Tag Archives | Moroccan travel

36 Hours in Essaouira

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To celebrate the launch of our ESSAOUIRA Perfume Oil, we’re publishing Katharine’s quick travel guide to Essaouira, Morocco, the breezy port town that inspired the scent of the Body Serum and new Perfume Oil.

First a little history:  In 1506, the king of Portugal ordered a fortress to be built in Essaouira, then called Mogador by the native Berbers who inhabited the location.   After Morocco regained control during the 16th century, various powers including Spain, England, the Netherlands and France tried in vain to conquer Mogador.  In the 18th Century, the name Essouira, translated as “beautifully designed,”  was adopted and a French architect was hired to build the medina surrounding the original fortress.  Ideally located to benefit from trade between Africa, Europe and the Americas,  Essaouira thrived as a Morocco’s most important trading site.

Essaouira is a perfect place to escape to and unwind after the hectic pace of Marrakech.  The temperature stays a moderate 75 degrees all year, due to the trade winds blowing off of the Atlantic, which also make it an attractive destination for windsurfers.  It is an easy daytrip from Marrakech, but I prefer to stay a night or two to really benefit from the laid back spirit of the beach town.

Day 1:
The first thing in the morning, wander down to the docks to watch the fishermen bring in the days haul. The locals will be there buying their fish for the day, jostling among numerous fish mongers with their wares laid out in boxes on the ground or in carts. A huge variety of fresh fish is on display, eyed by plenty of cats hoping for their chance.

Fish Market in Essaouira

If you’re feeling brave, do what the locals do. Choose one of the vendors based on what looks good (even if you can’t identify the type of fish) and buy directly. There is a guy with a few tables and a grill at the end of the dock who will cook your fish and serve it to you on paper plates with bread for just a few dirhams.

#Postcardfrom Essaouira Morocco #KahinaContest

From the docks, I’ll continue on to walk the long, flat beach, stopping along the way at one of the sidewalk cafes across from the boardwalk for bessara, the traditional bean soup served for breakfast in Morocco.  At the far end of the beach, you can opt to ride camels and/or ponies surfside.

camels on the beach at Essaouira

For lunch, head back towards town where there is a row of open-air restaurant/stalls where you can choose the catch of the day.

Make time in the afternoon for the hammam, Morocco’s health and wellness tradition, which includes plenty of heat and steam, exfoliation and cleansing.  There are two types to choose from, the traditional version which is a shared experience in a large room, or a private session. Either way, treat yourself to Morocco’s foremost beauty products including: Beldi Soap, rhassoul clay, and argan oil.  If opting for the traditional version, make sure to stop at the souk and pick up your own products to bring with you on the way.

Essaouira Market

Afterwards, make your way to the old fortress to watch the sun go down. Stroll along the walls of the medina on the way to browse the shops and art galleries there. There is a good selection of restaurants for dinner in the medina to suit your mood and budget.

Essaouira is known for its vibrant music scene.  Luminaries who have spent time in Essaouira include Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley, whose presence is still felt today in the town’s low key, boho vibe.  Essaouira is the host of the annual Gnaoua World Music Festival, but it is not unusual to stumble across an improptu concert in the main square.

Day 2.
Take a drive south toward Agadir. It’s a beautiful drive through the argan forests. You’ll see goats in trees and some typical Moroccan villages. There are several argan cooperatives along the way to stop in and see how the nuts are cracked. Make sure to try the amlou with bread, a mixture of almonds honey and argan oil.

Argan forest

If you are feeling ambitious, continue approximately 2 hours south to reach Agadir. There is a beautiful stretch of unspoiled coastline before you reach Agadir and multiple spots for surfing. Have lunch at any of the restaurants along the boardwalk of Agadir before heading back.

 

Where to Stay
L’Heure Bleue $$$
Luxury in a traditional Moroccan riad decorated in a Colonial Style.  I recommend lunch by the rooftop pool with a great view of Essaouira.

Madada Mogador $$$
A boutique hotel decorated in traditional Moroccan finishes with rooms on the ramparts overlooking the water and the medina.

36 Hours in Essaouira
Iconic blue boats in Essaouira’s port

Beauty Heroes Q&A with Katharine L’Heureux

This month, Kahina is proud to partner with Beauty Heroes to celebrate the naming of Kahina Eye Serum as an Expert Selection. Beauty Heroes is a subscription box that gives you full-sized items that have been vetted by their team of spa & beauty experts. Interested? Subscribe before September 15, 2015 to get a full-size Kahina Eye Serum plus a deluxe travel size (1 oz.) of our Facial Lotion for just $39.

