Ginger (or adrak in Hindi) is grown on farms throughout India. On our trip, we came upon a ginger farm and stopped to take a look. The landscape was very vibrant and green – the leafy green stalks of the ginger are reed-like and can reach up to three feet tall. We saw the farmers harvesting ginger rhizomes (the underground root part of the plant) and piling them up. It was amazing how much was harvested!
Each month Studio T features one of our retailers. This month we caught up with Jennifer, co-founder of Angelique Baby + Kids. Learn about the brand and the hot spots of New Orleans below!
Have you always lived in New Orleans?
I was born in Birmingham, Alabama. I have been in my wonderful New Orleans since 1996. My business partner, Angelique Palumbo is New Orleans born and raised.
How was your business born?
We opened in 2006, post Katrina. We are looking forward to our 10 year birthday!
Tell us a little about your family history.
I brought some of my deep traditional Alabama ideas of children’s wear to New Orleans. Like my electric city of New Orleans, the store has evolved to a more sophisticated and worldly scope. continue reading →
Everyone knows India is a colorful place, but you don’t quite understand just how colorful until you are there. There is a beauty in the chaos of all these colors flowing around you. There are no neutrals. You don’t realize how plain and muted everyone dresses in your home country until you step foot in India. Men and boys wear pinks and purple without a second thought. Young and old proudly sport bright & bold colors that reflect the bright and joyous spirit of the people wearing them. Because everyone and everything in India is colorful we kept running into these special moments where a person wearing bright yellow would walk into a banana stand and suddenly camouflages into the background. Or when our photographer disappeared into a field of marigolds with his Ikat shirt he bought in Kolkota. We made collages of our trip pictures to try to share with you a little taste of these special moments.
Perhaps small groups of girls quietly sewing or studying or shyly showing us their homemade handicrafts. Something simple. Something that would be easy to describe with a few well-chosen adjectives.
Instead, I found myself holding a bemused baby goat and thanking a smiling 14-year-old girl for her gift while trying to explain through a translator that there was no way I could get a goat through customs.
It was a Saturday in Jaipur and my Tea colleague Jessie and I were spending the day visiting villages with Gram Bharati Samiti, a non-profit funded by the Global Fund for Children. In Hindi, the name means “Society for Rural Development.”
Early that morning, we met the Gram Bharati Samiti founder, Bhawani, at his office near Amer Fort. A sixty-something man with sharp eyes and sparse hair, Bhawani welcomed us with a gentle greeting and masala chai. He introduced us to Kusum, a quiet woman in her fifties who has worked with Bhawani for 25 years. (Kusum has one of those smiles that makes you feel like everything is going to be ok.)
Bhawani explained that he and Kusum would take us to visit three of the 17 villages they’ve been working with—teaching them about safe drinking water, about healthcare and women’s rights and the power of education.
After an hour or more of jouncing down increasingly narrow roads, dodging cows, camels and overloaded motorbikes, our van pulled into the middle of Gaonli village and I sat and stared in open-mouthed astonishment.
There, in a dusty clearing between equally dusty mud dwellings, stood a huge tent teetering on bamboo poles. And beneath it, a rainbow of pink and yellow and purple saris.
A crowd of villagers, mostly women and girls, all turned to stare as we awkwardly climbed out of the van and then, as Jessie and I pressed our palms together and murmured, “Namaste. Namaste,” they all began to smile and laugh and bob their heads in greeting. They had been waiting for us.
We were led to the front of the tent and seated on folding chairs facing everyone as Sarita, another GBS staff member, picked up a microphone and began to introduce us.
We found out later that the sound system was powered by a generator that had been trucked in on the back of a motorcycle. Gaonli has no electricity or running water. The people who live there walk nearly two miles each morning to pump their water from a well. (Yet later, at every door we passed, someone came out to greet us holding dripping glasses of water for our refreshment.)
Dressed in their best and visibly nervous, several teenage girls put on a Rajasthani dance demonstration, one after another after another gracefully bobbing and twirling in front of us, anklets jingling. continue reading →
We were thrilled to see bold print and pattern mixing everywhere we went in India. The brightly colored clothing (everything from saris to pavadas!) truly lit up the earth toned streets. Our newest prints give little citizens the freedom to mix and match as they please. continue reading →
Fearlessness. A characteristic one must possess to drive on the roads of India. On the streets you will find all types of vehicles… rickshaws, bikes, trucks, buses, cars, SUVs, three-wheelers, tractors, bullock carts — even all types of non-vehicles… people, cows, goats, dogs. With no real lanes and various speed limits, you quickly realize that your horn is the most important asset! continue reading →
Mandala means “circle” in Sanskrit and is a spiritual and ritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism, representing the Universe. It has been said that creating mandalas helps stabilize, integrate and re-order inner life.
We designed this mandala in hopes that you and your little citizens will decorate it over and over again. In India, mandalas are made of many different types of objects. We’ve gathered household items to create a few different types mandalas ourselves!
What will you come up with? Share it with us using #MakeAMandala on Instagram.
Kantha is a type of Bengali embroidered quilt. The kantha quilts of Bengal are created from fragments of old family garments layered on top of each other. Each kantha tells a story through technique, design and patterns. Women’s voices are heard through the mends, patches and stitches in this living tradition. continue reading →