International Women’s Day: Hear from Women Entrpreneurs Around the World

by Sarah Shaw
( March 7th, 2014 )

Celebrating Women

For this year’s International Women’s Day, I was excited to learn that so many of the bloggers at Wanderlust and Lipstick would be sharing information about this special holiday. It is one day set aside around the world where women are celebrated for something we all do with ease and style! Although this holiday was founded in the United States back in 1908, over the years its become less well known here. I was excited to take this opportunity to help WanderShoppers learn more about the day as well as how it is celebrated in other countries. To do so, I contacted international women business owners I shop with and asked them about International Women’s Day in their country. I am excited to share with you their responses as well as let you know more about their businesses. Supporting women entrepreneurs around the world by purchasing some of their products seems like a great way for a WanderShopper to add to their celebrations for the day.

International Women’s Day started with a march by over 15,000 women in New York City who were demanding better pay, shorter working hours and the right to vote. It is easy for today’s women to forget that the majority of our time as a country, American women were not able to vote nor were they given many of the rights we now take for granted. These earlier feminists helped create the conditions we all benefit from today. Yet there are millions of women in many other countries that are still struggling for these basic rights. It’s important that we, as women, reclaim this annual day to celebrate our progress and help extend respect and equality to our sisters around the world. To learn more about the history of International Women’s Day, please check out my post from last year.

In many cultures, it would still be unthinkable for a woman to own her own business and to be financially independent from the men in her life whether they are her father and brothers or her husband. I am excited to share with you a group of inspirational women I have discovered and shopped with through their stores on Etsy. Websites like these offer women artists and small business owners a simple way to showcase their talents and products as they market them to a world of shoppers. They are able to sell directly to you so that the profits come back directly to their bank accounts. Many of our featured women have developed their businesses over the years and are well established. Others are just starting to create their own stores and cultivate a loyal customer following. Everyone listed has shipped fantastic items to me and I know you will be as glad to discover them as I have been.

I have been really interested in the different responses I have received. International Women’s Day is commemorated in many different ways around the world. I asked each woman the same five questions including how the holiday is celebrated in their country as well as what they would like for you to learn about their business. I will be listing each entrepreneur in alphabetical order by their country of business. I am also sharing pictures of items I have purchased from their shops so you can get an idea of the types of things they offer. I encourage you to use the links I’ve provided to see what items they are offering for sale today.

Vintage bread proofing baskets from FrenchAtticFinds


Marman Raquin in Nannay, Bourgogne


How is International Women’s Day celebrated in your country?

International Women’s Day is celebrated in France mostly through media coverage. On national radio there are guest speakers, usually feminists and women’s right activists, though sometimes educators and entrepreneurs. Talk focuses on what has been accomplished and what still needs to be done. On national television it is mentioned, and also documentaries are often shown, showing women’s condition across the world.

Are there opportunities to take part in activities out in the community versus things done at home between family members or friends?

There are activities planned in most big cities, but very little filters down to the rural areas. This is true for most culture in France.

Antique Wooden Clogs from FrenchAtticFinds

What do you remember being taught about International Women’s Day in school?

I didn’t attend school in France so I am asking some students and teachers in my contacts. My friends who are students say it isn’t really talked about in schools, unless you are in a political science class or other feminist related class. My friend in Paris who is a teacher (12-13 year olds) says that every year on the 8th, her students wish her a happy Women’s Day, and she uses it as a starting point to say how far we’ve come, but how unequal the work place still is for women in France. For example, bosses offer a rose to female employees, where they should really be offering a raise. She thinks that the day is used as an excuse to pass over all the inequalities that happen year round.

How would you describe your store to someone who has not shopped with you before?

My Etsy store sells a selection of curated vintage finds from France and Europe. I only stock items that appeal to me and fit nicely into my own home.

Ceramic Cheese Molds from FrenchAtticFinds

What would you like WanderShoppers to know?

