Stories from India

Stories from India

Want to know a little more about Katie’s recent work trip to India?

We caught up with Katie, our founder, to chat more about India, Inspiration and Imodium. 

Last Wednesday, almost one year on from lockdown 2, Katie made the 8h flight from London to Delhi for a whirlwind 5-day work trip. Headed for Greater Noida, a city located 30km from the national capital, New Delhi.

Familiar with India, Katie finds it endlessly fascinating. A country she describes as colourful, frenetic, friendly, inspiring and challenging.

This particular trip was centred around visiting a XXL exhibition, renowned for showcasing some of the best handcrafted jewellery, accessories and furniture manufacturers that India has to offer. A whopper that sees the coming together of over 1000 businesses, over 3 days, exhibiting everything from dried flowers, incense and candles through to 5 metre dining tables and everything in between! 

It's also a fantastic event for Katie to connect with our existing suppliers, discuss and develop new product ideas and network with new suppliers. Nothing beats face to face when it comes to planning new lines for My Doris and cementing those special long-term relationships we pride ourselves on.  

A typical day:
Started at 8am with breakfast and good company - time shared with wholesalers from Sweden, Panama and the UK. Then straight on to the trade fair for a full-on day of meetings, catch ups and browsing the hundreds of stands to seek out ideas and inspiration for next year.
Breaking for lunch in the sunshine and discovering delightful little kiosks outside selling Dosa, biriyani, paneer rolls as well as delicious Chai and much needed coffee.

Returning back to the hotel at 8pm for a quick shower and then on for dinner with wholesaler friends. Back to my room to catch up on emails, facetime home, and plan for the next day. Lights out at 1am. 
It's just a fantastic privilege to be able to travel again and connect with the My Doris family of suppliers. I am very fond of all of them and it was great to see them again and express personally how grateful we are for their hard work making all our beautiful products – particularly in this very difficult Covid- landscape.

A favourite hang-out was definitely Hauz Kauz Village in South Delhi – a very hip neighbourhood with a fantastic collection of eclectic independent shops and cafes selling good food. Every time I go to Delhi I love to buy gifts for my family from Dilli Haat too – a great market with stalls selling beautiful quality rugs, shawls, artwork and ceramics from many different regions of India.

Memorable Moments:
I bumped into Joe from Chickadee Homeware at the Indian visa office in London the week before I left and then we met up again in India. We have a great time together discussing the ups and downs of being a wholesaler in the UK – he is a lovely guy. We had a great laugh and he is hugely knowledgeable, so he had so much amazing advice and ideas for taking My Doris forward.

Travel Essentials:
Apart from the usual hand sanitiser and Imodium…a stable in my bag for every India trip! I also take a notebook to sketch up new ideas and make notes – my head buzzes when I am in India with creative ideas and inspiration. Also a spare battery – I take so many photos my phone needs charging twice a day! 
(And obvs, my Doris patchwork robe and velvet eye mask). 

The flight gave me some needed downtime to do some email housekeeping (I deleted over 2,000 old emails!), watch a great surfing documentary – The Cradle of the Storms and snooze!

I'm back and feeling inspired. Excited about creating lots of newness with my team including:   
-Fabulous colourful, embroidered scarves for S/S.
-New jewellery from Jaipur.
-Fabulous painted tin ware from Kashmir.
-Embroidered Christmas decorations for 2022.

Next Stop: 
Now that the world is opening up and I am hoping to get over to Istanbul in the next couple of weeks.