September 11, 2009

The Re-birth of an Old Tradition

Jennifer's Hamam opened on August 1st, 2009. It is the dream child of Jennifer Gaudet, the Canadian owner.


Jennifer had been teaching English in Thailand for 7 years, but had started thinking about opening her own business. She came to Turkey as a tourist in October 2005. “Coming out of the airport that night I arrived in Istanbul, I felt like it was home.” During her holiday, she discovered that Turkish laws were very open to businesses owned by foreigners, and she made the decision to move to Istanbul and open a business in the tourist area of Sultanahmet.


Her first project was a cafe´ and art gallery. She designed and decorated the shop herself and after 3 months of renovations Java Studio opened on April 1st, 2007. The business was a great success and was listed in every travel book imaginable within a very short time. Tourists love the relaxed atmosphere it offered, as well as the highest quality coffees and teas found in the area.


In June 2009, Jennifer sold Java Studio and pursued her second dream of running a shop selling REAL Turkish towels made not in factories, but on old-style-shuttled looms.


Since opening the response has been overwhelming. She takes no credit for her new-found success saying. "It's not me or my salesmanship, as I am not a salesman; it's the quality of the product, and the consumer's ability to see the difference between us and our competitors selling factory pieces."


Jennifer visits her weavers on a regular basis, and only buys from people whose looms she has seen in person. She aims to educate her clients about this art form and hopefully help preserve it for future generations. We're just at the beginning.  I can hardly wait to see where we're at in another five years!"


Her passion and enthusiasm for the product and for the art form of weaving is truly contagious.  We're sure that weaving will continue if Jennifer's Hamam has anything to say about it.

Full article available here

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