When I made the decision to stay at home to care for my children, the people around me always asked me when I would be returning to work. The French are very career minded, and generally return to the work place 3 months after having given birth. When I started French Attic Finds in 2011, I got the feeling everyone around me was breathing a sigh of relief, as if my role as stay at home mom wasn’t sufficient. France has since simplified the process of becoming an auto entrepreneur, which up until this point was a very expensive undertaking. If they hadn’t recently developed this system, I would have either continued on as a stay at home mom, with no rights to social benefits or retirement plans, or been forced back into the work force. There is still a lot to do for women’s rights in France, but it has more to do with changing people’s mentality.

Herbs from TheSpartanTable


Jehny Koniditsioti in Sparta


How is International Women’s Day celebrated in your country?

Women’s Day (8th of March), is celebrated in Greece, as longs as I can remember (I’ll be 42yrs on 13.3). Mostly with events and speeches in culture places.
In our city, Sparta, actually there’s nothing special, except from time to time, an event with a speech and a cocktail party. Of course, clubs, restaurants, hotels etc. are taking advantage of this day for business!)

Are there opportunities to take part in activities out in the community versus things done at home between family members or friends?

Yes there are several activities that a woman can do / work with. Mostly working as a volunteer for charity issues.

Sun dried tomato spread from TheSpartanTable

What do you remember being taught about International Women’s Day in school?

I don’t remember too much I’m afraid. Just few things about the previous “situation of the women” in older societies. Staying mostly in home, without voting rights and always obeying men. But that changed decades ago and now women are equal in rights with men. (Ok not always in business posistions as you know, but considering the lives of our grandmothers, we are living much, much better.)

How would you describe your store to someone who has not shopped with you before?

With my Husband George, and as many Greeks, we’ve passed 5+ hard years. Many things that we knew collapsed and our lives changed. But these difficulties, we believe they made us stronger and we realized that life ’s short and all we need is each other. We want to meet new friends, from around the world, talk, laugh, cry, dream, and share moments in life. We need to learn new things and experiences. And we want to pass these to our children and the young generations.
It happens that we live in a Mythical Land. Perhaps Sparta, is the more famous city from the ancient world. And we feel that being a Spartan, is not just living in Sparta.  It is having pride and honor, dignity and humanity. You know Sarah, there’s nothing better than sitting at a table with dear friends and sharing a wonderful meal and a glass of wine. This is the place where people really meet and know each other. And Spartan Table comes naturally. Through this, we want to invite people to share the treasures of our land with us. And we desire to have the chance to host as many friends as we can in the following years, at our place.
We want to show Sparta to the world:)

Olive groves from TheSpartanTable

What would you like WanderShoppers to know?

Sparta awaits You :)

Thank you, Jehny, for sharing beautiful images from around your home in Sparta. I will be posting more of your photos in my Facebook album. Link is available at the end of this post.

Peppery Silk Bracelets

Hong Kong

Peppery in Hong Kong


To be honest, International Women’s Day is not widely celebrated in Hong Kong – not that we do not value women’s rights or gender equality. I believe women in Hong Kong are actually one of the luckiest crowds in regard to women’s rights as compared to many other parts of the world. There are, of course, still cases of discrimination, mistreat or abuse in this city regrettably. But those women are often given channels to voice out and report to the authority, unlike women in many places where they are constantly violated, even secretly executed, and their voices are never heard. Similar to other well-developed economies, International Women’s Day here is seen or used as a marketing device to encourage retail sales, somewhat like Valentine’s Day.
On a personal level, I do think women should be remembered and thanked as mothers, wives, providers, problem solvers, comfort givers, especially working mothers nowadays, they actually work “double-shift” every day – fighting for their career at work and taking care of their family at home.

Peppery makes jewelry in Hong Kong

For those who do not know or never shopped with “Peppery” before, our shop, though a small one, does offer plenty of choices and will continuously develop new lines/products by exploring different possibilities.

Thanks again for including our shop in this meaningful cause.


psBesitos create book clutches in Italy


Jessica Bermudez Bautista from Siena


How is International Women’s Day celebrated in your country?

I’m Spanish but I’ve been living in Italy for the last 13 years. Here in Italy International Women’s Day is a celebration for women that might has lost it’s true meaning but it’s still a day dedicated to all women. A day that we go out and get some time away from all our chores and a time to be spoiled by our men. I don’t personally feel the need for such a day because I feel very fortunate to be a woman and would never change my self for any men, not even the most successful of all.

