Guest Blog by Kate and Hugh Davidson, Sticks + Stones Outdoor
We have always been fascinated by the ancient traditions of the Eastern world. After researching the products we wanted to source for Sticks + Stones Outdoor, we realised India has an unbeatable reputation for these premium quality products; not to mention we absolutely adore the people, culture, and the food. We knew immediately that we had to visit this incredible country, to handpick truly special pieces and bring home the stories of these products to share with our customers.
We decided to focus our trip on the beautiful state of Rajasthan. As one of India’s oldest habitations, its history and traditions are varied and gorgeous. Encompassing the rise and fall of many years of tribes, kingdoms, religions, wars and revolutions, the rich history provides many beautiful handicrafts and techniques that made it an obvious destination to hunt for one-off pieces for our collection.
At the end of a gruelling 16-hour flight from Adelaide, our Indian contact welcomed us at the airport. We maneuvered through the hot, dusty streets – with tales of chaotic traffic holding true. Red lights were only taken seriously when they were in the form of huge cows on the road, and drivers exchanged side-mirrors and indicators for a vast (and ear-splitting) language of beeping horns.
As our friendship grew, so too did our contact’s understanding of our style and taste. He quickly refined his list of suppliers, factories, and artisans to perfectly suit our needs. On the outskirts of Jodhpur, a dusty old building stood proudly in the middle of nowhere. Inside beautiful old doors, vibrantly crafted in another age, stood leaning against the walls. We made notes of the ones that we fell in love with and placed our order.
The vintage shops that we visited next were a treasure chest of reclaimed furniture; fantastic and unique pieces like deep seating sofas made from old trunks, rustic homewares, bowls, stools, mirrors, and a few more magnificent carved doors that we just couldn’t go past.
It’s important to us that we stay in close contact with all of the suppliers we met on this trip and we can’t wait to go back and visit with our kids. We’re always learning more about the friends we’ve made and their culture, as they continue to get to know us.
Just like the people, all of the pieces we source are charming and unique, with an incredible story to tell. We know this is the start of a long and happy relationship that is going to provide a consistent standard of interesting products that we adore and can share with our customers.
After many years of working together in their family manufacturing business, Kate and Hugh have created a new Adelaide-based venture – Sticks + Stones Outdoor – that combines their passion for outdoor living and design, travelling the world and supporting local artisans and communities.
Sticks + Stones Outdoor is one of the fabulous destinations we visit on some of our OLIO Tours.