In an effort to introduce ourselves and a little bit about where we've come from, I decided to write about how Farhad and I met and how we came to form Eastern Boho. Let us know in the comment section if there's anything you'd like to know or ask :)
In 2015 I boarded a flight headed to Kabul to volunteer as a music teacher at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music. From the time I started volunteering with refugees and asylum seekers in Australia a couple of years earlier, I’d become fascinated with Afghanistan – the language, the culture, the people, and the art. As a classically trained singer and teacher, when the opportunity arose to actually travel to Afghanistan and teach music to children, many of them orphaned girls, I jumped!
During my time in Kabul, teaching young girls and boys to sing, visiting the Australian embassy to help out with a performance, navigating the dusty streets to see beautiful sights of the city, I met Farhad. He taught me Dari (the language of Afghanistan) and safely guided me around the city.
A couple of months after I returned to Australia, I decided to travel back to Afghanistan to visit Farhad again. We fell totally in love and I decided to move to Kabul to live with him and his family. A few months later, I was back in Kabul to stay. During our time there, I was fascinated with the beautiful carpets of Afghanistan and the manner in which Afghan families adorned their houses with them. Farhad’s grandfather had been a revered rug seller in Kabul and so rugs were in his blood! However, despite being happily cocooned by Farhad’s family and their incredible generosity and kindness, the situation of Afghanistan was deteriorating and I was becoming more and more afraid of the risk not only to myself, but also to the family as they “housed” a Western foreigner.
Farhad and I made the difficult decision to move to Turkey, a country that would allow Farhad to enter on his Afghan passport while we waited for his Australian visa. We settled in to Turkey quickly and adored the culture, the food, the people and the artisan products; however we both missed our families immensely! We enjoyed our afternoon chai and baklava, wandering the ancient streets of Cappadocia, bargaining at the local markets (something that Farhad is a lot better at than me), and interacting with the beautiful people of Turkey. Very early on we discovered the utter beauty of Turkish rugs and handicrafts. We were obsessed! Originally we wanted to find a way to collect some Turkish rugs for ourselves and bring them back to our future home in Australia. While we were considering this, we started thinking about how special it would be to provide gorgeous, handmade rugs from the villages of Turkey (Afghanistan and Iran) to people around the world. As Farhad couldn’t work in Turkey because of his visa, starting a small business which focused on providing high quality handmade rugs and textiles that we adored, seemed like the perfect idea.
Through these musings, Eastern Boho was formed. We started Eastern Boho from our love of handwoven carpets and Middle Eastern/Asian culture – a culture that is very close to both of our hearts. We visited the local villages where these rugs are made, spoke extensively with experienced carpet merchants in local markets and navigated the bustling bazaars of various Turkish cities to form our collection of authentic carpets.
Eighteen months after we arrived in Turkey, Farhad’s Australian visa finally arrived and we made the move back to Australia – our third country. Back in Australia we’ve continued to grow Eastern Boho and to foster our overseas relationships to provide top quality, handmade rugs. We personally select and procure the rugs for our collection and ensure that they are all reasonably priced so that as many people as possible can adorn their houses with beautiful, authentic, character pieces from exotic locations.