As importers and designers we are not visiting a trade fair and placing orders standing at a well lite vendors booth. Our name says ‘Imports.’ Our version of trading involves being familiar with a foreign market and its artisans. It evolves meeting various artisans and understanding their crafts as well as the related history. It also requires that we understand the local materials used in their products and the why or how they are utilized. Often we find ourselves exploring how to adapt their product to become more desirable to our home market.
The sourcing of items like our premium polo belts, handmade kilim loafers and hand loomed scarves calls for exploring by foot, by cab, by rail, by bike and by asking endless questions and at times some dumb luck in order to find the type of goods we are want. This world of importing has being going on since recorded history and seems to have a future in spite of covid 19 aka corona virus. For me its a form of intellectual curiosity or stalking an elusive prey, for my daughter it is guilt free shopping, for my son it adds to our brand! Either way, we enjoy it as a family.
When we are introduced to a weaving coop whether in Morocco, Turkey, Tunisia or Argentina we often see these colorful complex hand woven linen scarves. In these we see their local traditions and the effort it requires to produce them. Sometimes we may ask gently if they have various dyes or tints that may be more appealing to North American taste. In many cases, they are eager to adapt styles because we are meeting people who are thankful that we as importers. To them we will help them export their creations into a far away markets that they could never dream to sell into. In this model of import/export both parties need each other and as a result we are inclined if not required to assure that both of us do well in our pricing. If they prosper - we prosper. This is fair trade at its finest.
We strive to be a purveyor for beautiful accessories that are difficult to find elsewhere. Our kilim shoes, saddle leather polo belts, jewelry and hand loomed scarves are well liked, however, well liked by a small percentage of the population.
Our website enables us to engage that small percentage of buyers. The bigger effort is to constantly pay attention to details and to become for you a trusted source of versatile handmade shoes or scarves that are coveted for their signature vintage aesthetic. At least that’s our goal.
This all sounds easy, maybe you are ready to buy a plane ticket to some far away place and do some guilt free shopping while launching an online business. Not so fast! There is a little problem with having the sense of style and what many call “an eye.” With Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Etsy and YouTube and a host of other visual media outlets people soon find they are lacking ‘an eye’. In the past those seeking style guidance would defer to a designer label or stylist. Nowadays with a rich visual tangle our searches on mobile phones one can aspire to a style such as the street wear, yachting style, polo style, gypsy style, bohemian, gaucho or cowboy and proceed to assemble items that will fit their image.
Our Turkish kilim shoes will pair well with vintage clothes while the exact pair of kilim loafers will make a man in his tuxedo really stand out at is our wedding. These shoes can add a bold gesture to a ordinary look. Women’s kilim slippers will adapt to khaki, twill, denim, moleskin and tweed and enhance the visual texture of each. The same has happened with our premium saddle leather polo belts and our handmade linen scarves.
We work in this niche where our accessories can enhance the individual who is aspiring to a given style or better yet embarking on their very own style. Most customers that support our store know these beautiful pieces are adapted to a myriad of looks for both men and women, young and old, both with a budget or without. Again, visual sophistication is a odd trait that has its own bell curve. We hope to be appealing to as many as possible but our focus is that right 1/4 of that bell curve and if you were not there you would have stopped reading this three paragraphs ago.
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