Traveling Begonias

Bringing the world to you one artifact at a time


Closed the door, opened a window

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Can’t do this? Try that.

Ironically, telling myself this venture was over has galvanized me to get the store up and running. My sister-in-law helped me with some of the product photography and I think we’re in shape for a soft, gentle launch. Since the products are all unique and many one-of-a-kind I’ll start slowly by sharing on my own social channels before promoting more broadly.

So, here’s the first round of products I’ve added. Would love feedback, and of course an alert of any errors you might find!

New year, renewed focus

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The wind down of 2018 really took me into some doldrums. I lost enthusiasm for everything and didn’t do as much as I should have with my business, my non-profit, or myself. Knowing and regretting that, I think I started January with the right blend of eagerness and focus and my attitude has shifted from one of resignation to one of resolve.

With that, I’ve been concentrating on finishing the handbag line and will start promoting it more actively in the next few weeks.

I’m really pleased with how the product tags came out. Now I need to get good product photography completed so the Etsy site can be updated. I have other ideas I need to prototype but I think these need to get out the door and onto “shelves” first so I’m not in a constant state of development.

So that’s the current state of affairs over at Traveling Begonias.

Oh, and I’m planning a trip to Ireland for March. Stay tuned!

Successful first showcase

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I hosted my very first showcase in July at my home. I showed the items I purchased in May, fed friends Indian food from Swagat, had the incomparable Atticus Vineyard on hand to sample their wines, had a budding henna (aka, Mehndi) artist available for some temporary ink, and ran the videos that I made of artists while in country.

I am so pleased with the feedback I received and the friends who turned up for the event. 

Thank you to everyone who came for the showcase. Your support means the world to me and I am so grateful for your interest and feedback. I appreciated seeing what appealed to people and where I may have missed the mark. 

Thank you again for giving my new endeavor a chance.

We're on Etsy!

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I took the leap today and opened an Etsy shop. I've long loved Etsy and have spent untold hours looking for specific items and just surfing for nothing at all. I love it! So in determining how best to sell some of the goods I brought back from India, a friend suggested Etsy. Why this didn't cross my mind sooner is an embarrassment. Anyway - set up the shop today and put the first item into inventory. The silk I brought back from India is perfect for decorative pillows so that's what's gracing my new shop. 

I mean - really. Isn't that a stunning gem of a pillow? Even my amateur photography can't make this thing look bad. 


Our first showcase!

NewsKate BegoniaComment

I am so excited to announce that we have our first showcase scheduled! Our approach to these showcases will be to feature the items selected on the latest trip, pour some great local wine, provide something to nosh on from a local restaurant, and show highlights from some of the artists we met during the trip. It will be held at my home and invitations will be sent to people I know personally. 

showcase invitation.jpg

After the showcase I'll take what's left and do a pop-up shop in the Portland-metro area. I am considering an online presence as well but for right now I'd like to make it more personal by interacting with my customers face-to-face. 

July 22 is the big day and I can't wait to get feedback on the items I brought back from India last month. I'm viewing the showcase concept as a way for me to refine the business and merchandise I procure on upcoming trips. I'm hoping for lots of feedback on this first excursion. 

Birthing a new Begonia

NewsKate Begonia

I am kind of at a crossroads in my life. I'm nearly finished with my first half century and find myself wanting to take my career in a new direction. I've spent over 25 years in corporate America and the thought of taking on another soul-sucking job doesn't please me in the least. Don't get me wrong, I've had some great experiences along the way but I've also had enough terrible ones and I just don't want to gamble with my quality of life that way again.

I've thumbed through dozens of books about finding your calling, your life's work, your own satisfaction, etc. yet nothing has quite clicked for me yet. So I'm feeling my way into something new, something that I can't quite articulate yet but will include travel for me and my family. It will keep me busy. It will allow me the flexibility to have a schedule that supports my kids as they move through middle and high school. It will allow me to meet people and perhaps do some good in the process.

So Traveling Begonias is currently in the birthing stages. The kernel of the idea is to travel, document my adventure, find local artisans and craftsmen, and bring their wares back to the states for resale. At its most basic, this is an import business but I hope it will be a true experience that will captivate people and give them access to other areas of the world.

Please follow along and let me know if you like what you see. And send me interesting ideas. I love recommendations on areas and special artists to profile. Thanks for supporting me in something new!