We’re back from our trip inspired by the history and culture of this ancient land and also managed to find many great products you will love.
The smell of New Delhi was evident as soon as we opened our hotel room door on the very first morning. It was a stench of industry seeping in through the lobby which lingered as if the norm. Once out of the hotel, we traveled by private car where we felt like we were in a protected bubble from the everyday life on the street. It was fascinating, disturbing and beautiful at the same. It was hard to ignore the suffering, desperate and hungry when your heart wanted to give. Once we settled into accepting this way of life, it became easier but at times still painful to witness.
With populations in the millions in an average city, there are many laborers desperate for work. This was one of the ways we could give back.
The New Delhi Craft Show was massive and was greatly influenced by Europe. From the very first exhibitor I laid my eyes on, to the very last, I was pleasantly surprised by the innovation and forward thinking designs. There were buyers from all over the world and the expectation was to import in larger quantities. We connected with small local businesses as they manufactured by hand and most had an interest in fair trade regulations and quality workmanship.
We flew from Delhi to Mumbai and then Jaipur to follow up with the manufacturers we met at the show. In Jaipur we felt we could breath and we traveled more freely out in the open by Tuk Tuk, which was a sheltered three wheel motorcycle. At times I even traveled alone with our Tuk Tuk guide into places you wouldn’t venture as a tourist and felt completely safe. We spent endless hours in fabric showrooms and small domestic factories which we felt had good clean work ethics.
I was completely in my element on the roof top of a Jaipur factory designing our very own “Karger Gallery” private label bedding, using the ancient method of block printing in natural dyes. From the top of the roof, I could hear chanting and prayers in various religious dialects coming from all directions. It was magical, I didn’t not even realize I worked every day.