ABOUT ANSERAI //

our ethos, if you will… 

THE NAME ANSERAI IS DERIVED FROM ‘CARAVANSERAI’, WHICH WERE WAY STATIONS ALONG THE ANCIENT TRADING ROUTE, THE SILK ROAD.  AS THE NAME SUGGESTS THE BOUTIQUE IS INSPIRED BY OUR TRAVELS AND OUR DESIRE TO SHARE SOME OF THE TREASURES THAT WE HAVE ENCOUNTERED OVER THE YEARS.  WE SOURCE OUR ARTEFACTS DIRECTLY FROM THOSE CORNERS OF THE WORLD THAT REMAIN HIDDEN OR LESS ACCESSIBLE, AND SHOWCASE THEM TO BE ENJOYED AS PIECES OF ART – WHICH THEY CLEARLY ARE IF ONE TAKES THE TIME TO APPRECIATE THE BEAUTY OF THEIR HISTORY, CRAFTSMANSHIP + JOURNEY.

EVERY ONE OF THE ITEMS IN OUR COLLECTIONS WAS HANDMADE BY SKILLED CRAFTSMEN AND CRAFTSWOMEN AROUND THE WORLD.  OUR IN-HOUSE INTERIOR DESIGNER, ELLY MACDONALD, HANDPICKS EACH PIECE FROM HER NETWORK OF SMALL-SCALE SUPPLIERS ACROSS ASIA BEFORE SHIPPING THEM TO THE UNITED STATES WHERE THEY ARE HANDCRAFTED INTO UNIQUE TEXTILES, ARTWORK AND OBJETS BY LOCAL ARTISANS IN CALIFORNIA.

 WE USE ABSOLUTELY MINIMAL MIDDLEMEN, SOURCING DIRECTLY FROM OUR ARTISANS WHEREVER POSSIBLE, AND BELIEVE THAT OUR VERTICAL INTEGRATION IS KEY TO BEING ABLE TO OFFER TRUE AUTHENTICITY AND THE FASCINATING STORIES BEHIND EACH OF OUR PRODUCTS.  INTRIGUED…?  FOR MORE INFORMATION, CHECK OUT OUR ‘MEET THE ARTISANS‘ AND ‘NEW ON THE BLOG‘ PAGES.

BEHIND ANSERAI //

…and a little about us 

ANSERAI’S CO-FOUNDERS, SARAH COLE AND ELLY MACDONALD, MET OVER 10 YEARS AGO ON A ‘BLIND FRIEND DATE’ IN A COFFEE SHOP IN PLAZA DEL SOL, MADRID, WHILST STUDYING ABROAD FROM THEIR NATIVE ENGLAND.  A SHARED LOVE OF TRAVEL AND ADVENTURE, AND QUITE FRANKLY A DISLIKE OF THE LONDON WEATHER, LED TO THEM LIVING AND WORKING IN SAN FRANCISCO AND SINGAPORE, VIA THE CARIBBEAN AND HONG KONG, RESPECTIVELY.  ELLY IS A ‘RETIRED’ ACCOUNTANT WHO RETRAINED IN INTERIOR DESIGN, AND SARAH LEFT A CAREER IN LAW AFTER CATCHING THE INFECTIOUS ENTREPRENEURIAL BUG OF SILICON VALLEY.

WE HOPE YOU ENJOY OUR BOUTIQUE AS MUCH AS WE ENJOY WORKING HERE, PLEASE TAKE YOUR TIME AND HAVE A BROWSE!

sarah cole

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ORIGINALLY FROM: SOMERSET, UK

LIVING IN: MARIN COUNTY, CALIFORNIA

DAY JOB:  HER MAJESTY’S BRITISH GOVERNMENT IN SAN FRANCISCO

WEEKEND FUN: WORKING ON ANSERAI! INTERSPERSED WITH THE OCCASIONAL BEACH DAY

TOP THREE TRAVELLING SIGHTS: ST PAULS CATHEDRAL ACROSS THE THAMES AT NIGHT, LONDON; THE HUGE SPANISH FLAG IN PLAZA DE COLÓN, MADRID; MY LITTLE BOY JASPER’S BIG SMILE WHEN I GET HOME

WORST TRAVELLING MOMENT: A TOSS UP BETWEEN NOTICING THE LARGE MACHETES UNDER THE SEATS AFTER HITCHING A RIDE TO MAZUNTE, AND HAVING TO PICK THE YAK HAIRS OUT OF THE YAK BUTTER AND MILK TEA WITHOUT OFFENDING OUR HOSTS ON THE TIBETAN PLATEAU.

PICK OF THE BOUTIQUE: VINTAGE FADED INDIGO/BLUSH IKAT PILLOW

EXCITED ABOUT FEATURING IN 2018: THAI INDIGO GOODIES

elly macdonald

 

ORIGINALLY FROM: LONDON, UK

LIVING IN: EAST COAST, SINGAPORE

DAY JOB: CHARTERED ACCOUNTANT TURNED INTERIOR DESIGNER

WEEKEND FUN: VINYASA YOGA, DEMPSEY HILL EGGS BENNIE, LITTLE INDIA MARKETS, HAJI LANE COCKTAILS

TOP THREE TRAVELLING SIGHTS: SALAR DE UYUNI, BOLIVIA; MANTA RAY SCHOOL, INDONESIA; ANNAPURNA BASE CAMP, NEPAL

WORST TRAVELLING MOMENT: TRAPPED ON THE ‘GOAT BUS’ FOR 18 HOURS IN THE HIMALAYAS, WHILST TOTALLY EXHAUSTED AFTER A FOUR DAY TREK.  THEY WERE EVERYWHERE.  FOR 18 HOURS.  BLEATING.

PICK OF THE BOUTIQUE: FRAMED COWRIE/BONNET/SUNDIAL PAPUAN TRIBAL SHELL NECKLACE

EXCITED ABOUT FEATURING IN 2018: MALIAN MUDCLOTH PILLOWS

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