Last month, Shelley Boyd, founding director of leading Australian interiors wholesaler Boyd Blue, ventured to North India for her annual 10-day trip with employees Georgia Anderson and Elizabeth Hemlin. They visited the artisans and factories producing the handcrafted exclusive collections for Shelley’s own Boyd brand and to source customised hand-knotted rugs and product for Boyd’s 2016 catalogue. They also managed to squeeze in a trip to the majestic Amber Fort and a celebration with their local friends at the exquisite Bar Palladio.
In Shelley’s own words:
“The buying trips to India are always deeply inspiring and moving and I am, and have been for many years, passionately in love with the place. It is such a wonderful and diverse destination, filled with colour, magic and greatly talented craftsman. Whilst exhilarating, it can also be a frightening and physically demanding experience. The days are long with vast distances travelled on pretty horrible roads with drivers who have a different interpretation of “safe” to those of us in the western world. Couple this with sometimes uncomfortable conditions and the chance of a tummy upset and you can see why the journey is always what you would call up and down.
That said, the spirit of the Indian people and their constant optimism in the face of adversity certainly puts things into perspective.
Our trip this time was primarily to source traditional rug makers for Boyd’s new hand-knotted range, to view prototypes for some very special product for our 2016 catalogue, and to catch up with our key artisans, some of whom we have been working with for close to a decade.
As part of this process, we based ourselves in Jaipur and visited a handicrafts trade fair to help source new handmade product for our collections. This involved hours of trawling through stands, looking at product and talking to craftsmen. Some of what we saw was exquisite and some was what I would describe as less than inspiring! As part of this visit I have been able to hand pick unique and globally themed pieces for our clients, which will be available in our 2016 catalogue. We are very excited about what we found; gorgeous new hurricanes in glass, leather and rope, nautical accessories and fabulous timber and glass pendants.
While staying in Jaipur, we visited my all time favourite entertainment spot, Bar Palladio, with our dear Indian friends. The interior decor here reflects serious style and the attention to detail is breathtaking. The finely hand painted murals and enormous hand carved marble bar sit alongside an absolutely beautiful garden setting, and it was the perfect place to say thank you to our valued Indian suppliers. Catching up with the artisans we have worked with for so many years in Jaipur and continuing to nurture these relationships really makes my heart sing as we have worked long and hard to find the best India has to offer and are so grateful for these connections. On a previous trip, I had the privilege of sharing a fine meal with one of my longest standing suppliers in the private dining room of the Amber Fort. I was pretty thrilled to learn the last guest to entertained in this private room before me was Richard Gere!
A key highlight of this journey was the discovery of a wonderful group of craftsman in Bhadohi, a small rug-making village two hours out of Varanasi. The rugs are of superior quality and their makers use ancient techniques. We were so moved watching them cycle past us on their push bikes towing wagons filled with absolutely beautiful rugs. The Boyd Blue team and I are really excited to bring these rugs to Australia exclusively for our clients and are also really excited about what will be on offer through our 2016 catalogue.
All items will be available through interior designers and as one off retail purchases from our showrooms throughout Australia for Interiors Addict readers. We look forward to sharing this trip and others with you via Interiors Addict and our Facebook and Instagram.”
If you’d like the opportunity to buy from Boyd Blue’s latest collection, usually reserved for trade and wholesale customers only, please call your closest showroom and mention Interiors Addict:
- Brisbane (07) 3254 0877
- Sydney (02) 9331 0099
- Melbourne (03) 9509 3332
- Perth (0411) 135 533
- Adelaide (08) 8363 6200.