"Wow… I love everything in this shop!”
"…This shop makes me SO HAPPY!!!”
"…I wish I could spend all day, everyday in here..”
Those were my thoughts every time I’d come into Shared Earth. In fact, I was that customer that stays till 6pm, who you have to approach to say "just to let you know… we’re about to close…” every time I’d realise how long I’ve actually spent looking around the charming little shop, constantly finding more and more things that I like and that I would want my mum and friends to have. You see.. I have a soft spot for anything handmade. My appreciation, respect and admiration for anyone with the patience to create something beautiful and unique from scratch, whether mass produced or a one off, will never go away.
I come from a family of artists and grew up learning to respect the hard work that goes into anything handmade by a craftsman/craftswoman and how to notice the difference in quality and detail put into the work. 6 years ago I decided to come study here in the UK – all the way from ISRAEL (a small kibbutz in the Negev to be exact.. that’s kind of-south west). Being so far away from home – from family and friends is not an easy thing – but knowing there is a place that makes me feel at home is all the difference one needs.
After finishing my studies & religiously continuing to come into the shop, even if just to browse, I happened to overhear a conversation that one customer had with someone at the till about volunteering. "Why didn’t I ever think of that??” I thought to myself. I guess I just never thought they’d be struggling to find help/workers or just choose me over all the other applicants – this would actually be my dream job J Being surrounded with all these beautiful handmade unique products…and knowing it is all for a very good cause!
That same day I started paying off in instalments for this beautiful wall hanging; a one of a kind (and first of many I’ve bought since).
I’d recommend you come in to one of the shops to choose your own unique wall hanging… they’re SO beautiful and make a perfect centre piece… Plus, there’s never one alike, so if you’re like me you’d find that a big bonus… J
I couldn’t wait to take it home so I can look at it for as long as I want, especially after hearing about where they come from (India) and what difference they make to the women who choose each and every bead and thread and where they go, what shape they will create and maybe tell their story- that will come to life through their weaving and stitching.
I can still see the scene in my head that was described to me in the shop that day; This hard working mother, who wants the best food, clothes and education for her kids, being able to work from the safety of her home whilst looking after her children. Maybe the youngest ones who still haven’t started school even help her choose and plan the layout of the design or maybe she meets up with the other mothers and they all sit and work together, sharing stories (gossip), tips and materials.
Yeah, I had to have it and couldn’t stop thinking about my mum and how much she would want one too… *she got a cushion cover instead.
Shared Earth to me is a cosy, little relaxing spot.. a Home Away from Home.. and I love the fact that I know that the next customer that walks in will feel the same way whether if it’s their first visit, or just a regular day in.
It just makes a difference knowing that not only are you having a special shopping experience and by pleasing yourself with even just a small treat you’re helping someone in a far away remote place and their family’s everyday life.. but you’ve been allowed into their homes and life stories which will forever live on in your purchase.