I have just returned from an amazing and full-on road-trip in South India, where I visited several factories we use to make our cushions and bed linen. Along the way I had personal tours of printing and dyeing factories, embroidery factories and weaving factories – where I got to try my hand at the Bit loom!
For me as a designer, it was incredible to finally see these places where our designs are turned from ideas into something tangible that you see in the shops. And the people who we work with there (in some cases almost on a day to day basis) are all so lovely and were so thorough in their efforts to help me understand the entire process our designs go through, from the moment they receive our emailed artwork and specs to the moment they dispatch the first samples to us here in NZ.
I left feeling grateful and filled with so many stories and images to take back to the team here, of coconut palms and banana trees swishing in the breeze; snaking back-waters twinkling in the hot afternoon sun; eagles soaring overhead; weaving factories that cause the biggest racket you can imagine, with their ancient looking arms and levers clanking away furiously like something from the industrial revolution; and the craziest traffic jams you can imagine!
Over the next while I will endeavour to post some of the pictures I took along the way, but for now it's time to catch up with an exploding inbox and get back to wrapping up Summer 2016-17!