So we've only been home from our trip for six weeks, but it feels like a million years ago. As I hope you all know by now, the new collection is finally available for purchase (YAY!!!) and we couldn't be more proud. Thank you so very very much to everyone who has helped out with this in some way (you know who you are) we are lucky to have you in our lives and we think the world of you! And if you HAVEN'T checked it out yet - you totally should http://www.yyzimports.ca/collections/rumours. But it has been all consuming lately so if we've been bad or neglectful daughters, sisters, friends, etc. in the past month and a half please forgive us.
I believe the last post I wrote was in Jaipur, at the very start of our trip. We learned as we made our way through India that it's an extremely challenging country to navigate, both geographically and emotionally. We were prepared for it, at least I think we were, but its just unlike anything you have ever imagined. There were things that we loved and things that we hated. I think our business will bring us back there one day, but we are not in a huge hurry to be perfectly honest. This was of course just our experience, and it was very much based on the cities we selected, but it was the most challenging trip I have ever been on. We felt very unsafe nearly every day, so much that we didn't explore on foot really, which was hard to get used to. We literally walked all day every day in Bangkok partially because of feeling cooped up during our stay in India. But in most of the places we stopped, you look out the window and you just don't see women walking - anywhere - unless escorted by a family or at the very least a man. The ratio of women to men that we saw working was pretty eye opening. It actually inspired us to try and help out in a small way with a cause dedicated to helping women in India, either via education, helping women who are victims of abuse, etc. I did a bit of research while there and read the following statistics that very nearly broke my heart:
- Of every twelve million women born in India, one quarter (three million) don't make it to their fifteenth birthday
- One third of those (one million) don't make it to their first birthday
This will take us a bit of time to sort out logistics-wise, but eventually for any piece you purchase that comes from India we plan to add an optional donation on top of your necklace purchase that will help the chosen charity to raise money. I have a few emails out trying to source a reputable charity, but if you have one in mind please contact us or make a comment below the blog post.
So it was a different trip than we expected but we weren’t going to let it get us down, so just we found the things that we loved and we spent our time doing those things (mostly eating - Have you tried Paneer Tikka? just sayin...). As for the business end of things, we did have some great success and found some amazing pieces (a few are on the site already but we have another large shipment about to arrive). We also got some great advice on other parts of India that are known for the type of jewelry we are looking for, so we can be really focused on our next visit. I call that a success.
This is us with our AMAZING driver in Kochi – If you’re passing through that area let us know and we’ll pass along his contact info. He is AWESOME.
Another photo of beautiful Kochi.
And here is Varkala Beach. The one stop we were able to explore without a driver. It would be incredibly easy to lose a few weeks (or months) here. Utter paradise.
And our last stop, Chennai. This is an image of my FAVOURITE new Indian dish (paneer tikka). If you have never tried it – you NEED to. Prepare to have your mind blown.
Here are some more pictures of Chennai...
And then Bangkok, I can't begin to explain to you my love for Bangkok. Four short days are all we had in Bangkok and they were a complete blur. In the most incredible way possible of course. Great catch ups with a dear old friend, time with new friends, so much shopping. I can't even explain to you the shopping. We are absolutely thrilled with all the beautiful pieces we picked up while in Bangkok. The second we got our butts into our seats on the plane to come home we are already starting to plan our next trip back. It's just so full of life, incredibly inspiring and full of possibility.
So apologies for the long delay between posts – I will aim to get better at this. Another lesson I have learned recently…having a full time job and running your own business = hard work – but we’re up for the challenge!
Keep your eye out for new pieces coming to the site all the way from India!
Thanks again for the support everyone.
Jess and Ernestina