April 15, 2011

Aging Gracefully with the Beauty of Textiles

This week's beauty is Sara Sharpless who recently turned 40. A few summers ago I visited Dorset, VT with my mom and my sister for a long weekend. While there my mom bought this fabulous Turkish purse (or pocketbook as they say here in New England) at a store in Dorset.  After I got home I really wished that I had bought one too. Finally I called my Mom to ask her if she could look in her purse to see if there was a label of who had made it. It turns out it was made by Sara and her husband Ersan, who is from Turkey, and their company Derin International. After going on their website, I was so taken with the collection that I ended up buying their beautiful Turkish bags, eye glass holders and note cards to sell at my trunk show this past November.  I sold out of many styles. Their make-up bags and little coin purses were especially a big hit.

Today I am pleased to introduce Sara Sharpless:

Shortly after we were married,  Ersan and I moved from New York City to Ersan’s native Istanbul, Turkey . It was there that we discovered small purses made out of replicas on traditional woven carpets. So taken with the beauty of the fabric, we were inspired to create our own fabrics and designs, more in tune with the American market. The response to our vision was overwhelming.We now live in the beautiful Hudson Valley region of New York and I design all of our bags and colors, with the help of our weavers. Our line of accessories, bags and shoes are still made in Turkey.

I am fluent in the Turkish language and have learned all I can about the food, culture and way of life.  I love to cook and have mastered most of my mother-in-laws dishes. In addition to the business, we have two wonderful children. I feel raising them has been the most wonderful, difficult and rewarding experience life has to offer me. Every summer our whole family journeys over to Turkey and we will one day live there again.

I am the type of person who use to never stop. My life was go, go, go for 10 years. And now, I am at a very interesting point in my life and have really done a lot of soul searching this year. Six months ago I was diagnosed with lupus. When my body started saying "no, no you must stop" it was very difficult at first.  I realized that I was rushing my life away never really enjoying all of my blessings.  It has been quite a journey of taking steps forward and then back again.  It has given me an unusual opportunity to reflect at this time in my life. I have gained an unbelievable appreciation for all I have. I am now able to look at my life's daily stresses and let them roll off my back. Perhaps this is the beginning of me aging gracefully.

Thank you Sara for sharing your journey.

Derin's collection is available on their website above. I am not getting a commission on sales or anything but I just want to say, being the thrifty gal that I am, one of the things I like most about their beautiful line is that is very affordable. And they have a great sale section too :-)