Love Notes: To And From Our Team

Love Notes: To And From Our Team

Last week we mentioned that we’re in the process of moving warehouses both at home (Yangon) and in Wales (another version of home). You might have seen glimpses of our team, but we wanted to give them a proper reintroduction. So while some may have celebrated Monday’s ode to romance with flowers, chocolate or maybe even a piece of Kalinko furniture (great choice), we’re celebrating – a little belatedly – with some love notes to and from our Kalinko team, who gave us their top picks from the Kalinko shop.

Rosiam – Director of Kalinko, Myanmar

Our person on the ground in Burma, Rosiam leads Kalinko from our Yangon home. He keeps endless bureaucratic plates spinning and is absolutely invaluable to our team. We don’t even want to think where we’d have been – especially over the past couple of years – without him!

Favourite Kalinko piece?

"It’s so tricky to choose my favourite Kalinko product as I am completely obsessed with the brand and all products. But if I had to choose one, I’d go with the Kalaya Bamboo stool which comes from Chin State. I just love it because it’s one of our Chin people’s must-have homeware items. Our ancestors used it, our parents use it; we still use it and the next generations will use it. It never gets old. It reminds me of my childhood every time I use it.”

James – Maker Manager

James manages all the communications and production from our wonderful makers. He’s our secret weapon - he’s gentle and unassuming, but is quietly holding up the entire company. His lovely manner is the reason we have forged so many amazing relationships between Kalinko and our makers.

Favourite Kalinko piece?

“I love our Pathein Umbrella. It’s very unique to have one in our garden instead of a plastic one. It doesn’t harm the environment or soil by the time it is old and broken because it’s made of bamboo and fabric. Another advantage is that we can express our ideas or decorate as we wish by painting on it. I’m so pleased to be a part of Kalinko as it helps many people see wonderful objects from a different part of the world. It makes me so proud to see our customers showing our makers’ awesome objects as their homeware.”

Myo – The Yangon Knowledge

Every place needs one: the person who knows every street, all the shortcuts, how to get from A to B in a speedy-but-safe manner. Myo is Kalinko’s number one driver and imparter of Yangon wisdom (eg. where to get the best noodles / air con units / pest-control).

Favourite Kalinko piece?

“I like our Rangoon Chairs because they look so classic and they’re made from recycled teak. They feel so comfortable when sitting on it, and its unique design makes me love it ".

Sharron & Tracey, Warehouse Managers, Wales

Sharron and Tracey are sisters who come from a town just down the road from our warehouse in Wales – we do love a family connection. They’re the ones checking products, packaging them up (beautifully!) and organising all your orders so they get to you in one piece.

Favourite Kalinko piece?

Tracey: “It’s very hard to choose a favourite product as all products are beautifully made and look great. I love that every maker is known to Kalinko by name and we buy direct from the maker, so there’s no middlemen. I often hold a product and think “wow this has been made by hand”. But if I did have to choose a favourite, it would have to be the Kway Rattan Pet Bed. It’s the perfect throne for your furry friends. It’s solid and beautifully made and just looks fabulous with a comfy cushion. It would look smart in any room with it being slightly raised off the floor.”

Sharron: “My favourite one at the moment – it changes quite often – is the Kanbalu planter (in grey – of course!). I have a love for houseplants at the moment and the large planter fits perfectly into my grey-themed house. It’s solid and classy and a great conversation piece when people come to visit (now that Covid restrictions have relaxed a little). I hope to get the matching small and middle sized ones shortly. I love the fact that we get to see all products before they’re sold to the customers. I love all the different colours, especially the grey (as anyone who knows me will know my love for grey) and the uniqueness of the products.”

Rachel, Ops Lead

Rachel joined the Kalinko team a couple of weeks ago and has had a full baptism of fire with a warehouse move as her first project! She’s based up in Edinburgh, but in her own words “loves a road trip” and has already spent days in our spiritual home in Wales. She has fully immersed herself in all things Kalinko and is already feeling like part of the furniture.

Favourite Kalinko piece?

“Before and since joining the Kalinko team, I spent a lot of time on the website looking at all the treasures we offer. The item I always come back to is the Rangoon Chair. I love the story behind it, and the fact that it's made from reclaimed wood – wood that already has a history and a story to it. It is based on a classic Burmese chair but it would look at home anywhere and would be something you kept for a lifetime. Having just joined, I am so excited to be part of the Kalinko team and share in their passion for beautiful handcrafted products that have such incredible stories behind them.”

Liv – Human Help (Customer Service)

No business can survive without a Liv on their team. Any time you get in touch with us about a product or an order, Liv is there, handling it all with ease and grace. She is also Sophie’s sister… we told you we liked a family connection!

Favourite Kalinko piece?

“This was really tricky for me, I love (and would like to own!) all the Kalinko items. It’s a toss up between the Bathroom Bin (chic, timeless, sturdy, waaaay prettier than the other options out there), the Pegu Tray (SO smart – I like to imagine myself one day having a large hall table, with that in the middle for keys, post etc…I’ll keep dreaming for now!) and the Marbled Lacquer & Eggshell Bowl which I think demonstrates the most amazing craftsmanship. I’m in awe of the patience and skill required to build up the lacquer layers and then, carefully, place each piece of eggshell onto the top to make it look so beautiful. It’s a piece of art as well as a very useful bowl. Just as happy on a table with fruit in, or up on the wall for everyone to admire.”

Kurt – Head of Digital & Social Strategy

Kurt’s been working with us for a few years now – he’s the human behind our digital and social strategy. He turns scary acronyms into English, and helps Sophie distinguish her CVRs from her CLTVs (...anyone?). A master of the dark arts.

Favourite Kalinko piece?

“It's got to be the Kuki Salad Bowls. They look incredible and are so classy and timeless.”


Cat – Words Person

Cat is the reason you love our emails. She is the most brilliant wordsmith, speaks Kalinko’s language better than Kalinko does, and is also an excellent judge on all the important things in life: food, how you spend your time, what you fill your home with. Luckily, we haven’t had to evangelise too much re. Kalinko with Cat - she was a convert before we even tried. Lucky us!

Favourite Kalinko piece?

“In a dream world, I’d have a home brimful of Kalinko goods, but if I had to pick just one (okay, two), it would be the Mizo table lamp. A reading corner favourite – the perfect talisman to transport me from a rainy day in London to sunrise in a place like Yangon. Then there are the amber Zomi tumblers. For elevated hydration – whether it’s a G&T, a glass of cucumber-soaked water or a very, very large martini. I love the sentiment of buying from skilled makers who have not only poured their talent into these wonderful products, but also a sense of their culture, community and shared history.”

Darryl – Head of Search & SEO

Darryl is our data demon. He approached Kalinko a few years ago, and my god are we glad he did. We would be lost (in the metaverse) without him. A floating asteroid with no customers.

Favourite Kalinko piece?

"The favourite items I own are the Zomi Highballs and Tumblers. Just because I use them everyday, and dish wash without spoiling their colour. Great for when I open up our garden for summer parties and cocktails are flowing freely. The favourite item I don't yet own is the Rangoon Chair. I saw it up close over at Sophie's London pad. Now it's on the list!"

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