See the original posting of the Q&A here.

Katharine at Agadir Beach

The recent update to our identity, now Beauty Heroes, could not have happened at a more appropriate time as we announce our September selection from Kahina Giving Beauty. Katharine L’Heureux, the founder of Kahina has taken her process of developing an ingredient driven, effective and beautifully packaged skincare line and turned it into a heroic venture that contributes substantially to the lives of women in Morocco. Deeply invested in their wellbeing, she travels to personally oversee how Kahina Giving Beauty can optimally direct resources, and ‘give beauty’ back to these women. I recently spent some time with Katharine in New York and got to see first hand how she balances the success of an iconic beauty brand with a mission to support communities of women making her a defining Beauty Hero. I hope you enjoy this glimpse behind Kahina Giving Beauty and take time to explore more of the line when you consider beauty products that benefit your skin while transforming the lives of women.

What inspired you to create Kahina Giving Beauty? Had you always wanted to formulate natural and organic skincare?
Following the birth of my third child 11 years ago, I was searching for safe and effective all-natural skincare products that, at the time, were hard to find. While on a trip to Morocco in 2007 I discovered argan oil – which is rich in Vitamin E, essential fatty acids and antioxidants. I began by importing the argan oil, then worked with an experienced chemist to formulate the line I was yearning for – simple, effective, organic skincare products, using high quality ingredients from around the world that are ethically produced and beautifully packaged with this amazing ingredient at their core.

What inspired the name Kahina Giving Beauty?
My aim was to honor the Berber women who extract the argan oil in Morocco. Kahina is the name of a Berber queen and prophetess who reigned in North Africa in 700 CE. Giving Beauty, our company name, refers to our policy of giving back to these women – by paying them a fair wage and donating to programs that support them and their families. It also acknowledges the generations of traditional remedies and healing techniques that they’ve been kind enough to share with us.

Katharine L'Heureux in Morocco

What’s your workspace like?
My space is very important to me. I’m very fortunate to work out of my loft in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan with my superstar employee, Mairin Cipolla, where we enjoy great views of the Empire State and Chrysler Buildings. Working at home allows me to be flexible with my time, which is necessary with my kids coming and going.

When it’s time to create a new product, how do you begin?
I’ve created each of my products based on what I personally need and would want to use. Usually, we’ll have internal discussions beginning with objectives for the product, outlining the benefits we’d like to achieve and how and when we’d use it.

What IS your process? Do you begin with an ingredient or an objective?
Once we’ve decided on the product we’d like to make, we’ll research ingredients that would work well. This is the fun part! We’re certified by Ecocert, so we search for certified organic and natural ingredients that comply with their standards. The list of proven effective natural ingredients continues to grow and evolve in exciting ways and this most definitely informs the products we produce. We discuss efficacy, scent profile, consistency, texture, and packaging options, and then my chemist gets to work. We’ll go through a number of rounds before we get to a point where we feel satisfied with the precise formula. Once approved, products have to withstand rigorous challenge and stability testing, so our chemist’s knowledge and experience is invaluable in creating products that will stand up over time and in a range of environments.

How often do you make a new product? How long does that process take?
We try to keep the line simple and meaningful, so we introduce a new product just once or twice a year. The entire process, from idea to finished product takes at least 18 months. With testing, certification, production and packaging, there’s no room to be impetuous.

What’s been the biggest discovery for you lately in terms of the creative process – or in creating a specific new product?
I have come to realize that much of the creative process is a result of having an open mind, letting go and trusting in forces beyond my control. If I envision a thing one way, but things happen to make it work out differently, often it will turn out better than originally planned. The most engaging works of art are often dialogues between the creator and the environment. It’s why I enjoy gardening, wine and creating natural cosmetics.

Is it safe to assume that Argan Oil is your favorite superpower ingredient? What specifically do you love about it?
Argan oil is certainly my first love. It’s a multi-purpose ingredient, with high concentrations of vitamin E and essential fatty acids, and works well on most skin types and for a myriad of skin concerns – from addressing signs of aging to acne. It also has uses for hair, nails and body. What’s not to love?

Since starting Kahina, I’ve discovered so many amazing new ingredients that we combine with the argan oil in our formulations, including sea buckthorn seed oil, carrot seed oil, and my latest love, Prickly Pear Seed Oil, which is sourced from the same women who supply our argan oil in Morocco.

