I moved to Yangon with my husband in 2015. We went on a whim, looking for adventure, thinking we’d stay for a year or two. It got under our skin, and we ended up living there for seven years.
We’re now back in the UK with our growing family, but my first baby – Kalinko – takes me back to Burma, my Burmese family and the Kalinko team every few months. It’s my other home; my home from home.
The concept of home is at the heart of Kalinko: how it makes you feel, what it means to you, and the people and stories that pass through it. We make things for your home which mean something.
These things are special. They’re imperfect. They have character. They’re like exotic people from a faraway land, and at the same time, like old friends who have always been there.
Each piece is handmade. They can take days, or even weeks to finish; you can’t make long-lasting, beautiful homeware in a hurry. We use local, sustainable materials where possible, and techniques honed over generations which stand the test of time.
Our main motivation is to help the craft families we work with be best placed to prosper as the country develops. We aim to support as many communities of crafters as possible, helping them build sustainable businesses and preserving their talents for the future.
This will take time, but we aren’t in a rush. We’re in it for the long run. So are our products. They’re designed to be timeless, and to be part of your home for generations.
Read about life in Burma
"You’d think that living in Yangon would be worlds apart from London. But oddly, it isn’t so different. Monday to Friday, I get up and go to the office. On Saturdays and Sundays I don’t. I have supper with friends. Watch a bit of Netflix. Play squash. Do yoga.
But maybe after four years I've normalised things I used to find unfamiliar.
On reflection, some things are a bit different. A lot different, actually."
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