Artisanal Products and Where to Find Them
In recent years I have observed a resurgence of old and traditional practices and aesthetics. As recently as a decade ago, most people in Lahore were brand-obsessed but with the coming of organic trends and practices, there is now a wider demand for all-natural products. Buyers are not just moving away from inorganic processed foods but are also now inclined to purchase artisanal and hand-crafted products for themselves and their homes. Honestly, I too am tired of buying off the rack only to find dozens of other people in the exact same outfits. It kills any sense of personal style that one might be trying to emulate.
Therefore, I find myself increasingly setting off towards organic markets and craft exhibitions for unique and natural products. On any given weekend in Lahore, one comes across a handful of exhibitions of this nature. Recently, I came across two events that I had the urge to visit. One was Organic and Cultural Bazaar organized by the Organic shop by Inqalab in Packages from 30th November to 2nd December, and the other was Entrepreneurs Connect organized by Cloisonné on 2nd December in Gulberg Galleria. These were two distinct events however, I must share my experiences so that you are convinced to add these to you must-visit lists next time they roll around.
The organic and cultural bazaar was a detailed curation of organic products. Everything from ingredients, prepared food items, beauty and self-care products to artisanal home goods and handicrafts. The demand for such products is met by some seriously committed individuals making waves in the organic circuit. Also, thanks to the competitive nature of this business sphere, companies are also educating consumers in order to convince them to buy. There are no jack-of-all organic producers and sellers, instead, these are small companies focusing on a particular type of product or gap in the market.
There was one company working with aloe-vera as their core product around which several beauty products were crafted. Another lady was selling home-made dry spices and aromatics, with great focus on explaining the methodology and process with buyers. Vendors had come all the way from Sindh to display their ethnic jewelry, shawls and hand-made khaddar. A young man from Gilgit was selling pure apricot, walnut and almond oils. Other than that there was ethnic furniture on display, which was my favorite bit. The Organic and Culture Bazaar satisfied my craving for artisanal products but left my wallet rather light. Totally worth it though.
Let’s move on to the second event that I visited, Entrepreneurs Connect. This event was designed to give a platform to skilled and passionate entrepreneurs, trying to set up an inline or at home business. It allowed them to display their work, to interact with other skillful entrepreneurs and to learn from one another’s experiences. There were various food stalls and product displays set up. Bedsheets and comforters, bespoke jewelry and recycled products. However, the most exciting part for me was hearing the stories behind each venture. Most of the vendors were female and each had a uniquely inspiring story to tell. To have the chance to interact with people of the matter is always a delightful experience.
Therefore, I would recommend that everyone try to chalk in a few of these events into their weekly calendars. Not only is there bound to be something that catches your eyes, but you might also just end up having the most meaningful of interactions with entrepreneurs and vendors alike.