Women cracking argan nuts photo credit Kahina Giving Beauty

How about a favorite product in the collection?
It’s so hard to choose only one, as they’re meant to be used together for the best results. Each product assists the next in achieving optimal, glowing, healthy skin. I do have a soft spot for the eye serum, though. It’s resolved issues of under-eye puffiness many mornings when I didn’t look as bright and awake as I would’ve wished!

How often do you visit Morocco? How long do you stay when you go? Any favorite places you’d like to tell us about?
I visit Morocco at least once or twice a year for at least 10 days each time. There is a lot of ground to cover on my trips, usually from Casablanca to Marrakesh, then Essaouira, Agadir and Taroudant in the South. This usually means a couple of hours a day are spent driving, but it’s a great way to experience Morocco and witness the rural way of life there. One of my favorite drives is from Essaouira to Agadir, through the argan forest and along the beautiful unspoiled Atlantic coastline, passing through some typical small villages along the way. My two favorite places to stay in all of Morocco are Riad Laaroussa in Fez and the Atlas Kasbah Ecolodge in Agadir – both of which are meticulously restored historic structures run by friendly and charming couples with an eye toward authenticity and cultural preservation.

You recently visited Morocco and the cooperatives where you source your ingredients? Can you share a glimpse into your trip?
Visiting the women who extract the oil for Kahina is always a touchstone for me, renewing my passion and excitement for the work I do. These women live in a remote village high in the Anti-Atlas Mountains in Southern Morocco. They are extremely poor, with no electricity or running water. They work hard just to survive, but they are truly aligned with nature in their daily rhythms, which connects them to the earth and to each other in a joyful way. It’s very rewarding for me to see how their work for Kahina benefits them, and to discover other ways in which we can help. In the last six months, we were able to build a bathroom with clean running water for a Middle School to help increase girls’ attendance. We also donated clothing and supplies to a village devastated by flooding last Fall.

Children outside schoolhouse

Do you have a personal mantra that inspires you?
One very simple, but helpful one I picked up in Morocco, “give time to time,” meaning be patient and let events unfold as they will. Also, thank you, God.

Where might I run into you on a Sunday morning?
That depends on where I am and the time of year. Right now, weekends are spent at our home in the Hudson Valley working in the garden followed by lunch with my husband and whichever kids are home. Fall and Winter weekends find my family and I in Manhattan where my husband and I like to take walks along the Hudson River and then we shop for lunch at Chelsea Market.

How do you relax?
Nothing makes me lose track of time like working in the garden. I love that it stretches me physically while also offering a time of contemplation and a creative outlet. There are also so many philosophical aspects to working in the garden: You can learn so much from observing plants, their power to heal and delight, to attract and repel in order to survive.

#PostcardFrom: Win Kahina Essaouira Body Serum!

#PostcardFrom Essaouira #KahinaContest

The Moroccan seaside village of Essaouira served as the inspiration behind our latest body serum scent. The breeze off the ocean, its open-air markets and overall sense of lightness led to ESSAOUIRA Body Serum‘s final blend of geranium, sandalwood, petitgrain, and lavender.

ESSAOUIRA Body Serum is a natural expression of travel and discovery, two elements at the heart of Kahina Giving Beauty. In celebration of travel and the inspiration it provides, we are inviting you to share with us your #PostcardFrom.

How to enter: Post a photo from a travel destination or special place that inspires you; be sure to tag each photo with #postcardfrom and #kahinacontest so we can find your entry. (It would be helpful where possible to tag Kahina!) Not necessary but encouraged: tell us a bit about that place that inspires you. You can post as many photos as you like! Each is an individual entry, as long as it has #PostcardFrom and #kahinacontest along with it.

Where to post photos: Entries are accepted via Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter; you can enter on as many of these platforms as you wish. Please follow us on whatever platform you choose to use. Follow Kahina on Instagram. Follow Kahina on Twitter. Follow Kahina on Pinterest.

Prize: A full-sized ESSAOUIRA Body Serum will be awarded to each winner; one winner will be chosen per social media platform – one Twitter winner, one Pinterest winner, and one Instagram winner

When: Entries accepted June 11 – June 24, 2015

Winners: Winners announced & contacted June 25 and have until June 30th to respond to us with address, otherwise an alternative will be selected.

