The idea of opening a “Pop Up” shop was exciting! After much searching, we selected a shop on William Street in trendy Paddington. On the cutest street filled with charming terrace houses, with wrought iron front fences and overhead balconies which display window boxes filled with colour. The majority of houses have been converted into trendy clothing and shoe boutiques, hair salons, a chocolatier and a gorgeous florist. A few of the houses are still private residences and we loved being greeted by the locals as we walked up the street to work each day, which made us feel a part of the Paddington community. The house at number 19 offered a lovely space for us to present our first collection from Morocco.
We celebrated the opening with a party for family and friends, guests spilling into the street on a balmy Sydney spring evening. Just the perfect way to herald this retail journey.
Our front porch was the perfect space to display some of our ottoman collection. Fabulous ottomans crafted from old Kilim rugs in wonderful colours, were stacked high. Our leather ottomans crafted from camel leather and the striking Beni Ourain rugs from the Atlas Mountains, in softest natural sheep wool in black and cream invited our visitors to stroke them and feel the textures.
We draped Pom Pom blankets with their oversized Pom Poms, in greys, caramel, natural and blue and white stripes. These blankets look simply stunning on a bed, or draped over a sofa. They are hand made on old wooden looms in Morocco and we were intrigued watching the process earlier this year.
Being in the Pop Up shop we were able to Lindy’s gorgeous dog Coco to work each day. Coco would sit by the door on her own Kilim ottoman and greet our customers. She was the most photographed dog in Paddington!
We showcased our range of handbags and backpacks. Supple leathers crafted in goat and sheep skin, camel and cow skin leather. Dyed with vegetable dyes in a myriad of colours. We introduced a lovely range incorporating Agave silk, a natural fibre hand woven from the agave cactus plant unique to Morocco. Being a vegan silk, these bags proved popular amongst the natural fibre conscious Paddington locals! The collection includes tiny shoulder bags perfect for day or clubbing and a stunning range of shopping bags incorporating leather and agave silk. These bags come with a matching silk scarf, which look and feel fabulous.
We met some lovely tourists from Korea and Japan, Europe and the United States and students from the local design college who were intrigued by the intricate North African tribal carvings on our trinket boxes and daggers. People were fascinated by our stunning dowry chests and jewellery boxes, decorated with bone and metal, inlaid with semi precious stones and lined with leather. Very different and designed to make a statement in your home.
We are certain those who purchased pieces from our ceramics range, bold geometrics in classic black and white influenced by Spanish, Portuguese and Hebrew craftsman; will love the mystique of the Middle East evoked by each hand crafted piece.
Our jewellery was much admired. Stunning tribal pieces hand crafted from Coral, Amber, Turquoise, Amazonite and Malachite, trading beads from Mali, bracelets antique and modern crafted in silver with enamel decoration; and gazelle horn and ebony has been used to accentuate our earrings and cuffs. Many silver pieces are etched with traditional Tuareg tribal designs and our customers were interested to discover the meanings of the patterns on their unique piece of Moroccan jewellery. We had so much fun selecting our jewellery collection from the souks and shops in the medinas across Morocco and are passionate about each piece and loved being able to share the history and traditions with our customers.
We were sad to move on from our Pop Up store, as it was a terrific experience in the eastern suburbs. We may return to Paddington next year. Where will we go next? Newport Beach market day beckons Sunday November 27, but we will keep you posted! Lindy is currently in Europe and travelling to Morocco to purchase our Christmas range, so watch our website for the latest in the Caravanserai Trading Company range!
Karen and Lindy