The exhibition went very well. I am an eternal optimist but it went better than even I predicted. In part the success was thanks to the Arastan ‘champions’ who spread the word, part to the work Anisha Chacko did on the exhibition collateral and to the fact that people who came liked what they saw enough to buy it. And we got some excellent learning not just of the exhibition but also on purchasing patterns. All noted and incorporated into our plans.
In my wanderings, I have come across many interesting businesses and people. One such company is Jaipur Rugs Company and we sell their contemporary carpets alongside the tribal ones. Jaipur has just received the India Pride award for social change in India. Well deserved as I think they do what they do very well. The Jaipur carpets proved very popular at the exhibition as did the Anatolian kilims.
Elated I left for Thailand to be with a friend who had a pretty major health scare. Luckily she was okay and I got to do some sourcing. Lots of fantastic old textiles from Yunnan province in China, Vietnam and Laos, and some very nice leather and fabric bits from Thailand. And some more silver including the prettiest little butterflies for young girls (and some older ones too!) And of course the food… …my newest discovery being winged bean salad which really is to die for!
Unfortunately the flooding got worse and all our Thai vendors have been affected but they are trying to get back on their feet and stock has started arriving in time for our Christmas Bazaars. We will be at the AWA Mela in Delhi on 20 November, OWC Bazaar in Bangalore on 26 November and German Christmas Fest and Racing Carnival in Mumbai on 3-4 December.
We end our first year on a great note (barring the delays to the online store caused by incompetent web developers, now being done by a much more competent Mike who luckily comes for free!) by taking on our first employee, Karthik, an extremely bright engineer looking for a career change. I could write a book about my experiences trying to set up and run a small very legitimate company in India but for the moment need to download it all to Karthik. Can’t wait! Honest truth is I am much better at 30k feet than at 3k feet.