Who: This contest is available for United States residents, over 18 years old, only. You are welcome to join in with posting if you’re from another country, but unfortunately we cannot ship prizes outside the U.S.

How will winners be decided?: Winners will be chosen on merit by the Kahina Giving Beauty team. Our favorite photos win!

We will be joining in on the fun with some of our favorite photos of Essaouira.

#Postcardfrom Essaouira Morocco #KahinaContest

On Essaouira

Katharine L'Heureux in Essaouira Morocco
Morocco is the heart and soul behind Kahina Giving Beauty. Our new ESSAOUIRA BODY SERUM is inspired by the breezy village by the sea.

Here, Kahina founder and CEO Katharine L’Heureux reflects on her experiences in Essaouira.

When was the first time you traveled to Essaouira?
Essaouira was my first stop on a journey to discover the argan forests in January of 2008. After discovering argan oil on a trip to Morocco the previous year, I returned to learn all that I could about the precious oil, where it grows and the methods of its production. The argan forests begin around Essaouira and continue south and east. I always make sure to spend a couple of days relaxing and enjoying Essaouira before delving into the more rugged argan region to the south.

What makes Essaouira different from all the other cities in Morocco?
Essaouira has a rich history as complex as the history of Morocco itself. Conquered by the Portuguese in the 15th Century as a fortress against the Spanish, it was reclaimed by the King of Morocco 150 years later. Under Moroccan rule, a French architect was hired to design the city in the 18th Century. So you have this amazing juxtaposition of Portuguese fortress, French architecture, and Muslim culture. Because it is in Southern Morocco, it can be very traditional, but Essaouira has also inspired generations of musicians, famously including Jimmy Hendrix, and so it attracts an interesting mix of visitors today. I love all the layers, but most of all I love that it is really just a sleepy port city without the bustle and glitz of Marrakesh just two hours away.

What is your strongest memory of Essaouira?
When I think of Essaouira, I think of beautiful blue everywhere – blue boats in the harbor, blue shuttered windows against whitewashed walls, blue taxis, all in the most beautiful shade. After the dusty chaos and sand colors of Marrakesh, it is always such a relief to arrive here and breathe the fresh ocean air and just relax.

What elements of Essaouira do you feel are captured in ESSAOUIRA Body Serum?
Fresh and crisp, yet sultry at the same time, I wanted a scent that would evoke the breeziness of the Moroccan seaside village. Floral notes mingling with citrus and wood make me think of rose geraniums in blue pots against white washed walls in meandering alleyways amidst vendors selling fresh orange juice and the scent of sandalwood wafting from the apothecary.

For Katharine’s Essaouira travel tips with can’t-miss spots, click here.

Shop Kahina Essaouira Body Serum.

GIVING BACK: High Atlas Foundation Spring Project

High Atlas Foundation Team to Make A Difference

I was contacted by the High Atlas Foundation in Morocco one month ago with an urgent plea for help. A one-room school outside of Marrakesh for boys and girls in Grades 3 – 6 was noticing a sharp dropoff in attendance by the girls. Without a bathroom for the children, there was no privacy or sanitation, an unacceptable situation for the parents of the girls, not to mention humiliating for the girls themselves. Kahina was able to provide the money for building and plumbing supplies, and the fathers of the children went right to work.

I met Abderrahim, the program director of the High Atlas Foundation and went with him to view the project on my trip to Morocco in April. I was amazed to see what the men had accomplished in just one month. A square structure built of cement blocks stood next to the school, complete with septic system and plumbed for four toilets, showers, and faucets. On my arrival at the school, I was welcomed by the school principal, teacher and the men of the village, as well as 50 boys and girls waving and calling out “Bonjour”. The children lined up and each one politely shook my hand, and, with huge smiles, repeated “Bonjour”. It is a tragic circumstance that so many lively, eager children should be deprived of a future over something we so easily take for granted, clean running water. I am grateful to all of our Kahina customers for participating in our efforts to make a difference in the lives of these children.

Children outside schoolhouse

Interior of schoolhouse

Katharine L'Heureux with children in High Atlas region

Just back from Morocco

I just returned from another trip to Morocco, visiting our cooperative, artisans, the High Atlas Foundation, and several cities.

