KidooLand Christmas Fair 02/12/2018: Saweira Silver
KidooLand will be holding an inaugural Christmas Fair on Sunday 2nd December from 10h30 to 15h30!
KidooLand's traditional English Christmas Fair, will be full of activities for children, plenty of stands selling lots of different Christmas gifts and a variety of Christmas decorations. We also hope to be able to draw on the best of French Christmas culture by offering vin chaud for Mums and Dads and crepes for hungry tummies of any age!
Over the next 3 weeks, in the run up to our inaugural Christmas Fair, we'll be introducing you to our various partners. Next up is is Melanie Gulliverl to tell you a little about her company, Saweira Silver.
Please let us know you are coming by SIGNING UP HERE - it helps us enormously for planning ;-)
The Story behind Saweira Silver
I think we all dream of exotic places around the world from time to time, wishing we could visit, experience a life that is completely different to our own, lose ourselves in the sights and smells of a new place.
Well that is how I felt in April 2017 when I was sitting on a plane to Marrakech to spend a week touring Morocco with a friend, Marie, who is a travel blogger. We had a fantastic time, staying in some lovely riads and hotels, meeting the locals and experiencing the tasty Moroccan (vegetarian) cuisine. We travelled from Marrakech to the Coast and drove up from Agadir to Essaouira, a small town, known as the windy city, due to the high winds that often blow there. Essaouira is a haven for kite-surfing, but it also has a very long tradition for silver making. There was once a large population of Jews in Essaouira and it was the Jews who started making the fine silver jewellery it is famous for, from the very high-grade silver mined a little further to the South.
Most of the Jews left Essaouira on the creation of Israel, but the tradition of silver making stayed on. Today there are still many highly skilled craftsmen making stunning silver jewellery, which you can buy in the silver souk in Essaouira and all over Morocco.
I loved our few days in Essaouira and vowed to return as soon as I could. I actually went back one month later, and on that trip, I met Adnane, now a good friend, who was working in a spice shop. He invited me to tea and to dinner with his family, and we chatted a lot about Moroccan life.
After a couple more visits- I had started to kite surf- I decided I wanted to help the people of Essaouira, and the idea to sell the gorgeous silver jewellery I was appreciating on every trip grew in my mind. So, in June of this year I bought my first few pieces- mostly rings and bracelets- with the help of Adnane and brought them back to France.
With the help of my 14-year-old son, Leon, I set up a Shopify account, created my website, and started posting the items online. I created an Instagram account and a Facebook page too and started promoting the brand in a small way.
On my trip in June I had breakfast in the famous Café Driss in Essaouira, whose walls are covered in art work, and while sitting there I saw a small painting of a camel, with the artist’s name next to it- I took down the details. The artist, Carolin Bentbib, lives in Germany, but her husband is from Essaouira- they met in the desert in Morocco. I commissioned Carolin to design the logo for Saweira Silver and to paint some cards with Rumi quotes. I wanted Saweira Silver to have a strong identity, a Bohemian spirit and feel to it. I think she did a brilliant job!
I sold many of those first silver items on a trip to America over the summer where I took part in a run camp. That gave me the confidence to go back to Essaouira and buy more items in August and to get some display boxes and stands and have jewellery boxes made, using Carolin’s designs.
When the business is making a profit, I will give a large part of the profits to an organisation in Essaouira that helps local children from poorer backgrounds. I’m not at this stage yet as there are quite a few business set up costs in the beginning.
This adventure has set me on a path to finding out more about African jewellery- I have been offered the chance to go on a trip to the South with one of the souk shop owners to buy antique jewellery items with him, and I am buying and reading as many books as I can about Morocco, African jewellery, and I have even tentatively started to learn Moroccan Arabic.
I don’t know where this path will take me, but I am following my heart and thoroughly enjoying experiencing for real those mystical dreams I held for so long.
Let us know you are coming by SIGNING UP HERE - it helps us for planning ;-)
As mentioned above, this year, we will be using the KidooLand Christmas Fair to support the Mimosa charity. Mimosa was set up as a “kitchen-table charity” on the Riviera three years ago by a team of nine women who have all seen Cancer close up and who share the desire to help make a difference. They raise funds that are then distributed to the local cancer charities. You can listen to the KidooLand Director Antonia Beauvoisin interview Mimosa board members on her podcast HERE
Sunday 2nd December, add the date to your diary now! We look forward to seeing you there...