Are there opportunities to take part in activities out in the community versus things done at home between family members or friends?

I feel, as well as my girlfriends, that we are quite involved in the community and very dedicated to our families. My self, I feel I get enough time to do it all and although I have quite a plate full I like it this way.

Designed covers become book clutches at psBesitos

What do you remember being taught about International Women’s Day in school?

I grew up in Spain and I must be honest to say that I don’t remember this day to be any different from any other day. I feel that here in Italy has a stronger tradition.

How would you describe your store to someone who has not shopped with you before?

My store is one to have items (in my case Book Clutches) that are accessories meant to be fun and personal at the same time. I love books and love to carry one at all times. I always have a book in my purse to read at any short space of time. Carrying a book clutch to a party or to a special night or even Sunday brunch, it’s a way for each of us to say something about our self without speaking.

Many book clutches to choose from at psBesitos

What would you like WanderShoppers to know?

About me that I love what I do and I hope to keep doing it for as long as I can. About my work, that I take a lot of pride on what I create and I think that shows on my pieces and the attention to detail I give to each one of it.


Vintage indigo fabric from FurugiStar in Japan


Stephanie Hannon in Tokyo


How is International Women’s Day celebrated in your country?

I am from the UK originally and I am not sure how they are celebrating it there as I have been here for so long. Nine years this month! However, looking at the official website there are over 300 events across the country. Although, I honestly don’t remember being taught about this event at school.

Here in Japan, I must say I have not heard much about it. It is interesting to note that on the official website for Japan, there is only one event listed.

I have found that the Women’s Network Organization in Japan is holding a networking event for women in business. The New Japan’s Women’s Organisation (Shinfujin) is the largest women’s organization in Japan. It does not seem to have any events related to International Women’s Day.

I am in the foreign community here and there are a number of groups working to support foreign and Japanese women. However, the focus does tend to be on expats: Being A Broad and For Empowering Women in Japan. These groups don’t appear to be holding any related events on first glance. Being a Broad is an organisation run by Caroline Pover, UK expat in Tokyo. She has been very successful and influential in working to support foreign women in Japan. “Earlier this year for her work with international schools she was awarded the International Women’s Day Award for Outstanding Service as part of the celebrations of 100 years of International Women’s Day.”

An organization called Care is holding an 8km (in Tokyo) ‘walk in her shoes’ event on the 8th to consider the lives of women who carry large burdens, such as drinking water or firewood, over long distances on dangerous roads.

Vintage Obi from FurugiStar

Are there opportunities to take part in activities out in the community versus things done at home between family members or friends?

Shinfujin are open to all women and have community events, however they seem to be more on political lines. As far a community work generally in Japan, there are lots of opportunities. Japan is very community focused and people strive to maintain that, even in the big city.

How would you describe your store to someone who has not shopped with you before?

FurugiStar was born of a fascination with the thoughts and feelings evoked by handmade antique fabrics. Textiles with a connection to the artisans and former owners hold a richness that new fabrics just don’t possess. Together with antiques and vintage items found in and around Tokyo, FurugiStar specialises in Japanese antique folk textiles of history and substance.

Vintage abacus on antique boro from FurugiStar

What would you like WanderShoppers to know?

I thought it might be interesting to put forward Ichiyou Higuchi as an important female historical figure in Japan. She is on the ¥5,000 note and well respected as an influential writer/ poet.

Thank you, Steph, for providing all those great links so we can learn more about the groups available to women in Japan!

Moroccan kohl pots and pill boxes from CRumpffCollectibles

The Netherlands/Morocco

Coby Rumpff in Haren near Groningen


How is International Women’s Day celebrated in your country?

In the Netherlands Women’s Day has not been widely celebrated and well-known. There are some women’s clubs who pay attention to Women’s Day by supporting charities for women worldwide.

Are there opportunities to take part in activities out in the community versus things done at home between family members or friends?

As far as I know there are no activities between family and friends.

CRumpffCollectibles from The Netherlands offers Moroccan imports

What do you remember being taught about International Women’s Day in school?

No, I was not taught about Woman’s Day. The first time I heard about Women’s Day was when I was a member of the Women’s Club, The Soroptimists. The women of the expats community in Fez , Morocco where I spend a lot of time, are celebrating Women’s Day by inviting women to show different skills and support and to create for Moroccan women co-operatives.

