Amanda and Meg love visiting Jaipur- the Pink City – particularly as it means they get so spend time with Gopal Saini at his pottery. Gopal is world renowned for championing this ancient art form and is internationally recognised as one of the best potters. Garima his daughter – who is similar age to Meg – is following in her father’s footsteps. We stock a few of their pieces in the shop

We love visiting with them at the pottery and soaking up the calm and peaceful atmosphere. Since the complex and time consuming process is all done by hand there is just quiet industriousness about the place.

After our last visit, we were invited to eat with the family at their haveli; a traditional 4 story building with rooms around a central courtyard that is home to the extended family.

We made our way up to the roof top where the family all eat together. It was a magical evening sitting on rugs on the floor. Both Meg and Garima have completed post graduate education and are similar age so there was much common ground to get the conversation going. It was an opportunity for Meg and Garima and her cousins to share about their lifestyles and cultures. We had a great discussion about marriage!

The evening passed all too quickly and having enjoyed the freshly prepared Thali we returned to our hotel to prepare for another day’s work.

Working in a pair is very important for several reasons. We keep track of everything as we select, right from the beginning so we don’t get overzealous with our budget. So one person is constantly calculating as the other takes a leading role in sorting through items. In the pottery, it is so tempting to select everything but we have to be aware of what our customers might like and how the items would fit into their home.

All the pottery is individually crafted so it can take the best part of a day to select pieces, which we lay out onto the floor rug, review and then agree purchases. Each year there is something new to discover.

Over the years we have developed a great relationship with Gopal and Garima. It is so lovely to see them every visit. From a business perspective it is invaluable – we know we can purchase really high quality pottery and some very special pieces of art, and they know we will be back each year to buy more. From a personal perspective, it is a joy to work with people who are passionate about their work and are such lovely, generous humans. Having this added dimension as a central tenet of our shop is really important to us – it’s not just about making money, it’s such a buzz to learn about other cultures and art forms and foster friendships that create mutually beneficial opportunities.