Simon has just returned from the first of two annual trips to India. This time as well as a week in India he also spent time travelling in Thailand, visiting the carvers who craft our beautiful Surin range.
As well as working on new designs for our Autumn range, the trip allowed Simon time to meet the people behind our products and see the production techniques. We are also able to check on the quality, develop new packaging ideas and ensure that fair trade standards are being maintained.
Some of the new samples that were signed off during the trip were a selection of new lines from over ever popular Sheesham wood Mallani and Hathi ranges as well as some new lines from our new painted Mango Gypsy range that was launched this spring. After only a month since launch, the Gypsy range has been very well received and we are looking forward to adding even more cool aqua coloured pieces to the growing selection.
As well as meeting with our furniture supplier, Simon also visited our dedicated textile supplier who we have been working with the two years now. We are working to develop new Kilim designs and ranges as well as developing our ever popular and constantly growing Moti Ari ranges which now includes wall hangings, table runners, mats and cushions.
No trip to India would be complete without visiting SKSN School who we have been working with for the last five years. We have been working to develop trade links with the Vocational Training Centre (VTC) at the school which provides training and work for pupils who have finished their formal education with the school. Whilst visiting the VTC we worked on assisting with costing, production methods and sourcing of raw materials, mainly fabric to help develop the centres capabilities.
For this trip Simon expanded his trip and went on to visit Thailand. Our Surin range is made in Thailand and Simon wanted to see the carvers in action and learn more about the production process.
He first arrived into the hustle and bustle of Bangkok and was able to soak up the atmosphere of the markets and enjoy lots of the delicious street food. From Bangkok he flew to Chaingmai where he visited production facilities and carving centres. For the first time Simon was able to watch the skilled carvers at work as they carved timber into beautiful, unique tables. The Surin range is produced differently from our other ranges made in India as they are carved by small family communities who specialise in specific designs so one family will specialise in the SurinTwist Table and another will specialise in the Surin Library Table. After being carved in the villages the designs are brought to a production facility where they are air dried undercover in the warm Thai air, before being finished and then kiln-dried ready to be shipped to the UK.
Keep a look out for our Autumn catalogue which will feature lots of the new lines that Simon has been developing with our suppliers in both Thailand and India. We are always looking for new ideas for new products to develop and we welcome any requests from customers for new furniture designs. If you have a great idea please do share it with us, email firstname.lastname@example.org or let us know on Facebook or Twitter.