What's happening at Mirth Studio these days and what does it have to do with Asia?
Some of you that follow along with Mirth Studio may be wondering why these stories with pretty images taken in exotic locations in Asia keep popping up in our IG feed. I thought it's time to fill you in on what the heck we are up to!
I try not to get too personal on social media. I am haunted by the words of the initial social media consultant I hired when we were just starting out "stick to business and no posts of your kids no matter how cute you think they are." That said, things have changed since then and the reality is when you own a creative driven small business, the line between personal and business can easily blur. After all, the creative process starts from our personal experience so I am going to buy myself a pass to get personal today!
Some of you may know that before launching Mirth Studio I lived as an expat in Macau, China. I very much enjoyed my time in Asia so when the opportunity to return presented itself earlier this year, it didn't take long to say yes to a 10 month adventure abroad!
With two recent high school grads and a 3rd grader in tow, we packed up as much as we could fit in 10 suitcases and set off to join my husband (who's job in the entertainment business has brought him to the far east). The plan has been for my two daughters to study at SCAD Hong Kong (more on this later), while I reside in Macau with my son and husband and work "remotely" at Mirth.
Macau is a very charismatic place with a diverse mix of cultures. It's officially part of China but considered a Special Administration Region so it has its own government (just like Hong Kong). Because it was settled by The Portuguese (who stayed for about 400 years), everywhere you look you can see the influence of Europe in the beautiful architecture, the interesting food and the decorative arts. One of my favorite things are the black and white paving stones that create funky designs in the streets, just like the ones that can be found in Portugal! You also might have heard that Macau is known as "The Las Vegas of the East." The mix of historical Portuguese archi
tecture, Chinese culture, and the modern casino industry gives Macau a character like no other place I've ever been. If you ever get a chance to visit you will not be disappointed!
The best part of living in Asia is having easy access to travel to many wonderful and inspiring places! Since arriving in September, I've had the opportunity to travel to some of my favorite places. In Thailand we visited Chang Mai where we spent the day at the Elephant Sanctuary, toured beautiful temples, and ate our weight in green curry. I also had the chance to visit Bangkok again after 20 years and it did not disappoint! From there, we headed to the gorgeous beaches of Da Nang in Vietnam, and the charming and historic town of Hanio.
I love that all of the buildings in Hanoi are painted yellow, or ochre, giving the city a surreal glow. I also spotted a lot of traditional cement tiles!
I made my first trip ever to Shanghai, which was just as incredible as people say. The light show after dark from The Rooftop Bar at The Peninsula Hotel will forever be one of my favorite moments.
I was there for the opening of teamLab Borderless -Shanghai and if you haven't heard of Team Lab you need to check it out, www.teamlab.com. This Digital art collective from Tokyo has put together a breathtaking exhibition that will leave you in complete amazement!
And then there is Hong Kong....only an hour ferry ride away. Hong Kong is Macau's sophisticated sister city. Sadly last spring, when we were finalizing our plans and enrolled my daughters at SCAD HK, we did not know the political turmoil that would take over Hong Kong. It has been heartbreaking and frightening to watch one of my favorite cities descend into utter chaos. My girls are safely here with us in Macau as we wait to see if it will be suitable for them to continue their studies there for the winter term. My thoughts are with all the people of Hong Kong that are struggling with this unfortunate situation.
Sally circa 1990 something touring Hong Kong
So this brings me to my present situation as I write this from the gorgeous Taj Mahal Hotel- New Delhi. With my 19 year old daughter tagging along we have set off to the one place I have always wanted to visit, Incredible India!! We have had a whirlwind tour of New Delhi complete with rickshaw rides through the chaotic markets of Old Delhi, market shopping, and toured some incredible historic sites. We head to Rajasthan today and will visit Jaipur, Jodphur, Udaipur and Chennai before heading off to Singapore the following week.
It’s wonderful to have the chance to travel with my daughter Ella, who shares the same interests as me! I have been busy researching all the amazing sites to visit, as well as the workshops and craftspeople I am hoping to meet. We plan to tour printing facilities, textile and carpet mills while we source production facilities to partner with for creating new products for Mirth Studio! I am particularly excited to see all the traditional hand block fabrics. It would be so great to create some with Mirth designs!! I seriously can't wait! If anyone reading this has travel or sourcing tips please share!
I am eternally grateful for The Mirth Team that is handling the day to day operations of Mirth Studio at home in Charleston and allowing me this exciting time with my family. Rachel and Brittney have taken the lead, and have embraced the challenge with enthusiasm, hard work, and dedication. I am confident they will do an excellent job holding down the fort, so rest assured, Mirth is in good hands. By not being over consumed with the daily operations of the business, has allowed me to indulge in the creativity that brought Mirth to life in the first place. The inspiration I’m finding thus far has my head full of ideas for new products, new designs for our existing collection and a new way I’m thinking about Mirth Studio. I can't wait to show you what I have dreamed up!
So here it is....this is what we have been up to at Mirth Studio! I am so thankful for this opportunity and will try my best to make every moment count. I can't wait to share this adventure so please follow along!