How would you describe your store to someone who has not shopped with you before?

CRumpffCollectibles is a shop were you can find various vintage and antiques mostly from Morocco and France, beautiful items with history and some beautiful handicrafts made in Morocco.

Gemstone demitasse spoons from CRumpffCollectibles

What would you like WanderShoppers to know?

That there is still a lot to do about the well being of the women worldwide. I realize that I was lucky to have been born in The Netherlands, a country were women are respected and have equal rights.


GaneshasRat in Norway


Metta Soligard in Bergen


How is International Women’s Day celebrated in your country?

I live in Norway where equality is a big thing. The day was celebrated first in 1915, but was “rediscovered” in 1972 by the feminist movement. There is a focus on the day in the media on activities nationally and internationally; a focus in schools, there are marches, woman give each other cards and wish each other Happy Woman’s Day, florists sell flowers and use slogans like:
” Celebrate a strong woman on the International Woman’s Day! – send flowers to a woman that has been a positive influence in your life.”

Are there opportunities to take part in activities out in the community versus things done at home between family members or friends?

You can participate in marches and cultural arrangements – and you can send cards & flowers and wish other women you know a Happy Women’s Day.

Mantra boxes honor Ganesh at Norway's GaneshasRat

What do you remember being taught about International Women’s Day in school?

I was a teenager in the 70-ies when they started celebrating the day again. I remember being taught in school about the history of women’s rights – the right to vote, education, equal pay etc etc. The topics were current at the time as well and there were debates in the media on equal pay and the right of women to decide on termination of pregnancies.

How would you describe your store to someone who has not shopped with you before?

Ganesha’s Rat, a shop filled with spiritual boho style creations handmade by me – yoga eye pillows, pocket shrines, mantra books, mala bags, meditation kits, prayer flags, spiritual jewellery, cards, and many Ganesh items. I believe art and beauty feeds the soul and uplifts the spirit, and that is what I hope to do with my creations.

Mediation gift items from GaneshasRat

What would you like WanderShoppers to know?

To extend the topic of women’s rights somewhat, I believe that all people are born free, with the same value and human rights, and that all people have the same human rights, regardless of gender, religion, race, political views, nationality. (from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Swedish Textiles from MarangHouse


Caroline Henkelius


How is International Women’s Day celebrated in your country?

We don´t celebrate that much. Television and radio can alert it. But I must say that I do not experience this as a great feast at all in Sweden. But surely we are all aware of the day and in one way or another noticed the day – though perhaps we do not celebrate it that much.

When I was asked to answer these questions I had to Google a bit to just see – and decided myself to give a donation for the International Women´s day to help women to get more education in Africa. I think this might be a great way of celebrating – and maybe we all should do that.

Are there opportunities to take part in activities out in the community versus things done at home between family members or friends?

Women parade in some cities to celebrate the day. Then it’s very individual. Some receiving flowers or gifts from their loved ones – a little like Mother’s Day. But I would say that it is more a day when we look outside to the rest of the world to help others that are in need – to straighten women.

Custom blended salves from MarangHouse

What do you remember being taught about International Women’s Day in school?

Can honestly say I don’t have any memory.

How would you describe your store to someone who has not shopped with you before?

Me – Maränghuset/Maranghouse – are a lot of different things – just like me as a person, loving to do so many different things. Maränghuset is an agency that works with magazine articles and advertising. Maranghouse is a part of this, and some of my own designs in both craft and healing. I started Maranghouse on Etsy as a way to sell of props from my photo-shoots, but just after a few months I suddenly noticed that I was doing more hunting among the riches of our Vintage inheritance – and I feel very proud to show and sell so much magnificent things – mostly and mainly done by Swedish Women. In a way – my shop can be seen as a celebration of women – or maybe better saying ´human´ creativity.

Magazine photography by MarangHouse

I sell rag rugs – fantastic and dying trade that has been a big part of our history for century´s. I love some of the stories I get to hear about some of the rugs – like when a granddaughter of a couple told me that her grandfather made the rugs out of his wife worn out old dresses.

