Shibani Faehnle is a Cleveland resident by way of Mumbai, India. She has been blogging about style, shopping, Cleveland, and everything inbetween for over five years and has recently opened an online boutique, Bombay Taxi. Faehnle was kind enough to chat with us about blogging, boutique ownership, traveling and style - read the interview below:
You began as a blogger and now own an online boutique! What prompted you to take the leap into boutique-ownership?
I started my blog in 2010, and as I hit my five-year anniversary in April of 2015, I started to really think about the next step in the evolution of my blog. While I was originally the Cleveland Shopaholic, I decided that I wanted to take this further and turn my shopping "passion" into a business, and what better way to do that than shopping for other people? I picked the name "Bombay Taxi" because I'm originally from Bombay, and the Bombay Taxi is really iconic in the city. To me it symbolizes travel and adventure, and while Bombay Taxi is currently focused on items from India, it allows me to expand it to include regions from my travel adventures as the business grows.
What kinds of items can shoppers find at Bombay Taxi?
Bombay Taxi is focused on limited-edition affordable luxury. Currently, my focus is women's accessories: handmade bags, handmade jewelry, and scarves. I just got back from a buying trip, and for 2016, our jewelry selection includes real gold-plated jewelry with semi-precious stones. We're using real gold plate because gold and sterling silver are both very expensive, and we're focussed on keeping stunning jewelry accessible to anyone on a budget. Our collection of handmade clutches is small, but very unique. Each bag has a jewel detail that is very fun, and makes the bag a piece of jewelry in itself.
How would you describe your blog?
My blog is a lifestyle blog, with a focus on fashion and fashionable things to see and do (and eat) in Cleveland.
Where do you find inspiration?
My inspiration comes from two main areas: travel and books. My husband and I have been fortunate enough to travel both domestically and internationally, and I'm always inspired by local culture, design, food and architecture. My husband is an architect, so seeing the world through his lens really allows me to shift my own perspective. I love reading: I've been a life-long consumer of the written words - books, magazine, blogs - you name it, I'll read it. I'm frequently inspired by things I read - sometimes it's a tiny kernel that results in me falling down an Internet rabbit hole, but all of this information continues to shape my thoughts, everyday life, my day job, my blog, and of course, Bombay Taxi.
How would you describe your personal style?
My day job is in finance and banking, and even though I'm no longer in a client-facing role, I like to always be client- or executive-ready. This means my work wardrobe is dresses or skirts, paired with blazers. I don't like to wear full suits - it's a little too perfectly coordinated for me. On weekends, I'm certainly more casual: jeans and wedge sneakers, with simple tees, or a leather jacket in cooler weather, or some fun dresses. I love pops of color, and I'm absolutely NEVER without jewelry. My personal motto is #SparkleEveryDay, and I mean that both figuratively and literally. I'm a huge fan of statement jewelry.
What is the best piece of style advice you've ever received?
The best piece of style advice I've received is to forget about the size tag, and trust the fit on my body and in the mirror.
Learn more about Faehnle and do some shopping at Bombay Taxi at www.bombaytaxiboutique.com