At the end of December, after the Christmas rush, we will be heading to Asia for three months to visit Hong Kong, Thailand, Cambodia and India. Our itinerary is planned out, but is somewhat flexible. We will be spending a week in Hong Kong visiting my family, then one week in Thailand, two weeks in Cambodia, and then two and a half months in India. The Hong Kong and Thailand portion of the trip will be a welcome vacation after the busy holiday season, and in Cambodia we will be doing a combination of sightseeing and research, with visits to several weaving centers.
Once we arrive in India, it's back to work. I'll be running my business from the road, so I will be blogging, answering emails and doing administrative work from my laptop. I'll be working with a shipper here in the US, so the shop will stay open, and all of the retail stores I am working with will continue to be fully stocked.
The majority of the trip will be spent in India, where we will be moving from place to place, with extended stays in one or two cities. I am going to be doing several apprenticeships, hopefully with a group of kantha quilters, a block printer, and a group of embroiderers, although these may evolve once we get there. In addition to that, I will be finding inspiration for new designs and looking for suppliers and artisans to work with on a line of new products.
We've been wanting to do this trip for a long time, and felt like if we didn't go now, we wouldn't have another chance for a long time. The tickets are booked, I bought my big-but-not-too-big backpack, and have been contacting weavers and quilters and block printers all over India.
We will be gone from the end of December to the beginning of April, so the new collection that I'll be working on in India will be debuting at the National Stationery Show in May of 2012.
I'm so excited to be able to share the news, and in the coming months I will share some of the trip planning progress, from sites and organizations we will be visiting, to packing up and getting ready to go.
In the next few weeks, I will also be launching a new online shop selling a small selection of Indian textiles, printing blocks, home goods and scarves, so watch out for an announcement about that coming soon.
All photos from my last trip to India in 2007, but there will be plenty of new ones to come.