The Road not Taken
the first poem i fell absolutely in love with, when I was twelve or thirteen. still does it for me, after the “owl and the pussycat” of course.
There used to be an informal bookclub group, which met once a month at Barefoot, ably organsied by Indi’s sister Subhanu. It would be great if we could get this group back on track again; thing is, I would need someone to help me arrange this, and now would be an ideal time as there are plenty of interesting titles at the shop and more on order and due to come in soon. Anyone interested in helping out?
There are three fairly recent publications written by native Sri Lankan’s living overseas: Julian West, Shiromi Pinto and George Aligiah, respectively. We have ordered their books and it might be fun to start with one of their titles. The Gratien Prize will be announced this Saturday, which makes for potentially more interesting material to read, and then we meet (over a beer or two) and discuss.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
20th March 2007
IN RECOGNITION OF ITS BRAND POWER, BAREFOOT GAINS ‘SUPERBRAND’ STATUS
21st March 2007. COLOMBO. Sri Lanka’s iconic store, ‘Barefoot’, was awarded the SUPERBRAND status at an awards ceremony held in Colombo yesterday. Superbrand is an independent organization that bestows the status of ‘Superbrand’ on brands worldwide after a stringent sifting and analysis process. This status is granted only to exceptional brands around the world that have forged the finest reputation in their field in a bid to promote good branding practices globally.
Barefoot joined the SUPERBRANDS membership from 55 countries as recognition of its superior brand equity. Established by Barbara Sansoni – artist, designer, entrepreneur and woman par extraordinaire – the store has steadily built up a decades-long reputation for quality design and product that have carved a special niche in the psyche of Sri Lankans and foreign visitors.
Barefoot was born out of Barbara Sansoni’s dream to celebrate the best of local design and open the eyes of the world to what this little island had to offer. Today, the Superbrand award stands as a testimony to what Barefoot has achieved. Located in the heart of Colombo, the venue, with its secret garden filled with trees, has become a destination in itself. Barefoot stocks its handmade, hand-woven cotton in vibrant and striking colors designed by Barbara Sansoni and her team of designers: Marie Gnanaraj, Preethi Hapuwatta and Niloufer Victoria. Apart from the fabric, simple clothing, sarongs, a home linen section, handmade soft toys and furniture, the store displays an eclectic mix of gifts that have excited the imagination of all those who step into its interior.
All fabric at Barefoot is 100% hand woven at its weaving centres across the island, providing valuable employment to rural womenfolk who have elevated their economic status by mastering the weaving techniques laid down by Barefoot. The company has carved out an enviable track record exporting its own brand to many countries. Barefoot has succeeded in adding value to the brand of Sri Lanka itself – creating a rising demand for high profile buyers in countries increasingly searching for well designed fabric and accessories consistently manufactured to a very high quality.
The store’s legacy is continued by photographer Dominic Sansoni, who functions as the Managing Director, and his wife, Nazreen. Their vision for the store has inspired them to create in Barefoot an enjoyable and fun oasis in Colombo. They have succeeded in extending the core values of the store to now include an art gallery, book shop, café and venue for theatre, music and dance. Barefoot is today a rendezvous for artists, actors, musicians and travelers.
Barefoot has retained its charm perhaps because it is a professionally managed business that counts a dynamic and dedicated team of designers, mangers, and skilled workers as part of its extended family. Their commitment to maintain the high standards is what has made Barefoot achieve the success it has today. Having been bestowed the Superbrand status is true recognition of their indomitable and selfless team spirit.
Barefoot has succeeded in creating a strong bond with people who step through its doors. While the venue has become a destination for travellers to the country, Barefoot values most of all the support it continues to enjoy from a loyal local customer base.
The Superbrand status granted to Barefoot proves Sri Lanka’s potential to the world. 100% Sri Lankan products designed and made in Sri Lanka.
Longing for one, especially as the weather is showing off gloriously. Time to hit the road, drive east, and head to the bay. No tourists there, only a few NGO organisations and their representatives. Wish my cousin Sharon were here, one of my favourite travelling companions; we would head to crocodile rock, watch the sunset, spot an elephant, sip our drinks, lie down on the heated surface, dream and talk of days gone by, plans for the future, but mostly revelling in the now.
Meanwhile, there are 80,000 IDP’s in camps, or on the move, what celebrations for them?