The story started 12 years ago, with a young couple, and a thirst for adventure!
Within days of hooking up we had booked our first trip, a spontaneous , low budget trip to Morocco. We did 10 days on £50 each, sleeping on roof tops and sand dunes, and and travelling on a shoestring!
We had our plan - to chase the sun!
Working double jobs and saving all we could, we scraped together enough money to spend the winter in India. With an aim to bring back a small collection of treasures which we would try to sell at festivals in the summer.
We spent our few months in india making jewellery on the beach, learning skills such as leather work, wire wrapping and macrame from the nomadic travellers we met on our way. We bought beads from the Babas, leather scraps from street cobblers , and interesting trinkets from markets and bazaars.
Slowly our collection started to form. Back in the UK our mission was to get to as many festivals as we could - by any means necessary! We would volunteer with 8 hours of pot-wash in festival cafes, and as soon as shift had finished run into the festival fields with our little home made jewellery board and blanket, and sell our creations to the lovely people passing by. Somehow it worked, and through careful saving and a lot of hard work we made enough for a return ticket to India.
Our little blanket stall grew, and after a couple of years we were able to buy a marquee and secure official festival pitches. In India we started to approach silver smiths and tailors to make our designs in small batches, and discovered the world of the New Delhi textile markets and Jaipur gemstone dealers.
Our story had begun.
Fast forward 10 years and here we are!
Forage is now a large and well established festival boutique with a presence at some of the UK's top festivals. We have a reputation for unique, high quality products, sold in our exquisitely decorated pop up boutique. With a loyal customer base who love our products, an award winning Christmas Market stall, and a growing web store, things couldn't look more different for that young couple.
We continue the nomadic lifestyle; wintering in India, working on new collections with our amazing team of tailors and artisans, and touring the festivals in the summer.
Our 3 year old daughter joins us on our adventures and loves every second of it!
Our network of makers in India is especially important to us, over the years we have watched each others businesses and families grow and now have not only strong working relationships, but firm friendships with the people who make our products.
in 2014 Forage was awarded the Glastonbury Festival Green Traders Award for Ethical Trader of the Year! We have a well establishes women's project in Northern India who finger knit our hats, and we are in the process of labelling all of our products with photos and details of the makers involved in their production.
So what is in store for the next chapter? Well, with our second baby due in just a few weeks, and the growing urge to nest in our new home in Bristol , we'll just have to wait and see.
But something tells us the adventure is just beginning!
Tina & Rich xxx
16 November 2017
Follow our adventures on Instagram @foragedesign