Exotica at rock-bottom prices draws fans to Drawing IndiaAccessories are a key to being fashionable. Gorgeous necklaces decorated with jade, ruby or garnet say a lot about the people wearing them.
A shop called Drawing India has the goods: It lets shoppers change their image with Indian, African, Indonesian accessories.
Drawing India is easy to miss with its dime-a-dozen exterior and typical red and yellow sign. But those who find it keep coming back.
The owner, Lee Yong-sun, visits India regularly, carrying the items back herself ― one of the reasons her accessories are so reasonably priced.
Many of the items sold at Drawing India can be found at shops in Insa-dong or in department stores ― at 10 times the price. Word of the low prices and high-quality goods has been spreading and the shop is winning a loyal clientele.
In fact, some patrons are now selling accessories they’ve have collected on their travels on consignment at Drawing India.
The store stocks more than accessories. Antique ivory carvings from Africa, traditional clothes from China and other Asian and African treasures are for sale.
The ivory carvings cost 300,000 won ($240) and are the most expensive items in the shop. But the best-seller, a herbal henna hair dye from India, costs just 2,000 won. Rings are priced from 5,000 to 20,000 won; dazzling bracelets can be had from 5,000 to 100,000 won. A brooch with 14 rough stones will set you back 100,000 won, and a splendid lap skirt from India costs 10,000 won.
And one of the best things about Drawing India is that there are no pushy sales people. Try on the accessories and browse as long as you like.
Although the shop isn’t spacious, it’s surprisingly easy to get lost amid the myriad of exotic accessories. It’s even easier to be seduced by the low prices and end up buying far more items ― and spending far more money ― than you planned.
And if you start chatting with Ms. Lee about her travels and where she buys all her fabulous accessories, you very likely will stay in Drawing India for at least a couple hours.
Theme: Indian accessories
Telephone: (02) 735-7290
Hours: 11a.m.-10 p.m. daily
Location: 59 Tongui-dong,
Jongno district; a three-minute walk from Gyeongbokgung
subway station, exit 3
by Gloria Cha