One of the fun things about moving to a new city or country is discovering new products and stores to shop from. Here are three of my recent finds:
Albarcas (or Menorquinas) - a traditional Spanish leather sandal that I struggled to find while in Spain. At first I thought they were a little funky but then I fell in love with the minimalist styling and durability - you can tell that locals wear theirs out for years! I recently picked up a pair by Little Abarcas who sells in Malaysia and Singapore but you can shop online for USA and international here here and here. With TOMS and J.Crew making the espadrille slip-on style popular with the US market I can totally see these becoming the next summer must have. Handcrafted, classic, and comfortable - that's one fashion craze that I'm happy to support!
Rice plant art object - my heart (and eyes) did a happy dance when I walked into The Jekyll & Hyde Project shop. If design, fun, form and function lived in one happy little accessories heaven then this is it. I wanted to buy everything in there because it was all useful AND crazy cool. But, I kept my wallet in check and just bought the rice plant object that I thought would be a nice zen piece/paperweight for my desk. Check out this product page for an animation of how it moves...it's so nice, even if the "wind" is just my air conditioning.
Embroidered zip pouch - you know that "little Ikea" that I mentioned we found? Well right next to it was a table full of handmade goodies by women refugees from Myanmar. I picked up a leaflet to learn more about their work and after I get a few projects out of the way this month I'm going to learn what I can about it. This part of the world is full of amazing textile heritage and skill - I'm definitely intrigued.