Next Stop Burma (Myanmar)

Beautiful Uzbek Ikat

Beautiful Uzbek Ikat

We are a bit like Aladdin’s Cave at the moment – Uzbek ikat, an eclectic mix of Indian tribal and ethnic silver jewellery (very different to the Rajasthani pendants) and Ajanta ceramic tiles have all arrived in the last two days.

I have wanted to travel to Burma/Myanmar for as long as I can remember and it is hard to believe I will be there in a couple of weeks. Unfortunately too much going on to add Southern China so that may have to wait. Alternatively, I could do a quick reconnaissance to tempt all those who may want to visit. 🙂  The Chinese ethnic tribes produce the most gorgeous craft as those of you who bought the batik and embroidered baby carrier pieces from us well know. How can I resist?!

Oh and yes, some great press coverage for Arastan and lots of responses to the Content Writer post we are looking to fill. A journalist asked me what I do in my spare time and after 20 seconds of thinking ‘spare time – what is that’ I started to think about it. Here are some of the things I have done. When viewed objectively, the word eccentric and needs some exercise spring to mind!!

Watched Susan Cain on TED (superb); Reading English, August (brilliant and has me remembering my trips out to Tikamgarh to meet the District Collector there – another life); browsed TiE posts and HBR and of course looked up who is investing in what or not as the case may be!

And we are working on our values. Arastan is not a hobby. It is about building a brand and building an organisation that can sustain. As we employ more people they have to understand who we are and what we do. Not on the surface but fundamentally. I worked for Mars where the Five Principles were the code of conduct. Every employee of Mars managed themselves and their relationships within the firm by these principles. Vendors who came in contact always commented on the sense of mutuality that Mars has with its vendors. We do too. I also watched Mahesh Murthy’s 15 New Rules for Startups  and have just spent two hours on the phone with him this evening and am stunned. He is extraordinarily sharp and a conversation with him is thought-provoking and energising. Now off to follow some of his advice!

And if you missed it, here are some of the products we added in July:

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