I also sell, vintage fabric and thread kits – this is sort of a way I would like to shop – not have to get so much of one color but a lot of different things to mix and create with. Vintage supplies are amazing! You will never today get fabric as great as what was made 20-100 years ago in the small cottages of Sweden!

I focus on Sweden, I know it is a country of many mysteries for the rest of the world, not knowing if we have ice bears running around or elks in the gardens (I have neither :) ). Sweden is a big county with many landscapes and has a lot of treasures to offer – rugs, fabric, wool, flax/linen, crafts in wood, porcelain, glass, tin and pewter, silver and…

And I also sell some of the handmade things I do myself – sometimes I make bags out of vintage materials, I blend tea that I love myself and do share both oils and salves I make myself – this came out of me needing more then I could afford to buy – my twin daughters love using all my creations too… So I started making them myself and now offer them as a little side project in my shop. With some items I feel has a magical energy to empower you.

Vintage rug from Sweden's MarangHouse

What would you like WanderShoppers to know?

One of my favorite things with running my shop is all the great requests I get – Many in the States have relatives that once came from Sweden – and I have had a couple of really great feelings when I found things for someone to make them feel more connected to the past. I love the fact that I have helped and did the photos for another shop on etsy and I would gladly do that again…

I am a creative artist in many ways – I love sharing and helping others with dreams. Right now a dream of mine is to shoot a book for someone else ( I do like doing my own too ) – to focus on someone else ideas and lift them.

I feel many have so many great ideas but have a problem with being seen – that is why I focus more and more on advertising at the moment – and hope I will have time for EVERYTHING and even more.

More then anything – I am very thankful for my little shop as a part of the bigger thing, it has opened my eye more of what great things we make in Sweden and – that you can hold something in your hand that I have fallen in love for through my camera – because more than anything, I am actually just a simple photographer.

Proud woman,
artist – human.

Inspire me – challenge me to find what will inspire You!

Thank you, Caroline, for sharing your lovely images with us. I will be including more of your pictures in the album celebrating International Women’s Day on my Facebook page. You can find the link at the end of this post.

I am sure you’ve all learned a lot from our sister entrepreneurs around the world. I really appreciate the time and effort they put into helping us learn about what is done in each of their countries. I am sure you are excited to start shopping with them as well. Buying products made by women and sold by women is a wonderful way to support women.

Seamstress at a market in Bagan, Myanmar

You may want to check out the WanderShopper Facebook page and the album Celebrating International Women’s Day for some more images that I was unable to include in the post today. In addition you will find photos I shared in honor of this day last year which celebrate women encountered during my travels. Be sure to “like” WanderShopper while you are there so you receive alerts to future posts as well as access to Facebook only content. To learn more about the history of International Women’s Day, check out my post from last year. How will you be celebrating International Women’s Day this year?

Until we shop again,


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Explore the North Market in Columbus

by Sarah Shaw
( February 26th, 2014 )

North Market in Columbus, Ohio

A few days ago I made my first trip to Columbus, Ohio and spent my initial evening at the North Market. On the next block from my hotel, the Hilton Columbus Downtown, I discovered the North Market occupies a giant space accommodating 35 different stalls. The North Market offers shopping, international food vendors and lots of great people watching. I was there on Valentines Day and there was a lot of excitement in the air. Not just for the holiday but also for the Fiery Food Fest being hosted there that weekend. Anytime you can combine shopping and eating is a winner for me. Join me as I explore the North Market.

Overview of a section of the North Market in Columbus, Ohio

Columbus has a long tradition of supporting its public markets. At one time, there were four different markets for residents to purchase their food, the North Market being the second to be built. It was originally housed in the city’s public cemetery, The North Graveyard, prior to 1876. The other markets included the East, West and Central Markets at one time. The original North Market building was lost in a fire in 1949. Vendors took up a collection and raised enough money to buy an old Quonset hut which stood at the market’s current location.

