I'll let you in on a little secret. I am dazzled by all things French.
A few years back I became particularly obsessed with a French market basket.
A rolling "panier" for weekend sojourns to my local "marche".
Yes, my Francophilia can be very annoying!
For weeks I romanticized . Hundreds of images filled my head of me and my environment conscious style of marketing . Gathering my fruit , vegetables, flowers and other Farmer's market goodies with such European Flair !
So very, very Continental Chic. I had to have one!
I searched on line and while I found a few suppliers in both the United States and France, I could not find a realistic and cost efficient way to ship it to this part of the world. Here are some of the items I found:
Over at Etsy from my pink cottage,
And finally, from the French Basketeer. This rolling cart is without a doubt absolutely gorgeous and judging from the way it looks, extremely well made. I loved everything about the basket except the $360 price tag! I understand it is made in Burgundy from a 3rd generation basketry and caning family. The quality , authenticity and detail is sublime.
But unfortunately it was over what I would be willing to pay for my rolling Panier. Not to mention, if I had bought it and attempted to send it to Manila, the basket would have cost over $500! So again, a no go and the basket idea was shelved.
Fast forward to early 2010.
One afternoon as I was reading through my daily dose of blogs. I came across a giveaway at Cote de Texas. To my delight, they were running a giveaway of a French Basketeer rolling basket. I rationalized that if I won the basket, then I could justify the shipping cost. I entered the contest but alas, did not emerge as the lucky winner.
It was time to take matters into my own hands ! Afterall, the Philippines exports millions of dollars worth of baskets each year, there had to be a local manufacturer that could make me one.
Turns out I was right!
Last April I chance upon a large and very well established basket company at the Manila F.A.M.E exhibit. They work with many local and indigenous fibers and with different types of leather. Their young creative director fresh from spending a few years studying in London and coincidentally third generation basket maker in the Philippines, was very eager to take on my project. I sent a few reference photos and then gave her carte blanche to play with the design .
She added a few bells and whistles.
A recycled leather handle,
and a fully detachable denim liner, also trimmed with the same leather .
And here it is! Isn't it fantastic?
Drop me a note if you would like to order one. I am trying to make a minimum and need a few more interested parties. I am selling them for US$100 and they will be ready for pickup right here in Manila by August. They are not cheap but I believe they are a wonderful value.
Believe me, I have certainly done my homework and shopped around!