Greetings from India.. You gotta love it and hate it in extreme measures.
Last week I was telling you about the Bali Batik lady and her little rebellious ways. You can read about it here.

Since then I have been in the Indian Spring fair. You gotta love it, its a big grand affair, a tribal music and dancing welcome, luxury lounges, free transport and lunches.. Heck this year they even laid on free foot massages to ease the weary international buyer's feet.

You gotta love it. But I spent four days trying to find something new at a reasonable price, we always do a careful check on every product to make sure we could complete and actually bring you something useful.. Nothing.. Nothing at all passed that test.
Ended up feeling depressed, yes I seen a few existing suppliers and was able to sort some problems, but trying to find another product as fast moving as Singing Bowls or Salt Lamps, just drawing a blank.
In these trade shows there is so much BS and big ego's - that reality go's out of the window.. and I have fallen for that talk before, expensively and painfully. Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.. and here in Delhi, I have done plenty of learning.

These trade shows are expensive I suppose, and someone has to pay - it's a bit like AW - we have no sales people and thus pass on good savings, but unless we have the right products at the right prices it's not going to work. These tradeshow people are like the wholesalers in UK with expensive salespeople.. somebody has to pay..

This year is extra complicated, because India has just been introduced to TAX.. well VAT.. or has it is called here GST - General Sales Tax.. it being India is vastly more complicated with lots of different rates. But the main problem is in the six months since the introduction, no tax office has issued a refund. For exporters that is a significant amount of capital blocked. GST is the main topic of conversation and the route of all evil. I just hope it works out and all that tax is spent on infrastructure in the end.. they seriously need it.

Then I went with our man in India (Mr Chatterjee) to central Delhi, booked two rooms in the rather grand colonial style Eros hotel (best English breakfast on east of Eastbourne) and called in our family businesses suppliers. Rashid from Saharanpur, Mr Holkar from Haryana and Pawan from Jaipur.. I told them bring me just a few of your best new products to see..

Well we had a great time.. except that first off they all got delayed..so no-one arrived until lunch time.. This is India.. So the carefully scheduled appointments went out of the window. Pawan came straight from a Holy Guru conference, still on a spiritual high, smiling in a beatific and holy way.



Rashid the Muslim wooden guy arrived with 20 bulging cartons of samples (completely ignoring my request - filling the hotel room to bursting), and promptly fell asleep on Chatterjee's bed, his two helpers wadderling their heads back and forth in apology. Mr Holkar who is the nicest humblest guy you could meet, the incense guy almost set the fire alarm off demonstrating his new back-flow incense cones. Prompting a visit from the management and a request not to do that. It was like slapstick scene from a bollywood movie, but when all was done and gone, we managed to find some useful deals where everyone was happy. This is India - You gotta love it!

A major update on Indian wood. India has finally started to regulate timber, to ensure sustainability. It's a very good thing, because now we can be sure that the wood is sustainable. But this means that Sheesham wood is suddenly in huge short supply, as the documented sustainable wood is hard to come by. So many products are being made instead in seasoned mango wood, which needs more processes, time and work to make. It's massive shake up for the handicraft wood industry. So just a heads-up the Sheesham wood, or sometimes called Indian Rose wood.. is virtually gone. If you can buy stocks - if you need - get it while you can. So.. Love that sustainability is finally verified.. Hate the upset..

Here in India it is Holi... that's the Holy festival where Hindu folk lose all their inhibitions, plaster each other with indelible dye (which takes weeks to wear off) and drink copious quantities of Banga.. a kind of cannabis yogurt drink.
A couple of years ago I went to a wild party and got totally coloured up. This year I'm keeping my head down.. I'll celebrate by sipping a glass of the much improved Indian Chardonnay - Sula Wines being the best.

Soon I'll be going down to Kolkata, where they will be starting the Bengali people's New Year festivity.. the Durga Purga.. it's probably the weirdest in the world - a death cult with black tongues and destroyer of world goddesses.
You Gotta Love it.. and Hate it..

More details next week.

Meanwhile back in the UK.. it's a totally different story, none of that wild Indian colour.. just White Snow..
We are doing our best.. but Sheffield was seriously snowed up, now we are just getting back in business and catching up with the orders - although I understand there are nation-wide delivery delays.


Ancient Wisdom Sheffield Headquarter

Take care in the snow.
Soon it's Mother's Day - come rain or snow or shine.. it's going to be busy.. and we got the products you gonna love..

More news from India next week.



Set Of Chakra Singing Bowl

The perfect Tibetan gift set, here available in different sizes. Use the wooden end of the stick to make the bowl sing, (watch our video Here). The padded end makes a divine dong. A gift that will make someone more than happy - bringing a little extra inner calm.


Retail POD Blackboards

Our retail display chalkboards are perfect for marking up all your prices, ideal for Soap shops, or any craft endeavour. Perfect for artisan restaurants and deli's, pubs (those craft beers). Clearly labelled and priced products in an arty way can only boost your image and sales.


Wholesale Salt Lamps & Candle Holders

Each Wholesale Salt Lamp comes complete with light fitting, bulb & plug. Rather than sell them by size we sell them by approximate weight. Items are marked with sizes to give a rough idea of size only, each lamp is completely unique.


Wholesale Real Leaf Jewellery

Amazing Real Leaf Jewellery is made with actual real leaves, hand selected and harvested specially leaf by leaf. Then using a unique electro-plating method the leafs are gradually, magically.. turned to metal. As these are real leaves, not one piece is quite the same so every one bought is unique to the customer!


Budget Gingham Ribbon

Cool green and yellow for spring, hot pinks and red for summer, classic blue and lavender for weddings season. These are ribbons for all occasions, double-sided check makes easier to wrap any gift. Wrap some profits today, Order now.


Cocktail Bath Bombs

It's Amazing But True.. now your customers can really chill out to a fizzing cocktail bath. Get totally soaked, by dropping a G&T or Mojito bath bomb in your bath.


Mother's Day

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