Shopping for Flowers at the North Market

After World War II, interest in public markets began to wane and the survival of the markets was threatened.  In fact, the North Market is the only market still open of the original four. By the 1980’s people began to embrace a movement which values markets and the local produce and products they offer. This support from the community has allowed the North Market to evolve into the huge success it is today. Bursting at its seems and requiring repairs that didn’t make sense to the old building, a captial campaign was initiated to raise funds for a new building that would be 60% larger than the Quonset hut. Construction began in January 1995 and vendors moved in and opened the new space by November of that year. Annually over 1 million people come to the North Market, made up of both neighbors and tourists. 100% of its retail space is leased and their is a waiting list of vendors who would like an opportunity to be part of the North Market.

Better Earth at the North Market

The North Markets houses many stalls offering the kind of items you might expect to find like quality produce, cheese, meats, baked goods and flowers. You will also be delighted to discover North Market Spices for every seasoning, herb or spice you may require. You can also visit The Barrel and Bottle to select a wine or beer for your next meal.  I found one stall that offers a wide selection of fresh pastas stuffed with more fillings than you could imagine that were decorated beautifully. Another stall offers a large selection of Fiestaware so you can pick up some colorful plates and other table items to compliment your food. You may also want to stop by CaJohn’s Flavor and Fire for its large selection of salsas and hot sauces. I was really impressed by the quantity and the quality of the products each merchant has chosen to offer.

Fiestaware stall at the North Market

In addition to the shopping, many people visit the North Market to have a meal. It is the perfect choice for a family or group as there are so many different kinds of food to choose from. Unlike a single restaurant where someone may have to compromise their choices, at the North Market everyone can select their own meal and then meet up on the second floor where a large dinning space encircles the market. The center of the second floor is open to the market below so this is a wonderful place to relax as you enjoy your food and people watch.

Lasagna for sale in a shop at the North Market

As a vegetarian, sometimes I have a challenge finding appropriate food at some restaurants. That was not an obstacle for me at the North Market. I could choose from India, Thai, Vietnamese and Italian among others. For the meat eaters in your group, they are well taken care of, with choices of BBQ, Fish, Sushi, Sausages, Chicken, Polish cuisine and some extensive meat counters. No one could possibly go hungry. Make sure to save room for desert which you may find at one of their specialty bakeries, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream or Pam’s Market Popcorn. In fact if you just want a snack, maybe you stop by Brezelfor some pretzels or a piece of chocolate at Pure Imagination. There are also numerous place to get something to drink including a tea stall, Bubbles, with dozens of options.

Produce at the North Market

The North Market is the perfect place to spend a day or evening in the winter. In the warmer months, it expands to include an outdoor farmers market. These vendors comprise an additional 30 spaces. From April through November, every Saturday people begin to shop these produce stalls as early as 8:00 am. All participating farmers have taken a special oath that really sets the North Market apart from many in other communities. All farmers sell only what they grow. This commitment to quality, integrity and provenance allows shoppers to get real answers about how something was grown as well as how you may want to use it in your own home.

Flowers for sale at the North Market

They like to say that every day at the North Market is a special day but it would be true that some days of the year are extra special. Those are when festivals, activities and classes are offered for the community and visitors. The weekend I was in Columbus, they hosted the Fiery Food Fest. Coming up in April will be the Ohio Coffee Roast Brunch. The Apron Gala, a fundraising event, is held in May. And later in the Ohio Wine Festival will be celebrated with the with the Ohio Craft Brew Festival following in October. You can also discover many special events associate with the holiday season at the end of the year.

Wine vendor at the North Market

In addition to all the festivals, the North Market also hosts a number of classes at its Academy at NoMa Kitchen. On the second floor, there is a space available to rent for hosting special functions at the market. In addition, local chefs and food vendors from the market offer classes to teach people how to make food from different cuisines. These classes have been so popular in the past that they are being significantly expanded for 2014.

Salsa options at CaJohns in the North Marker

I had so much fun during my visit to the North Market that I spent all my time till they were closing walking around meeting people and taking pictures to share with you. In the final minutes, I hustled around to purchase food for my dinner and a few others items I wanted to enjoy later. Choosing my dinner was so hard as I wanted to eat something from nearly every stall. In the end, I chose Flavors of India where I selected a variety of curry dishes, a couple samosa and some naan. As the market was shutting down, I had them pack it to go and enjoyed it back in my hotel room. I was impressed with the level of spicing they chose to use as many Indian restaurants in the U.S. really keep most of their dishes pretty mild. These curries packed some heat. And the samosas were delicious with the tamarind chutney I also picked up.