Here, a few snapshots from my visit. More details soon!

xx
Katharine

Moroccan school children with new bathroom at schoolhouse Moroccan school children, with a new bathroom at their schoolhouse, thanks to Kahina contributions to High Atlas Foundation and local community support

Essaouira Archway Beachy, blue Essaouira

Prickly Pear Cactus by Katharine L'Heureux Prickly Pear Cacti are in full bloom this time of year

Katharine smiling in red shawl in Morocco Soaking up the late afternoon Moroccan sun

An interview with Conde Nast Traveler

Katharine L'Heureux Illustration

The jet-setting beauty exec reveals her packing rituals, favorite airports, and why she’s not a fan of room service.
by Jada Yuan

On a trip to Morocco in 2007, Katharine L’Heureux’s skincare products were confiscated at the airport, so she asked her guide if he could recommend products used by local Berber women. He introduced her to argan oil, she became obsessed with its beautifying powers, and soon after, her own argan oil-based skincare line, Kahina Giving Beauty, was born. She flies from New York to Morocco several times a year and has learned the importance of multi-wheel luggage—and wearing pockets while flying.

How many miles would you say you’ve flown in your current role? Maybe 200,000. I go to California three times a year; Europe three or four times a year; and Australia once and Asia once. Last year was a light year: I only visited California twice, and Morocco, Germany, Sweden, and England once.

Do you have a packing ritual? I pack at least a week before so the night before a flight is very calm. And then I’ll probably repack because I’ll think, Oh gosh, did I put in my underwear? Which I probably didn’t.

What will you never pack? I blew out the fuse in a hotel in Morocco, so I know never to bring a blow dryer to Europe or Morocco. I never pack high heels. I like ankle boots that I can quickly take off getting on and off the plane. Fiorentino and Baker boots are stylish but they feel grounded.

What do you always pack? James Perse is a great travel brand because it folds up really small. And I always travel with a huge oversized scarf that I bought in Morocco; when I’m in Morocco, I use it to cover my head.

What do you wear on a flight? I think the most important thing I wear on a flight is a giant oversized coat with huge pockets because I’m always losing my passport or my tickets in my bag.

Favorite airport or least favorite airport? Least favorite airport is LaGuardia. It’s just awful and inefficient. In Casablanca, getting your bags can be a hassle. Everything is manual, nothing is automated, and they can just decide to take a break in the middle of unloading the luggage.

Are you a fan of room service? No, because I feel kind of sad if I’m doing room service. I have three kids and to me, traveling by myself is a great luxury. It feels like a time to get away and be by myself, and I don’t have any problem going out to restaurants by myself. I think that’s such a treat, to go out on my own in a place that I’m not familiar with.

Do you have a spot in Morocco you always go to or do you try out different hotels each time? In Morocco I generally like to go to the same place: my favorite place is in Fès called Riad Laaroussa. I’ve come to know the owners there, and the staff is just so welcoming whenever I stay there.

Read the original article here. Illustration Courtesy Louisa Cannell

The Power of an Image

girls with photo

In this age of the ever-present selfie, it is hard to imagine a world where many people have never even seen a photograph of themselves. This is often the case in the remote villages of rural Morocco. Sharing my photos with the women and children on my visits has been a great source of entertainment for all of us, especially seeing the young girls and boys striking poses and racing back to me to look immediately in the view finder, then demanding more while jockeying for a prominent position in the group photo. Seeing the young women carefully analyze their photos is fascinating to me. I can’t imagine being so unfamiliar with my own image, but with mirrors and glass windows a rarity, these girls rarely even see a reflective surface. Far from disliking their photos because of an unflattering angle, as we are so ready to do, these girls typically respond with peals of laughter.

I recently had the honor of an introduction to Heather Binns, a talented photographer volunteering for an organization called Prints for Prints. Prints for Prints reminds me of the value of the family photograph. From the Prints for Prints website:

A family photograph is a precious thing to many of us, and especially to people who live in rural areas and often do not have a record of their children or elders. Prints for Prints creates makeshift studios in rural villages, working with local student photographers when possible, for the purpose of donating prints to those who do not have photographs of their loved ones.

Heather will be traveling to Morocco in February. It gives me great pleasure to sponsor her work with Kahina’s charitable partners, the High Atlas Foundation and Education for All, Morocco, where she will document their work and donate prints to families and the girls in the boarding home to send home to their loved ones. I hope you will join us in following Heather on her journey via instragram @heathre. We look forward to sharing some of her photos here.

women with photos

Eco Diva Beauty Interview

I had the pleasure of meeting Katharine L’Heureux, founder of Kahina Giving Beauty, at the Elements Showcasein January. With her came a spirit of humility, gratitude, and an overall passion for life. She is the perfect example of sometime who is creating the change that they wants to see in the world, and that’s why this luxury organic skincare brand is going to be around for a long time.

