It’s April already and the months are flying by me. Small sister, big designer Katie was just in Morocco again this spring for her second trip. What was on our agenda this month? Well mums the word but Mushmina is designing new bags for our largest order yet. Can you guess who? America’s largest televised retailer. Stay tuned! More on that later…
Also on our agenda this month was to pay a second visit to the lovely ladies of the Eve Branson Foundation. Tucked in a quaint valley after a few windy roads up into the Atlas Mountains is the small town of Asni. About an hour outside of Marrakech (or 40 minutes depending on who is driving!) you arrive in the small Berber town where Kasbah Tamadot (Richard Branson’s boutique hotel) also sits perched overlooking the gorgeous valley. We were there to meet with the lovely Barbara, who is the coordinator for the foundation, and her women’s teacher Amina (pictured below). We were welcomed by 46 women (who each baked something for our arrival). We ran a color theory workshop at the new Tamgounssi Weaving Center for the ladies and finished with a group photo (and of course a cup of tea!). Our afternoon workshop was in the Tansghart Crafthouse and was a lively group of 15 younger women who were color savvy and participated in making their own color wheel with thread.
No travel is all work and no play. Other highlights of the trip, lunch at the famous Kasbah Tamadot, eggs and laughs with Barbara and David the owner of Green Sahara Furniture, (who just help to set up the Tansghart Woodworking Center!) and enjoying a morning tea in the breathtaking Asni valley on our way back to Marrakech.
What can we say? Again we are amazed by the warmth, hospitality, and gorgeous landscapes of Morocco.
Our journey continues….
Heather & Katie
*Just a little backstory on the Eve Branson Foundation. Eve, is Richards’s mom and the story goes that while on a hot ballooning expedition with her son she spotted the Kasbah for sale. Richard agreed to buy it for his mom if she took care of the neighboring villages. And take care she does! Eve spearheaded projects to open 3 crafthouses for women, a woodworking center for men, and an organic garden. The hotel and the foundation are committed to eco-tourism and employ many people in the surrounding villages. Eve is adventurous like her son and also has been known to trek through the river on foot to visit women and neighbors (at 90 something). We hope we have her energy!