Curry dinner from Flavors of India

Before I left, I also stopped by Brezel for a cinnamon sugar pretzel. Brezel offers a variety of giant, fresh pretzels in many flavor combinations. You might choose a sweet pretzel like I did. They also have many savory blends that looked really amazing. If I didn’t have so many meals planned throughout my time in Ohio,  I would have gone back to try more. Be sure to pick up one of their dipping sauces to take you pretzel to the next level.

Cinnamon Pretzel from Brezels

I also rushed to Pistacia Vera where I purchased a box of their macaroons containing one of each of the 12 flavors they offer. My box included pistachio, vanilla bean, lemon, matcha yuzu, strawberry lillet, passion fruit, blackberry violet, coconut creme, mocha hazelnut, chocolate chambord, cashew brown butter and lastly caramel pecan. How could I go wrong?! One of my favorite things about the winter holiday season is that I can easily find one of my favorite confections, toronne. Pistacia Vera offered a pack of two of slim bars of their Montelimar Nougat which included pistachios, cherries, almonds and apricots. Lastly, the orange brioche looked so delicious, I had to bring them back with me, too. Just in case I needed a snack! You may also choose to visit Pistacia Vera in the German Village neighborhood which I will share information on in a future post.

Macaroons from Pistacia Vera

The North Market offers convenient hours which makes it easy to find time in your day exploring Columbus. Tuesday through Friday they are open from 9:00 am – 7:00 pm. On Saturday they open at 8:00 am and on Sunday at noon. Both weekend days see the market close by 5:00 pm. On Monday, some vendors do choose to open from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. If you want all options available to you, you should visit any day but Monday. There is a large parking lot directly in front of the North market that contains 135 monitored parking spots. You could also choose a large parking garage on Vine Street directly across from the market so visiting is easy.

Visiting the North Market in Columbus, Ohio

I am really grateful that I had Experience Columbus to help plan my first visit to Columbus and then later the Hocking Hills area. They put together a wonderful itinerary of activities and restaurants for me to really get a sampling of local arts, designers and chefs. And although they were able to provide lodging and many of my meals for me to enjoy, everything I share with you is my own independent opinion. I encourage you to check out the Experience Columbus website and take advantage of all the information they have available to plan your visit. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Columbus and at the North Market. Now I know how much there is to do, shop and eat there, I will definitely be returning again and again. I’m excited to share everything I discovered with you in the coming weeks.

Pear Ginger Tart from Pistacia Vera

If you would like to see more images from the North Market as well as other places I visited while in Columbus, please visit the WanderShopper Facebook page and enjoy the Columbus Voyeur album. Be sure to “like” WanderShopper while you are there so you receive notice of other WanderShopper posts and Facebook only content. If you were to visit the North Market, what would be the first thing you would do? Shop, eat or just explore?

Until we shop again,




Anakha An Indochine Dream in Laos

by Sarah Shaw
( January 10th, 2014 )

Exterior of Anakha in Luang Prabang Laos

Stepping into Anakha one sticky, hot afternoon was like entering a time portal and reemerging on the set of Indochine. I had spent my day touring many of Luang Prabang’s temples and monasteries and even though I had already been acclimating my body to the heat and humidity through weeks in Myanmar, this day in Laos was testing my resolve. I had been staying at Ock Pop Tok’s villa outside of town, borrowing one of their bikes and peddling in for a day of sightseeing and shopping. As I struggled uphill from the river, Anakha and The Blue House emerged before me. Built during the 1920’s, the French Colonial villa was immediately appealing and calling to me. As I peered in through one of the banks of windows, my breath was sucked away. I was completely enchanted before I had even set foot in the door.

Anakha Boutique Luang Prabang

Anakha’s founder, Veronique Cottereau-Pravin, began to have glimpses of the dream as early as 1994. That year she left her native France for Vietnam, bringing with her years of experience as an international business attorney. When she returned to France in 2000, she created her own luxury boutique in Paris, Cote Indochine. Cottereau-Pravin sourced treasures from Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar as well as designing custom pieces she had produced in Vietnam. She continued to feel the pull of Southeast Asia and returned to Hanoi 8 years later to establish Anakha. While in Luang Prabang, she discovered The Blue House and knew she had found her location.