Tell us about yourself and Kahina Giving Beauty.

I’m the founder of Kahina Giving Beauty, a simple and effective skincare line based on highest quality and ethically sourced ingredients from around the world.  With organic and fair trade argan oil at its core, Kahina Giving Beauty provides real skincare solutions that advance people and the planet.  A percentage of profits from the sale of all Kahina products goes to the indigenous Berber women of Morocco who extract the oil at the heart of our line.

“I am certainly ecologically minded and don’t believe I need to sacrifice my personal style to do so.”

Kahina Press

 Name one of Kahina’s recent successes, and tell us about your next big goal!

My latest business success was to be able to provide 100 sheep for the Berber women who source the argan oil at the heart of Kahina.  My next goal is to provide them with clean, solar-powered cooking stoves so they don’t have to cut down argan trees for cooking.

Take us behind your brand, what does a day in your life look like?

Since I just returned from visiting my argan suppliers in Morocco, I’ll tell you what my day in the village of Tazghelilt looked like.   After waking up to the sounds of donkeys braying and roosters crowing, I eat a breakfast of crepes and eggs in the home of my supplier. Then I’m off to see the sheep I donated living in the homes of the Berber women.  I’m happy to discover that the sheep have grown big and fat.  A quick visit to the center for weaving in the village, where I purchase some hand-loomed rugs from the women.  After that I do an inspection of the facility where argan oil is cold-pressed by machine and have a meeting with my supplier before driving down the mountain toward Agadir, where I eat fresh fish at the port!

What part of your job do you love most?

My favorite part of my job is working with the Berber women and being able to help them materially.  I also love developing fabulous new products for our line using argan oil and other amazing all natural ingredients.

Do you think it’s important to love what you do, or make good money?

I hope that if you do what you love, the money will follow.

Is owning your own business as glamorous as it sounds?

Owning a small start-up means I have to be ready to do most all jobs from doing interviews to packing up boxes for shipping and to sourcing the argan oil.  Some of it feels very glamorous, but the majority of my time is spent doing pretty unglamorous work.

Would you consider yourself an Eco Diva?

I am certainly ecologically minded and don’t believe I need to sacrifice my personal style to do so.  To the contrary, I believe that being conscientious is the most on-trend way to live – and hopefully will be for a long time to come.

Tilda Swinton at the Veni 001

What celebrity do you look at for style inspiration and why?

I love Tilda Swinton for her beautiful minimalist style – and that she doesn’t follow trends, but has identified her own individual style and adheres to it.

Where are Kahina products made? And how did you choose your supplier?

I import the argan oil from Morocco and manufacture products in the US.  In selecting my argan oil supplier and my manufacturer, it is important to me that they share my vision of providing the highest quality products based on ethically sourced natural and organic ingredients.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

French fries and red wine

Favorite way to unwind?

French fries and red wine 🙂

Fes Morocco

What is your favorite travel hot spot?

I prefer to avoid hot spots, but my all time favorite destination is Fes, Morocco.

Thank you Katharine! To buy all Kahina‘s ethically sourced and sustainably made products, head over to Eco Diva.

luxury organic skincare

My personal faves are the Serum and Cleanser and Brightening Serum.

See the original post on Eco Diva Beauty.

Kahina throw rugs hand-loomed by the women of Kahina in Morocco


presenting the rug edited

In May of 2011, on a trip to visit my argan supplier in a remote village high in the Mid-Atlas Mountains, I was shown the weaving cooperative in the village, where the women who crack the nuts for our argan oil were learning to weave rugs as a way to make extra money. The following year, Kahina donated money to buy sheep in order that the women would have wool to use for their weaving. In 2013, on a return trip to the village, I was presented with a beautiful hand-loomed rug decorated with the Kahina circle and star graphic. My rug has lived beside my bed warming my feet and heart ever since.

Kahina Berber Rug

 

Earlier this year, I asked the women to weave me more rugs exactly like the one they presented to me three years ago. I am thrilled to now offer these exclusively on givingbeauty.com. SHOP NOW.

Each 2’ x 4’ rug is hand-loomed using virgin sheep’s wool and natural dyes by the Berber women of the weaving cooperatives who also do the work of cracking the nuts for our argan oil.

Free shipping in the US with orders over $75.