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Boho Living: Ian Snow

I have another great bohemian company to share with you today - Ian Snow. Their boho style is right up my street, with vintage furniture, cushions and a great Frida Kahlo range to boot. Daisy Snow has given me a bit of background about how it all started:

Ian Snow left Liverpool in 1969 at the age of 19 to hitch-hike to India on his own, he did fencing jobs and saved up £70 for his trip. The journey look him a month to complete. When he arrived in Delhi the first thing he did was go to the Indian Coffee House and have some Chai, he then hitch-hiked to Nepal and went to the Monkey Temple – he explored for the next 5 months still living off the £70 he earn’t in Liverpool, then he hitch-hiked back home.

Five years later he returned to India, he had saved up enough to get a bus across land from England to India – the bus took quite a while when he reached Turkey he decided to hitch-hike the rest of the way. Ian was one of the first westerners to trek through Zanskar which is in a hidden valley through Ladakh and Kashmir, it had just been opened up, there were no maps available so he had to follow rivers and go across glaciers. It took him 15 days to walk the 500 miles through the valley. He studied the Tabla (Indian drums) for two years, whilst living with an Indian family in Varanassi. When he returned to England he brought with him a lot of Indian wares which he sold on markets in Portobello road and markets in Wales and Liverpool. He then went back again and again until he had to open a shop, and the another shop, and then another shop....

Jakki first met Ian in 1986 whilst she was working as an accountant for Laura Ashley in the same town as one of Ian’s shops, she saw him out on the market selling his wares and thought he was a very strange and mysterious hippy who wore the most amazing clothes. A few years later Jakki and Ian got together and a trip to India was on the cards, Jakki soon became pregnant with Daisy, and when back from India, turned her attention to Ian’s business to try and get some shape on things – with a newborn baby! They decided to try selling his dead stock at festivals and for 4 years the three of them spent most of their time on the road living in a tiny caravan. When not travelling they lived in Carno, Mid Wales, central to the shops before moving to Devon in 1999.. By now they had their second child – India and they bought a farm to run the wholesale business from, leaving the retail shops in Wales. Jakki took over running the wholesale side of the business leaving Ian (who is still a bit of a wandering hippy) to run his two retail shops.

They work with a about 80 different suppliers, all of whom vary in size. Giving equal opportunities to all suppliers who show an outstanding level of fair trade manufacturing and are fighting poverty through trade. They also work with not for profits, businesses providing work for refugees and larger organisations who provide consistent employment and wages to many workers.

For someone like myself, who adores everything like this - the website is like a treasure trove. From smaller trinkets to huge pieces of vintage furniture there really is a fabulous selection.

Thanks to the Snow family for allowing me to use some photos and share a bit about their business.

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