the use of the marble inlay or the bidriware. These are age old crafts but made to completely contemporary aesthetics.

Indian By Design: The signature branding and the elegant postcard mailers set a trend way before any significant design entity came about. Who’s behind all of that?
Radhika Poddar: Till about four months ago, all the invitations were designed by my husband, Abhishek. Now we have a graphic designer who does them for us.

Indian By Design: What’s next on the cards? Will Mumbai or Delhi get a whiff of Cinnamon soon?
Radhika Poddar: We have a store in Cochin, that has been around for five to six years. As of now, we have no other stores on the cards.
Cinnamon, 11 Walton Road, Bangalore +91 80 2221 2426. Website here.


3 Responses to “In Conversation > Radhika Poddar/Cinnamon”

  1. 1 Ashok Panwalkar

    Cinnamon is a great store with its unique interior, dramatic lighting & interesting products.
    I always taken my European visitors to this shop during my visits to Bangalore. To me this turned out to be my inspirational store. And yes…I oepened my small store at Pune at which I have been show casing my own products – Ashok Panwalkar Creative Director, 3F Design Store, KoregaonPark,Pue

  2. 2 gautam dev

    Good ol Radhu,
    My childhood friend from school.
    Always had good taste. Very particular. Very hard working.

  3. I have been to Cinnamon in Blore a couple of years back and was a bit disappointed, beautifully designed place, and except for a few of the peices produced in India, most were from abroad, and very run of the mill. Case to point the- wooden gilded chargers costing an arm and a leg, available abroad at half the price. An enire tea set in white, plain and thick, again costing nothing abroad, and an arm and a leg here. Why the prices? Expensive does not always mean exclusive. i live abroad, and have been exposed to a lot of good design abroad, Italian, etc, and cannot understand why i would pay double the price for a charger…good browse tho’ and a nice concept for Blore….

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