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Indian born entrepreneur launches new Gateshead retail venture

Bring bespoke Indian-inspired art and fashion accessories
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Ponchi in the new store
Ponchi in the new store

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An Indian born artist and businesswoman has opened a new shop to bring bespoke Indian-inspired art and fashion accessories to Gateshead High Street.

Ponchi Kantt-Neaz has launched ‘With Love Zaen’, next door to the town’s new £150 million Trinity Square development, offering a mix of ethnic inspired products from colourful paintings of Indian folklore to funky and contemporary pictures.

“The ethos of ‘With Love Zaen’ is the renaissance of ethnic art, peerless style, and a love for haute couture, says Ponchi.

“Since childhood, art has been my passion, I learnt to paint using various mediums such as charcoals, oils, water colours and acrylics. I had the idea to start a business combining my heritage with my love of art and fashion after painting illustrations to decorate our home.

“My husband motivated me to take the next step by selling my artwork at local markets including Tynemouth, the Quayside and various arts and craft fairs across North East.

“The customer response was fantastic! Many asked if we had a shop which made investing in retail space and an ecommerce website the logical next step. Even in today’s dot com age customers still like to see, touch and try products.“

The 30 year-old, who moved from her native Delhi to Gateshead 13 years ago to study bio technology at Northumbria University, runs the venture in partnership with her husband.

The art collections are all hand painted by Ponchi and complimented with a range of handmade fashion accessories and custom gifts produced by Indian artisans using traditional techniques and styles.

She makes regular buying trips to India where she trades with artists in remote regions to find unique, quality pieces, which in turn helps to support their livelihoods and keep ancient skills and traditions alive.

Ponchi is passionate about her adopted home town and proud to be a part of The Hive which currently houses six independent retailers.

She said: “Gateshead is a fantastic place with a rich artistic and cultural spirit. It’s the ideal location to launch a new business. Investment in the town centre, plus a growing combination of national chains and independent retailers is drawing more shoppers into town.

“I’m honoured to share my heritage and bring something new and exclusive to the High Street. We’ve had a great response so far, word is spreading, and we’re now attracting interest from across the region as well as online.“

Ponchi is also working closely with Sanctuary Art Space in Gateshead to unveil a new collection this summer which will be also be available in her Gateshead store after the exhibition.

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