Patan, Kathmandu. My mom tells me that I should find and invest some of her € in a good cause project to give back and do good. Quickly the protective son mode kicked in and I got a bit annoyed as this is not what I came here for, searching and getting involved in something was not my mission on this visit. It was really about myself this time and about learning tools and skills to help people in the longterm through yoga and new therapy methods. If things pop up, sure, but search and push to do good…no. I feel that there are enough people who “come to do good” and I believe that if sth should come up it will. So there I go, egocentrically walking the streets to get breakfast and a hair cut, passing by a pretty nicely designed and well taken care of house that had exhibitions of contemporary Nepali art. And not that handy craft kind of vibe, but a proper art scene vibe. So I walked in and quickly got into a conversation with the owner, Marie who introduced me to the space.
Besides the impressive art, she showed me her heart project, which is about bead bracelets, necklesses and other small accessories that are made by women in rural villages. The beads are made from glass bottles that they collect in nature (trash), smash and with simple clay molds melt into colorful beads. They do this in their basic, fire powered ovens at home and suddenly become artists and creators instead of just cooking food and doing house work. I was amazed by how such simple initiatives give people a voice, a creative identity and the feeling of creating something that people love and that does good for the environment they live in.
Mind blown. And there goes the project I was not looking, looking for.
Stay tuned for these beautiful beads in Amsterdam and around. I’m happy to send you yours, once I figured pricing after import taxes and all that jazz. 🙂
But it gets better. Talking about my background and what I do here, we started talking about sound bowl therapy and yoga and she started getting excited wanting to organize a happening in her art space with me. Bringing people to a special state of mind in the truly special surroundings of her gallery. So next week we will have a candle light sound bath meditation in their space! 🚀
She started talking about her team, that would love this and it turned out that above the gallery there is a fully blown design studio that does amazing work for local and international clients. Their work mixes local values and local craftsmanship with a very clean and sober design, lead by her and her creative team. Speaking about my experience in advertising and client management she got very excited and invited me to get introduced to the team. What started as a quick chat between artworks, turned into an exchange of experiences and a small consulting-like session about how to deal with clients, their expectations and on how to distill a brand identity from uncertain clients. We ended up brainstorming for almost two hours, on workshops, scenario based pricing strategies and management of expectations.
Mind blown again. Plus, this time I could add my ones and twos having people listening excitedly.
The beads products are beautifully designed and branded in their studio, making them look so premium and sustainable that they could easily rock any western market, while at the same time using materials, tags and packaging, typical to the rich, local Nepali crafts heritage.
So now, not only I know where to invest moms € but also where I will return to. I promissed to brainstorm with them on other ideas about what products to develop based on the local heritage and skills of this beautiful art melting pot. Because this is the magic, speaking the contemporary design language in product design and material innovation, with a touch of ancient crafts skills right next door. Like that, for instance, simple and beautiful metal work can be used to create design products of excellent quality.
Mind blown again.
And here we go, bringing beautiful minds together, creating beautiful products that can find some true potential in a western market.
Not necessarily a yoga story, but for sure a way to harness local culture, support where there is a need and being right at the source of the crafts and creative process. And then topping it off with some of my mind and body work skills in the same space. Sounds good to me.
And in the end its just another example how things unfold once you remain open, curious and self confident that you do have your piece to add to the puzzle and create some more good in this world. And now, more than ever, my tattoo that reminds me to walk the walk and not just talk the talk and keep walking so things unfold is a beautiful reminder.
And as an uodate here some poctures from one of the workshops where the ladies produce everything…from molds and glass powder to beads and bracelets.