Preparation for our buying trips starts well in advance, a flurry of emails, skype calls, phone calls and a few entertaining ‘Whats App’ conversations fly back and forth, discussing designs and developments. The journey out to India is a well-known route for our buying team now, there are certain rituals that take place like purchasing an abundance of snacks at the airport to keep energy levels up, this in addition to the delicious Indian food that is generously served daily by our suppliers and the tempting traditional local treats make sure we can keep focused on the job at hand.
Travelling together means that for a short time the buying team become like a family, learning personal traits, and habits and keeping the all-important sense of humour. It sounds glamorous but jet lag, heat, traffic, and pressure to make good decisions within time constraints means that everyone has to work together as a team. There are a lot of in-jokes and banter which never fail to entertain.
No matter how many times we visit India, and it has been a fair few, there is always a sense of excitement and anticipation. Namely because it is India, such an incredible place but also because our new collections are so important to us and so much goes into bringing them together, working closely with our suppliers to make sure our products stand out.
Then there is the social side of these trips. Our suppliers are now good friends and it is such a genuine pleasure to see them and hear their news about their families and ever expanding businesses.
Great care and attention to detail is the thread that runs through our collections, from the initial development to the astounding handmade skills used to produce each product; the testing safety requirements and quality control; the packaging and transportation in India, from camels and carts, to trucks and tuk tuks; the loading of the containers that set sail across the ocean in all weathers; the haulage to the warehouse and finally the product in your hand. The buying trips are literally just the start...