You might miss your travels and everything that comes with it. We chose two hotel boutiques that are unique in each way and they both have in common that they only curate artisanal and one-of-a-kind products which you can find nowhere else except in that holiday destination.
If you are still looking for a unique gift that makes your mind travel, browse through these online shops or IG accounts for your Christmas shopping this year. .
We had a chat with the owners.
CARLA SERSALE, EMPORIO SIRENUSE, POSITANO
Carla’s family founded one of the most spectacular hotels at the Amalfi coast, Il Sirenuse and brought everything that stands for that region in her shop, the emporio Sirenuse which she manages together with her niece Viola Parrocchetti.
IRMA: What is the original concept of your boutique, and who is responsible for the edit?
CARLA SERSALE: Emporio Sirenuse used to be a multibrand store. It was opened by my father-in-law in 1990 and he passed it to me two years later. It was always our interpretation of the Positano dolce vita, as seen with the elegant, understated eyes of Le Sirenuse. After I started my fashion line (Le Sirenuse Positano) in 2013, it quickly evolved to be our flagship store, where we only sell our collections together with some accessories and home décor items.
IRMA: Do you plan to change the concept of your merchandise in times of pandamic?
CARLA SERSALE: We just launched a Home collection, made of glassware, plates and decorative pillows. This is an addition rather than a change. Our resort line remains the most important part of our world.
IRMA: What inspires you to get a selection of beautiful things for the shop?
CARLA SERSALE: I work with my niece Viola Parrocchetti. Together we create beautiful garments that are hand printed or embroidered in India and Italy. The inspiration is always coming from characters that populated Positano, Capri and the Amalfi Coast during the last century. A world of artists, poets, painters and eccentric, sophisticated people fell in love with the beauty of these places, and, just as Ulysse did so many centuries prior, became enchanted and moved here.
IRMA: What is important for you when shopping while traveling abroad?
CARLA SERSALE: To find some treasures that I would not find at home.
IRMA: What is an item one should definitely order for Christmas from your boutique?
CARLA SERSALE: My beautiful Pink Glass Pitcher.
IRMA: Could you share a special recipe with us which stands for the Sirenuse, that one can cook at home and feel like being in Positano?
CARLA SERSALE: Here are some wonderful options from Le Sirenuse chef Gennaro Russo.
IRMA: Many thanks Carla, have a lovely Christmas
PHILOMENA SCHURER MERCKOLL, THE PINK DOOR; MARRAKESH
IRMA: Tell us about your concept for THE PINK DOOR at RIAD MENA?
PHILOMENA SCHURER MERCKOLL: The store at Riad Mena is called The Pink Door,. For one, the door is pink 🙂 And for two it is a gateway to the best the pink city of Marrakech has to offer. It is our aim to show our guests and clients further afield once our online shop opens in Spring the incredible craft and artisanry available in Morocco. From the softest suede slippers, to the traditional Tamegroute ceramics from the South, to the contemporary ceramics of Marrakech based artist LRNCE. And rattan baskets to bring out your inner Jane Birkin. Amongst many other things!
IRMA: How do you find artistic talent in Morocco that is relevant to your visual language and taste for your shop?
PHILOMENA SCHURER MERCKOLL: The last years have brought a lot of young creatives to Marrakech, who are inspired by traditional craft but reimagine it in a contemporary way, such as the rugs of Soufiane or the colourful towelling range of LALLA. I also think that one can make choice traditional pieces such as Moroccan trays and candelabras look contemporary when placed in such a setting. Finding the right mix between old and new, designer and fleamarket is really what makes a perfect aesthetic in my view.
IRMA: Is there an item one can already shop online for Christmas?
PHILOMENA SCHURER MERCKOLL: Our online shop goes live in spring, but we regularly post items available on our Instagram @riadmena_pinkdoor so you can just DM us if you wish to buy anything. My favourite are the ceramics of LRNCE, little pieces of joy!
IRMA: What is your visual idea of presenting the products in your shop?
PHILOMENA SCHURER MERCKOLL: Think Pink! And colourful! We have a bright pink door, bright pink wall and lots of green tiles. Not your traditional white backdrop but our amazing merchandizing director Irineos Katsaros pulled off a modern Moroccan dream.
IRMA: Why is your shop unique in Marrakesh?
PHILOMENA SCHURER MERCKOLL: Above all, it is really a very personal edit of my favourite pieces from the Souk, from local creatives and little finds in between.
IRMA: Can you share a recipe from Riad Mena to still our wanderlust and cook it at home?
PHILOMENA SCHURER MERCKOLL: Since lockdown I have been dreaming of the Moroccan Zalouk salad. A grilled aubergine delight!