6 young professionals who will inspire you to make Goa your home


6 young professionals who will inspire you to make Goa your home

Why India’s creative folk are setting up shop in the Sunshine state

By ELLE team  September 27th, 2016

Sun, surf and sand — but also calm, community and culture. India’s young creatives are fleeing the big overcrowded cities and finding their new homes in the Sunshine State of Goa. “In the city, I have to find inspiration on Google Images. Here, I just sit in my balcony,” explains artist Smriti Choudhary, who escaped from the concrete jungle along with her music producer husband, Nucleya.

Like Choudhary, stylist and shop owner Sacha Mendes had run out of patience with her urban stint, and moved back home to open the now-popular Sacha’s Shop in the capital, Panjim. She says, “To me, it’s less about making a living and more about living your life a certain way. I wanted a healthy, peaceful lifestyle with room for introspection.”

Be inspired by these creative minds who made Goa their home

Shivani Gupta, photographer and dancer

“I didn’t move to Goa to run away from the city,” clarifies Gupta, a Mumbai girl, whose spacious studio in Bardem she says has magnified the scope of her art. She can now host artists she’s collaborating with and mount larger-scale productions. “The contemporary art scene here is small but energising.”

Cady crêpe wool-silk suit, Gucci. Fabric corsage, stylist’s own 

Tanie Fadte, stylist & founder of Mogachea

As she lay in her balcao in Moira, watching women walk to church in the afternoon heat, a pregnant Fadte decided to start her own fashion label. Mogachea is an urban Goan vision, all easy form and vintage flourishes. “I don’t need to go anywhere for a holiday," she says, "There’s a field down the road and the beach is right there.”

Pearl embellished Merino wool dress, Gucci 

Smriti Choudhary, graphic artist & founder of Airphish

“In a city, I have to find inspiration on Google Images. Here, I just sit in my balcony,” says Choudhary, whose childhood in Udaipur made life in a concrete jungle unbearable. So when her husband and musician Nucleya’s work allowed them to move to Goa, she was thrilled. “It doesn’t matter if I make less money. All my work is inspired by nature.” 

Merino wool polo-neck top, wool pants; both Gucci 

Ignatius Camilo, DJ & founder of Cirrus

Camilo likes to stay off-grid, which is why he returned to Goa after working in Mumbai and Delhi. At Cirrus, he plays music, breeds and trains dogs, serves up his mom’s cooking and welcomes people to camp, skate and create art. He DJs around the world and Berlin is a favourite destination, but he says, “There’s a kind of freedom in Goa you won’t find in European cities.”

Knit cotton top, patchworked denim jeans; both Gucci 

Sacha Mendes, owner of Sacha's Shop

“For me, it’s less about making a living and more about living your life a certain way. I wanted a healthy, peaceful lifestyle, with room for introspection.” After a stint as a writer and stylist in Mumbai, Mendes set up Sacha’s Shop, a fashion and design store in Panjim, which she calls her “cabinet of curiosities”.

Merino wool pullover, pleated Lurex skirt; both Gucci 

Kadambari Gladding, TV reporter and presenter

Goan by birth, Gladding spent 10 years working in New Zealand before returning home this year. Goa, to her, offers “the perfect balance between an urban and semi- rural lifestyle.” It allows her to recharge between assignments and prep for the yoga class she teaches. “Yoga is not static, it takes creativity,” she says. Goa will spoil you that way.

Silk crêpe maxi dress, Gucci. Metal watch, her own 

Jagvir Matharoo and Martino Caramia, fashion designers

In a small village near Asagaon dotted with old Portuguese houses, Matharoo and Caramia have learned to appreciate the small things, like running water. The couple retreat here to dream up ideas for their label, Flame. Matharoo, who moved four years ago from Mumbai. says. “I liked the idea of slowing down, eating better food and breathing better air.”

From left, on Matharoo: Crêpe shirt, wool jacquard pullover, wool pants; all Gucci. Silver rings, bangles, vintage glasses; all his own. On Caramia: Stretch twill suit, embellished ‘Dionysus GG Supreme’ bag; all Gucci. Silver necklaces, rings, georgette skinny scarf, plastic glasses; all his own 

Photographs: Bikramjit Bose. Styling: Nidhi Jacob. Make-up and hair: Anjali Noronha. Production: Tania Fadte