When we first had the idea of setting up Caravanserai Trading Company, we imagined it would be purely an online business.
After the fun of being at our Paddington Pop Up shop, we decided to explore the Christmas markets on the beautiful Northern Beaches in Sydney. We booked markets at Newport, Mona Vale and Palm Beach to promote our business as importers of our unique Moroccan goods and showcase our goods to as many people as possible.
The Newport Beach Christmas market was just a stones throw from the surf. It had a very relaxed holiday atmosphere, with people strolling up from the beach dressed in board shorts or sarongs. Music played from two sound stages set up to attract the younger patrons and there was a real festival vibe to the atmosphere. Our vegan Agave cactus shoulder bags and colourful Moroccan towels and scarves proved popular and stunning Moroccan jewellery pieces in coral and silver were selected as Christmas presents. It was a fun day’s trading by the beach.
The following week it was off to the Mona Vale Christmas market where we set up our tent on grass in a park. A perfect summer’s day ensured there were alot of people visiting the market and it was great to see old friends who came along to say hello and meet new friends who discovered our exciting array of Moroccan handcrafts. Our leather tote bags proved to be popular, big enough to hold a lap top and compact enough to roll up and put in your handbag as that extra shopping bag!
Trinket boxes in silver with enamel were also popular as gifts, so useful to store earrings or just as a decorative piece and the recycled glass bottles decorated with Moroccan silver, to jazz up your bathroom.
Next market was in Elizabeth Bay, in a residential facility for over sixty five year olds. We have visited ‘Trebartha’ before and were invited back to showcase our Moroccan giftware items. In a relaxed atmosphere, there is time to share stories of Morocco and explain the history of the items – whether they were handcrafted on old wooden looms or leather dyed with vegetable dyes in open air pits as they have done for 2,000 years.
Our lovely scarves in linen, cotton and vegan silk were popular, as were our stunning wooden jewellery boxes handcrafted from the burl of the Thuya tree. A perfect gift for a man or woman. Also the leather change purses in the shape of a mouse, that fit snuggly in your palm, were selected as gifts for younger family members. We do enjoy meeting the wonderful staff and residents and look forward to our next visit to Trebartha in 2017.
The final Market for 2016 brought us to the top of the Peninsula and to beautiful Palm Beach, or Summer Bay, where the popular television program ‘Home and Away’ is filmed. Palm Beach is 40 kms from the Sydney CBD and has that holiday atmosphere all year round. Our stall was set up with the vista of golden sands and rolling surf behind us and an ocean breeze kept visitors to the Christmas market cool on a hot summer’s day. Palm Beach attracts musicians and celebrities over the Christmas vacation because of it’s atmosphere and seclusion.
A popular choice from market goers were our new vegan leather bags from Marrakech, in handwoven fabric in coral, Berber blue and navy which have matching beach bags. We still have a few left on online.
It was great to meet up with friends and locals at our beachside stalls and we were encouraged to return to the Christmas markets in 2017.
We hope that we have achieved our goal in sharing our love for Morocco and some of the wonderful handcrafts available through Caravanserai Trading Company, with you.