Clothing in Anakha

Covered in goosebumps, I entered Anakha that day and fell in love with what Cottereau-Pravin had created. I was immediately enveloped in the mood of the space. Smartly decorated with clean white walls, polished wide-planked wood floors and French Colonial details. You could picture sitting down with the Malraux’s  and sharing the days discoveries over cocktails. The ceiling fans whirred quietly away, circulating the air conditioning while creating a gentle breeze throughout the space. What was so genius was the light wind picked up the silk dresses, kaftans and scarves and caused them to dance on their hangers. Standing in Anakha, I felt like if only I could put on one of those dresses, I could breeze comfortably through Luang Prabang for the rest of the day. They made you believe you could be comfortable, cool and oh how I desperately wanted one.

Linen Clothing from Anakha

Cottereau-Pravin has anticipated what Western women would want, what they would crave, and she delivers it beautifully. Racks of silk, cotton and linen clothing float out to greet you as you walk by. Muted, restrained colors from all natural dyes which are punctuated with pops of color reminding you of the tropical flowers you’ve admire in the gardens. Everything is cut to drape and flatter your body. Sarongs, pajamas, robes and slippers all of your desires are being tastefully filled leaving you wishing for nothing.

Silks and pops of color at Anakha

Anakha is more than a chic clothing boutique though. You can also bring the dream back with you to your home. Create your own haven, your own Indochine. A custom line of home fragrances delight your senses. Carefully blended essential oils remind you of your time in Laos. I brought back two I found irresistible. Named after its host city, Luang Prabang includes cardamom, basil, verbena, citron, benjoin, gurjum and poivre sauvage. Its an interesting mix of sweet and dark you might come across as you enter an out of the way temple where scent from the offerings of flowers and incense have hung in the air for hundreds of years. I also selected Reves (Dreams) being aware even then that I was enjoying a special moment in time. Reves blends Spanish labdanum, patchouli, cinnamon, cedar, lavender and holy basil. Mystery lingers in the air as you breath in Reves where something seems familiar but yet you can’t quite define it. Both take me back to Anakha each time I open the bottles.

Bedroom at Anakha

An assortment of linens for the home can be found as you drift through Anakha. In one corner you slowly enter a space set up as a bedroom and you find yourself hesitating as if you were actually entering someone’s private sanctuary. The bed is made up with fine sheets, a duvet cover, sumptuous pillows with a throw across the end and a robe atop it as if waiting for someone to emerge from their shower. Silk slips hang to one side and a set of pajamas on the other. You know that if this were your room, it is a place where you could really sleep, really dream. And it could be yours. Just select what you’ll bring home.

Treasures for the Bedroom from Anakha

As much as Anakha offers intimate moments, it also offers what you’ll need when you are feeling social. Fine linens to dress your table. Napkins for your guests. Towels for your kitchen. Rugs to pamper your feet. Look around Anakha and you can imagine yourself very happy in this world that’s been recreated for you. Cottereau-Pravin’s dream that she’s willing to share. Sit down and linger in one of the chairs and pretend for a moment that this is your villa.

Linger at Anakha in Laos

I explored, took photos to share with you, shopped some more, but mainly I lingered. This oasis I’d discovered, I didn’t want to leave. This lovely dream that is Anakha made me want to stay with my eyes closed just a few minutes more before I rejoined the reality of the day. To prolong the dream just a moment longer. In the end my finds were lovingly wrapped and packed with care. When I headed to the door, I brought with me the two vials of essential oils, a pair of espadrilles in my favorite shade of indigo and an irresistible blue on blue sarong in silk. With a sigh, I headed back into the muggy afternoon to find my bike.

Sarongs at Anakha

Next time you are in Luang Prabang, be sure to visit Anakha. You will discover it on Sakkarine Road in the center of the protected peninsula. You can learn more at Anakha’s website. You will also want to stop by Naga Creations as well to pick up some locally inspired jewelry designed by another French Ex-Pat, Fabrice Munio. Then you can round out your shopping excursion by selecting the finest textiles in Laos, at Ock Pop Tok.

Until we shop again,



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