Philosophy

Direct purchasing
We attach great importance to procuring our merchandise directly from manufacturers. As we do not use distributors it is not only possible to offer a range of products at reasonable prices, but as a result of our direct contact in situ standards of quality are also guaranteed, communication problems are averted and many product ideas are conceived. We visit our countries of purchase, namely China, Indonesia, Thailand, India, Nepal, Vietnam and Morocco at regular intervals - twice to four times a year. On these purchase trips we check orders, root out beautiful items of furniture and broaden our range of products with new and interesting items.

We go to great lengths to do this. We also visit remote regions, climb quarries in southern China or Java and examine the quality of marble blocks, handpick the most beautiful specimens from quarry stone boulders before these are then turned into stone wash basins. This procedure is part of our uniqueness and thus ideas and suggestions for products can be made directly in situ and subsequently implemented. Whether at trade fairs, weekly markets, bazaars, small workshops or large factories– we follow a similar pattern wherever we go. We compare and select the most beautiful things and naturally check their manufacture and discuss any suggestions for improvement, if necessary.
We have therefore built up an extremely broad and sustainable network of suppliers. We currently work with around 400 different handicraft sites, production plants and exporters. The basis for this productive collaboration is the mutual trust that we have established and constantly maintained with our overseas partners over the past years.

Handicraft means uniqueness
Approximately 90 percent of our products are handmade. Caned baskets, hand-pottered clay jugs, marquetry with wooden products, carved wooden sculptures, hand-woven woolen blankets and elaborate lacquer ware – each product has its unique charm. Handicraft lives from its own individual expression and means uniqueness and vibrancy. For this reason, you will rarely find any of our items literally ‘flawless’. Some people may consider the latter as a defect. Nevertheless, with such a view you deny yourself the enjoyment of having a handmade item made from “living” material. Perhaps you should bear this in mind if you see a split or fissure in the wood or a somewhat irregular bend in the hand-forged candleholder.

We love to go into detail and are sometimes idiosyncratic when selecting items. We always endeavour to purchase products that can be bought exclusively in our shops in composition or manufacture. Moreover, we do not claim that our selection of products offers a representative cross-section of all crafted goods typical for a particular country. Such an undertaking must inevitably remain incomplete despite careful research and extensive knowledge of the respective country. However, the experiment will also in future remain an important part of our work. First, we check whether our customers like a new product– and only when this is the case does the product join our range.

Products made of synthetic materials
For many years now we have been debating whether to expand the range of products, which are not made from natural materials. We have already broken new ground as far as preserving raw materials and better functionality is concerned. Examples of the latter are garden furniture made of caned synthetic fibres, lightweight planters made of a waterproof resin-stone powder mix.

Container-arrival announcements
Sea container arrival announcements are an essential element of our concept. Despite limited sales areas, they ensure that our product range is consistently supplemented with fresh products.

Every 1st and 3rd Saturday in each month of the year we receive containers with unusual products from China, Indonesia, Thailand, India, Nepal and Morocco, which are then immediately distributed to our sales locations. We take photos of many of the respective products prior to and during shipping. For this reason, we are able to provide you with the latest information on the expected goods on our webpage before the containers arrive. You will find the container dates here – and this is when you have the biggest selection of beautiful items.

The idea of fair trade
Customers have often asked us whether the craftsmen/craftswomen in the respective countries earn enough money from making the goods that they produce on our behalf. The answer to this question is “Yes“.

By purchasing directly from the smallest operations and workshops, we contribute to fair trade and our suppliers enjoy working with us. As a result of our direct contact to the producers of the goods we sell, we avoid using distributors which to some extent detrimentally impact the prices.

Child labour
We fundamentally avoid dealing with suppliers who use child labour to produce their goods. Direct contact to workshops and companies thus allow us to oversee and check to a great extent whether child labour is being implemented. Nevertheless, it is not always possible to monitor exactly whether individual cases of child labour occur – the limits of child labour are blurred in places where, for instance, twelve-year-old children work for hours as gofers.

Since we work closely with production sites, we are much more assured than we would be with an anonymous contact to a supplier, which otherwise does not go beyond a visit to trade fair, telephone or e-mail.

New catalogue and the procurement of merchandise
When you browse through the catalogue, you will notice that it is divided according to themes into sections Home Interior, Garden and then Country – and not sorted according to product groups but instead according to the particular product’s origin .

As always, we endeavour to have all the items displayed in our catalogue in stock. We would kindly ask you for your understanding should the latter not be the case. Please do not hesitate to contact our employees at any of our sales outlets for further information. Please get in touch with us should you wish to offer any suggestions for improvement or points of criticism. If you are happy with our product range, then please recommend us to others …