“From my very first visit to Nepal, I was obsessed. I’ve spent the rest of my life returning to a place - and culture - I find completely inspiring.”
As we have so much time on our hands and we are all looking for things to do other than clean the kitchen again or make another loaf of bread, I thought I would tell you the story of how Crumpet started.
I was just 23 when I first set foot in Nepal to make jewellery. The visit changed my life forever, opening my eyes to the Himalayas, the craftsmanship of its people and cashmere itself.
Bangles I made in Kathmandu the first time I went there. They were solid silver with semi precious stones set in them.
One evening on one of my early trips to the country whilst walking back from dinner in Kathmandu, I spotted a guy who I recognized was staying in my hotel standing under a lamp post. I asked the friend I was with who he was and he said - 'I'll introduce you, I've met him'. Here in entered Dana to my life, a very tall, set designer from Los Angeles.
The first photo I have of Dana and myself when we had just met in 1998.
Within eighteen months, I was living in Santa Monica with Dana and selling pashminas all over the world. It was a crazy time. I was supplying pashminas, many of which I was having hand embroidered and beaded to high-end US stores like Barneys and Bloomingdales, all the independents across the States and my mother was dealing with the UK side of the business out of my old bedroom.
Buying shawls in Delhi in 2000
By 25, with the proceeds of two years worth of work, I had enough money to buy a house in Venice Beach, had got married and had my first son.
But I was really homesick. Whilst I loved a lot about LA, there is something about the green of England that I really missed. So we decided to move back to the UK for a year or so and try to start a business as a couple. Dana had always been in the film industry and was wanting to do something different, so just after 9/11 we moved to the little village of Mistley on the River Stour at the tip of Essex.
So here we were in England, the pashmina business had pretty much bottomed out and found ourselves wondering what to do next. We had a small son and needed to start something.
More of the story next week .......