My story began many moons ago growing up in the natural beauty of St Ives, Cornwall. Free spirited, with a talent for drawing and my head buried in travel books.
I was soon backpacking down and through Morocco and 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 traded the coat I was wearing.
That Summer I threw down my own blanket in front of the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury and sold all those colourful Saharan beads which had transformed into gorgeous, colourful, chunky necklaces and bracelets.
My passion for travelling grew and in 1991 I travelled to India. It was here that I learnt more about jewellery making and textiles. A year later I returned home with old Indian army trunks tightly packed with beautiful artisan handmade goods. Back in Cornwall I pitched up a stall at a local festival and sold it all.
I have spent my life travelling and exploring the world, always working, learning new skills and living life with all it's ups and downs.
In 2014 I welcomed my 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, we trekked across North India and Rajasthan, eventually settling in Pushkar, a place I had fallen in love with 23 years before. Walking around Pushkar lake I knew it was here I wanted to set up my fair trade business. After a month of designing, making and creating together with local artisan families I returned home and set up a stall at a local Christmas market.
OMishka was founded!
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. 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.