Published: 01st February 2021
Annahmol is a label that has been inspired by the colours and traditions that hold Kerala together
Annah Chakola created her brand by researching the traditions and cultural practices that have been followed in Kerala through the years by interacting with local artisans
Annah Chakola is head over heels in love with the motherland. After leaving India for the United States at the age of 18 as a student, she lived in a foreign land for more than two decades before she knew she was ready to go back home. The stylist and designer had always been flirting with creative spaces throughout her career. She remembers visiting quaint little vintage stores where she would find pieces of jewellery or furniture that she would breathe new life into.
When she first started, Annah would repurpose old jewellery that she would find. Initially set up by the name Boho Gypsy in 2008 in the US, her brand is now known by the name Annahmol by Annahmol. She says, "It was all very small. I met a few other makers along the way who created a few interesting things and I would collaborate with them. It was a learning curve for me on how to create a business plan of my own." Today she makes everything from clothing and jewellery to interiors.
GYPSY ROUTES: The brand was initially set up by the name Boho Gypsy in 2008
"I don't go by collections, I never have," she says, "My work is really just based on what I'm inspired by. I've always been someone that's been sensitive to all the visuals around me and to truly see that there's beauty in every little thing. I love the idea of deconstructing an object or one little thing you see in it and highlighting just that simple thing. It's simple lines, it's vintage and there's always some emotion behind it. I kind of work in reverse when I go on sourcing trips. I work with what I'm able to find and connect with it from there."
Around 5 years ago, Annah decided to make the journey back to Kerala. And with her, the brand has also come very far. Tired of being away from home and losing touch with the country, she decided to return to what she calls 'the source'. She quit her job and spent three months travelling across various Asian countries, she's been incorporating India, its colours and the culture into her work ever since. "I've always felt connected to the motherland," says Annah, "There was always this root that brought me back home. I never thought that I'd find myself back here where I grew up but being by the water in Kerala where I grew up really sparks my imagination. I was always connected. I just needed to find my way back home in my time."
In her search for this connection, Annah has frequented parts of the country where she learnt from local artisans about traditional crafts. "I've learnt how important it is to maintain tradition and see what you can do from your part to help keep traditional crafts alive. Because it truly holds so much of our history and connection to where we are as Indians. It shows you the origin of things." From 2020, Annah learnt that making plans also means constantly changing. In 2021, she hopes to connect with more artisans, expand more into lifestyle and help people create spaces through what she has to offer.