The time is coming when our Asian season ends and our sales season is about to begin, the time when everyone is wondering: when will Kebe and Fast be here, and what will we buy from them? The first part is easy. This is our 2014 sales schedule:
- May 15-18 Willow Point Lions’ Hall, 2165 South Island Hwy, Campbell River.
- May 22-25 Errington Memorial Hall, 1390 Errington Rd.
- June 5-8 Rossland Miner’s Hall, 1765 Columbia Ave.
- June 12-22 Hart Hall (Old Anglican Cathedral Hall) 501 Carbonate @ Ward, Nelson.
- July 3-6 Galiano Island Community Hall, 141 Sturdies Bay Rd.
- July 9-12 Mercury Theatre, 331 Brae Rd. Duncan.
- July 16-19 Salt Spring Island Farmers’ Institute, 351 Rainbow Rd. (next to the Recycling Center).
- July 24-27 Pender Islands Community Hall, 4418 Bedwell Harbour Rd.
- July 30-Aug. 9 Roberts Creek Masons’ Hall, Roberts Creek Rd. @ Hwy 101.
- Aug. 12-15 Agricultural Hall, 465 South Rd, Gabriola Island.
- Aug. 21-24 Mayne Island Agricultural Hall, 430 Fernhill Rd.
- Aug. 28-31 Fulford Community Hall, 2591 Fulford-Ganges Rd., Salt Spring Is.
- Sept. 11-14 Cobble Hill Community Hall, 3550 Watson Ave.
- Sept. 18-21 Gabriola Is. Community Hall, 2200 South Rd.
There are a few changes from 2013. We are pleased to be back at the Willow Point Hall in Campbell River after the absence of a year. There is also a new venue in the interior: we are at the beautiful and historic Rossland Miners’ Hall, instead of down the road at Warfield. Nothing against Warfield: we had one of our favourite sales there, but the hall was unavailable for our dates. We are also returning to the Gabriola Is. Community Hall, as well as being at the Agricultural Hall: it does sometimes seem that north and south Gabriola are two different islands!
As for what you can buy from us, well… We are very pleased with our sources this trip. By changing our timing slightly we visited our Indian suppliers at the peak of their inventory holdings, and consequently we were able to choose our goods from the largest possible selection. In particular our Madreama line of screen-printed table cloths and duvet covers is outstanding. We are also adding cushion covers and curtains from them this year. Move your cursor over the image for product info.
By popular demand we are introducing a line of twin size duvet covers (60” X 90”) with one pillow sham for the first time. They are “resist” block-printed in a style called “ajrak”, where an adhesive is blocked onto the fabric instead of a dye. Then the fabric is plunged into the dye vat, and the dye adheres to the areas where there was no adhesive. One advantage of this traditional method is that it is much easier to have a uniform background colour other than white: we have chosen maroon, blue and green.
We are also adding three more styles of kurtas to our clothing rack. The endlessly-adaptable kurta (Indian blouse) can range from cheap-to-the-point-of-disposable to high-end designer chic. Ours have all been tweaked from the basic original design, and are made – this is important – from quality cotton with finished seams.
As usual, we spent more than we intended on our Indian purchases, but we feel there were mitigating circumstances this year. A large selection meant that there was a rare chance to stock up on the best pieces of three of our favourite items: zari-work wall hangings from Pakistan; cut-work appliqué bedspreads (to which, in the twin size, we have added tabs to form spectacular curtain panels); and hand-woven wool jacquard blankets.
Over at Mr. Negi’s amazing collection (see blog: The Wonderful Warehouse of Mr. Negi) we were once again spoiled for choice. Eclectic and charming was our criteria, and we came away from there with a camel caravan’s-worth of (among much else) coal-fired irons, antique well-dippers, apothecary cabinets, painted stools, and a Lama’s folding prayer book table: in short, something for all of our tasteful eccentrics. You know who you are.
Speaking of, with this year’s order, we surely must be carrying one of B.C.’s best supplies of Buddhist singing bowls. Along with the exquisite hand-hammered bronzes and the popular cast bowls, we have brought in more of last-year’s big hit: the large cast aluminum bowls.
Here in Bali we have just wrapped up our orders, and they are being picked up by our shipper as I write. I know last year I was moaning about the decision we made to buy cast-concrete statues. For a store that has to be packed up and set up every week, they are miserably heavy items to be hauling around. It seems I have learned nothing. We have bought more than ever, including several new styles of Ganesha. We sold out fast last year, so if you are interested in a particular piece for your home or garden, let us know, and we will set it aside.
You might also want to pre-order our folding teak chairs. This is the last year we will be able to offer them at this price – check on-line, ours are the best deal out there.
The last new item I will mention is one directly inspired by our stay on Kanawa Is. (see the previous blog) – hammocks. Back here in Bali we found Riga, who runs a one-woman operation and is exactly the kind of entrepreneur we love to support. She makes quality hammocks of her own design, but is continually improving and improvising. She has just come out with a “yoga hammock” that a European client wanted to order. Apparently you can use the suspended stirrup-like rings to do asanas while swinging above the ground, but she admitted to being as stumped as we were as to how it worked. Maybe we are passing up a hot trend – add “yoga” to anything and double the price – but we are staying with her traditional style. In fact, we are test-driving it now…
Of course I’ve only mentioned a fraction of our goods. For a more complete idea, please visit our website, and browse through the “products” section.