In January 2018, I magically found myself on a top peak of the cardamom hills in South India with my sister who was along for the ride with her husband. The vista was green, lush, far reaching and a bit scary on the rock edge. Doing the dry run for our new “Joy of South India” tour brought me to the backwaters of Kerala, the spice plantations of Thekkady, ornate mansions of the Chettinad people, the famous temple in Madurai and time at Blue Mango Trust, a women's program founded and run by my other sister. www.bluemangotrust.com
Traveling north to Srinagar where it was freezing cold with no central heat, I learned the whole process of papier machie tradition as a guest of the family that we work with. Srinangar was quiet, hospitable and unforgettable. I worked with the master designer and painter on some new designs for our Kashmir Collection and of course did some shopping!
Landing at last in my second home town of Jaipur, I breathed a sigh of relief to be back into that life, so different than here in Minneapolis. Ancient decayed splendor, riotous color, constant sounds engulfed me, entranced and delighted me. I purchased hand loomed wool rugs, traditional razai cotton block printed quilts, meters and meters of fabric for our tailoring unit. I got my hands blue with indigo mud resist block printing, met a whimsically talented young jewelry designer and spent precious time with dear friends.
I ended my two months in India with leading two groups of wonderful women on our two tours. www.redpersimmon.net Now I am home in Minneapolis where Jenny and I are pouring ourselves into readying our new store Marigold Way! Opening day is the 1st of May! Come on over and see the treasures!!! Remember, our products come straight from the source, ensuring that we support fair and sustainable businesses and artisans and focusing on women's empowerment.
"Little by little, one walks far. "