Hello! I'm Renee Garland. I've been traveling to Asia for the last 13 years in order to escape snowy Maine winters, hoping to live sunny adventures. My company began 11 years ago with $250 worth of chopsticks. I started selling them at craft fairs and festivals all over coastal Maine. Unfortunately, many people didn't know much about chopsticks! (or Asia for that matter.) Nonetheless, I trudged through the festival scene for several years expanding my inventory to clothing, accessories, gifts, and art. The mission has always been the same; to work with individuals, women's coops, and small home-based businesses to help support and encourage small enterprises. I opened my first store in Portland, in 2006 called "Waterlily." It's filled with Waterlily brand handmade gifts produced both from my travels abroad, and by local artists. I still go on buying adventures, 'cause that's what it's all about. . .

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Getting Started!

On a turbulent plane, heading west to HongKong.
It is such a bright sunny day, though the New York air outside is quite chilly! I could see the empire state building off in the skyline, as our plane took off across the tarmac, and up into the sky. Feeling tired about now, groggy all day so far. Woke this morning at 2:15am, to start this journey from Portland- to Boston, then Boston, to NYC- and from here, at 2pm, the real journey begins!

I'm flying on Cathay Pacific which is full of Chinese people, so it already feels a bit exotic. Right now dealing with the dry cabin air, and a stomach that is in knots- but I think not from the trip I am about to take, but from the glasses of wine from last night's farewell dinner party. So, I steer away from the free mixers on this flight, and stick to my ritual plane diet of tomato juice, and pretzels for now.
And it's up, up, and away!
I am excited for this journey-
After all of the difficulty to get to the place where I am today, and I deserve the best trip ever!