Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi

Gavin has been in Vietnam for two weeks, and has two weeks to go until he returns home. He’s there buying stock for the December pop-up shop, and he is totally spoilt for choice.

The crafts from Vietnam meet all out criteria – they’re hand-made, require a high level of skill to produce, and are exotic and extremely beautiful.

He’s bought huge wooden carvings from Hoi An that take three people more than a month to produce. He’s stocked up on the exquisitely detailed quilts made by the Hmong people, and he’s ordered hundreds of silk, hand-painted lanterns.

The people he’s bought from have been uniformly wonderful and helpful. When he placed a big order for lanterns from a family in Hoi An they all hugged him and insisted he join them for dinner. If he needs to draw money to pay for items, staff members at shops drive him to the bank on the back of their mopeds. When he had flu a few days ago, vendors and hotel staff plied him with lotions and potions that cleared it up in days.

He’s having a productive, and fabulous, time. I can’t wait to see what he has bought – the shipment will be on the water for a couple of months before we have the fun of unpacking it. The Vietnamese crafts will give us a critical mass of stuff to sell when added to our Iranian and Pakistani stock. Hopefully, we do well over the season, and make enough money to pay for our house for another few months.

Vietnamese silk lanterns.

2 Responses to “Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi”

  1. 1 shoreacres August 8, 2010 at 5:18 am

    The lanterns are lovely, but it’s the quilts I’m eager to see.
    There are Hmong communities in the Dallas/Ft Worth area of Texas, and I had a chance to see a bit of their applique work at a quilt show in Kerrville once.

    One of the more amazing stories is the way the Hmong and the Amish have begun quilting together in Pennsylvania. You can find some very basic information here and the links inside the page will give you some more info.

    I just think this is so wonderful. I only wish I were there to go through everything! (I almost wrote “paw through everything”, but that wouldn’t be very high-class and elegant, now would it?)

  2. 2 Jeannine August 8, 2010 at 9:14 am

    Thanks for the link, Linda! Fascinating stuff, the Hmong and the Amish, how wonderful.
    Nothing wrong with pawing shoreacres, in the right context of course. . .

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