Adventures in Delhi
Some might call me impulsive, but there’s nothing like booking a flight to India to get the mind focused on your new business idea!
I got the travel bug in my early 20’s, heading off on my own to New York to work in a children's camp in the middle of the Adirondack mountains and backpacking my way around the US. From that first experience, I engineered jobs that allowed for big breaks to go on more adventures and luckily married someone with a similar wonderlust, together we've travelled far and wide (and I've amassed ALOT of trinkets along the way).
Fast forward to 2018 and a change of business direction, required me to source some interesting new pieces, but to pop to a UK trade show, felt too easy and almost like cheating. So I decided India and one of Asia's biggest trade fairs was the answer and I'd work out how to be an importer later! I've been to India before and so there was no way I was going on my own, thank goodness for a good friend with an adventurous spirit and no previous experience of what she was letting herself in for, Delhi – here we come!
We arrived in the middle of the night, travelled by taxi at high speed, largely on the wrong side of the road with no functioning seat belts and as I'd booked modest accommodation, this was the view from our hotel window in the morning, my poor friend - I'd like to publicly apologise!
The view from this window was a stark contrast to what we found at the trade show. Full of the most colourful characters and stunning products across a huge site, along with some total tat which may or may not now be adorning the shelves of a large interiors chain starting with the word 'Home'! We spent literally hours sat amongst the biggest piles of cushions discussing tassels and colour choices. The Jaipur cushions in my range are hard won, negotiated at the pace of a snail with no sense of there being anywhere else we needed to be. Followed by being the most troublesome things to import, it must be why I love them so much.
I met some amazing people and was so lucky to be introduced to Payal, the female owner of a small factory employing a team of women, working hard to support their families. I liked her alot and coupled with the fact that her products were exquisite, I’d found my bag supplier. Her team deserve a blog post of their own and so that’s definitely one for another day.
I’m proud to say that although an unconventional start to a small on-line shop, the products I sourced formed the basis of the Effortless Trading Collection and are unique to me, it was all I was aiming for from the trip, aswell as ofcourse - to do something a little bit extraordinary.
Delhi itself is so hard to describe, with its smells and it's noise, traffic, bare electric cables and many many people living an existence that you just can't comprehend. My two sets of images here are the only way I can think to demonstrate the extreme contrasts of this incredible place, there are just no words.
India is mind blowing and I hope to go back soon, possibly with a very slight upgrade to our accommodation.