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. . .

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Argentina, the new Thailand for Waterlily

Ok, here I am again. . . The official update!
Waterlily Shop in Portland is doing so well. Despite the shit economy, we have been excited about our 3rd year in the shop with record sales. The store has never looked more beautiful. . . and of course, this time of year, we are busy planning the next trip.
Last year, as you might recall, I headed to India, Thailand, and Bali. These were lovely destinations, however after 8 years of going to Asia, I've decided to shift gears. Waterlily is heading to Argentina for 2009!

And perhaps its because I'm now 29, and doing a little bit of growing up, but the backpacking endlessly doesn't appeal to me this year the way it used to. I am desiring an exploration to new locales, yes, but mostly attempting to stay put in the city itself.
I am planning to head down south Jan 6th about, to March 23, and just rent a flat in Buenos Aires, and stay put!
Coffee shops, bars, shopping, writing. Thank you. This is all I want to do this year.

About 3 years ago, I met Tania, in my store, who had started a small handbag company called Viva Zapata! They manufacture vinyl handbags made from recycled bus seats from Argentina. I bought my bag, and have been carrying it successfully ever since. It is my favorite bag ever. So finally, after many years we got them into the store this summer. Since their debut in August they have quickly become the best selling item at Waterlily Shop! So, I will also be going down to Buenos Aires to work on the design, and production with Tania for Viva Zapata.

Haven't gotten the ticket yet, but holding out for that last-minute deal!
Here I come B.A.-
lots of love to everyone. Thanks for checking in on me.