Last week I travelled to Nepal, a country I have been visiting since 2009. I first went as a volunteer, and stayed to help in an orphanage just outside of Kathmandu.
On my days off, I loved browsing the local markets and admired the extensive handicraft on sale, buying lots of gifts for people back home. My friend’s children adored the felt animal slippers I gave them.
When I opened Little Beach Boutique in 2011, I decided that the felt animal slippers I had bought as gifts would be ideal for my customers, so I returned to Kathmandu and researched local businesses who could make them for me.
I met Ramji, a local man, who designs and makes these beautiful slippers with his wife Usha and a small team of crafters in his home-based workshop in Kathmandu. I learnt how the slippers are made; first dyed with vivid colours, washed and shaped with soap and water, then left to dry naturally in the sun. The additional details, such as the friendly faces, bright eyes and intricate wool details are sewn on on after this.
I started with an order for some felt tigers, sheep and quirky ‘jesters’ and our customers loved them.
I soon returned to Nepal to come up with some new designs alongside Ramji, such as our Dog Boots, pictured below:
And last week, I returned to Nepal, to visit the orphanage again, view the beautiful mountains and to see Ramji and his workshop. This is me with Ramji and his wife, Usha, below:
We discussed lots of new ideas to add to our collection. To date, our range of felt animal slippers at Little Beach Boutique, includes Cows, Sheep and Donkeys. And now we also have adult sizes!
You can view our collection here: www.littlebeachboutique.com
If you have any suggestions for designs, I’d love to hear from you. Bye for now x