Monday, 9 December 2013

Meetings With Remarkable Women * Jennifer Gaudet from Montreal * Saving Traditional Silk Weaving in Turkey

Jennifer's Hamam opened on August 1st, 2009. It is the dream child of Jennifer Gaudet, the Canadian owner. Jennifer had been teaching English in Thailand for 7 years, but had started thinking about opening her own business. She came to Turkey as a tourist in October 2005.
During her holiday, she discovered that Turkish laws were very open to businesses owned by foreigners, and she made the decision to move to Istanbul and open a business in the tourist area of Sultanahmet. Her first project was a cafe´ and art gallery. But in July 2009, Jennifer sold Java Studio and pursued her second dream of running a shop selling real Turkish towels made not in factories, but on old-style looms.
Jennifer takes great pride in visiting her weavers on a regular basis , and only buys from people whose looms she has seen in person. She aims to educate her clients about this art form and hopefully help preserve it for future generations.

There are only three families left in Turkey that know how to do the looping technique, one of which Jennifer met just by pure accident. They were just two weeks away from shutting their workshop, selling the looms and getting 'real' jobs. Just six short months after this serendipitous meeting, Jennifer financed another loom for them and they've been busy producing designer towels for her shop ever since. Jennifer came to realise that the slower you make something, the longer it lasts.

Jennifer says, It's my goal to find at least one more loom before the end of the year. This will really make a difference in the amount of down-time needed to re-thread the looms for different-sized towels. We're just at the beginning. I can hardly wait to see where we're at in another five years! For more details of Jennifer Gaudet's shop click here.

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