My story really began many moons ago growing up in the natural beauty of St Ives, Cornwall. Free spirited and barefoot with salty hair, a talent for drawing, a love for live music and my head buried in travel books. Working seasonal jobs, I saved enough for my first travel trip, grape picking in the South of France. I was just 17 years old.
Soon after that I was backpacking down and through Morocco. It was in the small town of Tafraoute that I came across a Berber - a nomadic mountain man - selling his wares on a blanket at the side of a dusty road. Neatly laid out piles of colourful Saharan beads. Unsurprisingly I bought them all for a pocketful of dirham and the coat I was wearing.
That Summer I threw down my own blanket in front of the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury and sold all of those colourful Saharan beads which I had painstakingly threaded and transformed into gorgeous, chunky necklaces and bracelets.
My confidence grew as did my passion for travelling and in 1991 off I went to India - the first of many trips. All senses alive, travelling from North to South and East to West. It was here that I learnt more about jewellery making, macrame weaving and silversmithing. A year later I returned laden with old Indian army trunks tightly packed with handmade treasures and trinkets. Back home in Cornwall I pitched up a stall at a local festival and sold the lot.
My life has been spent exploring this incredible and beautiful world, working hard, buying, selling, making, trading and living life with all of its ups and downs.
In 2014 I welcomed my beautiful daughter into the world. I immediately sent off for her passport and aged 7 months Rosie had her first taste of travelling. Strapped to my front, wide eyed and happy, we trekked across North India and Rajasthan, eventually settling in Pushkar. It was here, walking around the lake, that I met local families of artisans and knew this was where I wanted to stay and start up my fair trade business. After a month of designing, making and creating we returned home and I set up a stall full of beautiful, high quality, handmade products at a local Christmas market.
OMishka was founded and we were back in Pushkar 2 months later!
Fast forward 6 years and through hard work, determination, and dedication I am proud to say that I am now firmly established online, at nationwide events and on the festival circuit including Glastonbury Festival, where it began all those years ago.
Our travels have taken us all over India such as the deserts of Rajasthan, up into the Himalayan mountains and as far South as the beaches of Goa and Kerala. All the while designing, making, creating and ethically sourcing high quality textiles, jewellery and handicrafts. It has been quite an adventure and my daughter Rosie has been with me on this journey every step of the way.
With each trip from home, we take bags of clothing, shoes and toys to the Mother Theresa Orphanage for Children with Physical and Mental Disabilities in New Delhi. The Nuns here also work with the street kids and distribute clothing and food on a daily basis. It is a small gesture of goodwill on my part but it is a way of giving something back. I want to give more support by donating a percentage from each of my sales to this orphanage. There will be pictures and more information on this coming soon.
'Do Small Things with Great Love' - Mother Theresa
I strive to work ethically and fair trade together with the local artisans and families that I have supported and have equally supported me since the start of OMishka. Each one of my products is lovingly designed and consciously created by hand, using a high skill of expertise, with each unique piece telling it's story. You can read all about this on my 'Meet the Makers' page which is coming soon and will feature lots of great pictures taken throughout the years.
This is an amazing journey I am on with my daughter and for this I feel incredibly thankful.