For the love of…
Chats with The Wandering Eye
These textiles are a must have! Sourced from Turkey and made with the best quality fabrics, they’ll be the answer to all of your prayers. Amen to that.
I first came across the Wandering Eye Textiles at the Brunswick Flea market, it wasn’t hard to spot the beautifully crafted and ethically-made authentic Turkish textiles.
These textiles were draped so elegantly and stacked so perfectly. Representing soft tones and warmth as they rested upon each other eagerly awaiting their new home.
Not only was I attracted to the colours but I was drawn to touch these masterpieces and immediately fell in love with the soft lush texture that each textile offered. It was here that I began chatting to Carly, the creative behind The Wandering Eye. I found her brand to be so divine that more of her needed to be shared. So here it is – Enjoy our chat with the lovely Carly..
Behind The Wandering Eye’s divine Turkish towels and blankets, who do we see, can you share a little about yourself?
Sure. My name is Carly Reggars. I live smack bang in the heart of the Melbourne CBD with my beautiful partner and cheeky daughter. I have had a pretty eclectic career path over the years to be honest; it can be hard to settle on one thing when you are constantly being pulled in new directions by fresh inspiration. Prior to starting The Wandering Eye, I was a full-time teacher! I’ve always loved colour, textiles and travel though so it’s not a huge surprise that I’ve ended up here 🙂
Tell us about The Wandering Eye’s journey?
The Wandering Eye had pretty serendipitous beginnings. When my daughter was eight months old, my little family travelled to Europe, finishing a long trip in Turkey. I fell in love with Turkey; more than any other country we visited I felt really happy and inspired there. Turkish hammam towels (or peshtemals) are a common product in the markets of Istanbul and being a textile lover, I couldn’t get enough of the colours and patterns and amazing weaving. I did notice however that the quality varied wildly. During our travels, I went into a store owned by a family that had been in the peshtemal business for five generations. Their towels were by far the most beautiful I had seen. I drank tea with the owners of the business, we chatted and they cooed over my baby. I had such a good feeling about them that after using their towels and falling even deeper in love, I knew I wanted to work with them. Luckily, they remembered me and agreed!
At this stage, I am focussed on designing and curating the best range of towels, wraps and blankets I can. I am so passionate about these pieces. They are such a superior product in terms of their versailtity, eco-friendliness and, of course, beauty. In the future I would love to look toward bed linen. Stay tuned!
When I first felt your textiles, I was instantly taken back to the Omerye Haman House in Cyprus, after a refreshing steam bath, the softness of the woven towels instantly snuggled my body. I automatically felt this same soft lushness with your textiles. Can you tell me about the materials and where do you source this from?
It’s such a great compliment that my towels reminded you of your own bath house experience! It’s so true that flat-weave towels are not unique to Turkey; Cyprus, Greece and many other countries also use this style of towel too!
As we are lucky enough to work with traditional artisans who weave on hand-looms, the fabrics we use are of the highest integrity. They are so soft and have a beautiful tactile quality. The all-natural materials sourced from Buldan, region renowned for it’s beautiful Turkish cottons. Many Turkish towels are made in China (even the ones sold in Turkey), use synthetic blends and are made in appalling conditions. It was essential to me that our towels were ethically produced by craftspeople who were passionate about their product. Even the tassels are hand-knotted. You can definitely feel the difference.
Is there a meaning to the name Wandering Eye? (Can I guess that this might have some connection with the amulet, which wards off the evil eye in Turkish culture?)
The eye is ubiquitous in Turkey, as I’m sure you know. Walking through busy streets and marketplaces, people would approach us to pin tiny blue glass eyes to my daughter’s clothing to protect her from evil spirits. It wasn’t uncommon for us to emerge from the city streets with over 10 eyes dotted on her clothing! It was definitely a symbol of our time there and the generosity and love we experienced in Turkey. I also love the link to how we experience our lives differently when we are travelling; we have fresh eyes and are exposed to new kinds of beauty and avenues of inspiration.
Where do you draw inspiration from for the designs, the patterns and colours are truly authentic and such a versatile style?
I draw lots of inspiration from traditional patterns, tiling, geometric patterns and, of course, colour. I feel really lucky to present a range that is a combination of traditional styles and designs that incorporate my influences as well 🙂 Given that these textiles are multi-purpose, I am always designing with a lifestyle in mind – that these pieces move around your home or travel with you as you need them means that I try to find a balance between pattern, colour and versatility.
Where are you based and where can people purchase your items?
We are based in Melbourne; I run a studio in my home in Oliver Lane in the CBD. I am always happy for people to come and see the range and chat. I also have regular stalls at the Abbotsford & Fitzroy markets (at the Abbotsford and Fitzroy Primary Schools) and the Brunswick Flea Markets. For non-Melbourne people, you can find us at http://thewanderingeye.bigcartel.com and on Etsy.
Do you have a story about The Wandering Eye that you can share with us?
My favourite story about the business is how prior to beginning, I shared my idea with a close friend. She thought it was a terrible idea! In her opinion, towels were fluffy and people would never believe that a flat-weave towel would be as absorbent or soft as a terry towel. Her opposition just cemented my decision to go ahead. I am so grateful to her for challenging me, as I knew after that conversation that I really did believe in the product and concept. She’s now my best customer!
Because we just love colour! What is your favourite colour and why?
Yellow is definitely my favourite colour. It’s so bright and optimistic. It just makes me happy to look at it. Having said that, in my designs, I am always drawn to blues and greens for their calming, cool qualities.
We also love food – please share with us your three favourite eateries?
Oh, I LOVE food. My top three recommendations would be;
Rita’s in Abootsford for delicious, casual Italian food. The gnocchi is nest level amazing.
Gerald’s Bar in Cartlton for super simple antipasto/meals to soak up the excellent wine and atmosphere.
The Queen Vic Market. Sunday shopping is one of my family traditions and we stuff our faces with sublime borek, fresh oysters and summer fruits.
Thank you so much for sharing yourself and your brand with us, Carly. Everyone needs a little Turkish textile in their life and you are the bees knees for bringing that to us. Thank you.. x
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