Post Tagged with "PocketButiks"

A carpet shop in an old Ottoman house

Taner Sağıroğlu sits in the office of the wooden, historic Ottoman building which houses his carpet shop. Outside there’s a tranquil, vine-covered courtyard decorated with painted tiles from nearby Iznik, but winter arrived early this year and in mid-October it’s already too cold for sitting outside. The floor of the room has a warped hump rolling across it; one wall is covered in wood panelling, doors concealing handy-looking cupboards in the wall.

Inside the historic wooden building which houses Anadolu Kilim

Taner set up shop here in 1985, after ten years living in Italy, during which time he acquired a fluent Italian with a slight Neapolitan accent.

“This isn’t a big business”, says Taner. “I don’t deal through middlemen or wholesalers. That’s a great advantage because it means I know where each carpet comes from – I buy it off the original owner.”


October 5, 2012 Comments disabled

Giuseppe Boschetti – portrait of the artist

Although he does not sell his paintings, Giuseppe Boschetti is well known in his native Romagna (a region of North East Italy). His paintings are so much a part of him that he prefers to keep them on display in his house for family and friends, where they almost completely cover the walls of his apartment in Santarcangelo’s historic centre.

Giuseppe Boschetti exhibition

The artist’s studio is as chock full of detail as one of his paintings. A small, low table next to the easel is filled with paintbrushes in jam jars. Other surfaces are crammed with knickknacks: the top of one cupboard is crowded with empty glass bottles, another with wooden models. Look around and you see a vintage radio, an arrangement of seashells in a basket. A collection of modern art books sits inside one of the bookcases, pencil sketches hang on the walls. Light enters through skylights in the sloping roof, which ‘Pino’ warns us not to bang our head on.


September 28, 2012 1 comment

Introducing PocketButiks: Handmade products made by local artisans from around the world

We were sitting in a shop in Mardin, a small town in the south east of Turkey, near the Syrian border. You might have seen photos of the distinctive honey coloured stonework of the houses which cling to the hillside. The narrow streets don’t allow cars to pass easily, and donkeys are a fairly common site. “Welcome” called out a man as we walked along, seeing that we were foreign. The people here speak Arabic first, Turkish second. Some of them admit to having learnt their Turkish by watching tv. The new generation learns it in school though, the mothers told us proudly.

Mardin's distinctive honey coloured stone

The shop was an Aladdin’s cave of metalwork, tapestries and china… mirrors, large metal jugs, coffee serving sets. Having fallen in love with a mirror surrounded with stones and intricate metalwork, we were undertaking a leisurely negotiation process. Small cups of bitter Arabic coffee helped the conversation along. Learning we were from a large town in West Turkey, the owners pressed their business cards on us. “We can’t sell our products here”, they said. “We’re at the end of the world. No one comes here. Why don’t you set up a warehouse and help us to sell?”

Wouldn’t it be great, we began to dream, if we could help people like this to reach customers not just in other parts of Turkey, but all over the world. The idea of PocketButiks began to grow.


September 21, 2012 2 comments