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36 Kilos

Let me begin by saying SR’s baby boy is out of the hospital and I’m feeling so grateful. There have been more cases of dengue than ever before here in Colombo. But, everyone at Emerge is doing well! (Thank goodness) I just got back from a 3.5 day trip to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and am happy to say that I’ve found a great bead store and lots of beautiful supplies! Two international flights, a sweaty bead-hunt through Chinatown, far too much haggling, and a pair of fake eyelashes later, we have 36 kilos of gorgeous beads for the girls to create our fall/winter line. The girls are going to love it.

KL was so different from Sri Lanka. People obey the traffic lights. The roads are wide. The city is clean. And, you can literally find anything you could want (not to mention the fact that the shops are both organized and spacious! No more of the shoebox style store I find here, packed to the brim with items for sale– literally every square inch. Even stores in Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown felt like something I’d find in the US). After scouting out several different beads stores in Chinatown, I managed to strike a good deal at a store called Fafa’s. I then spent the day sorting through beads and calling to the saleslady as she dug through the inventory in the back, trying to get me every strand of the colors I liked that were in stock. Get ready for rich purples, teals, golds, and browns this fall and winter… it’s going to be a beautiful collection. We were able to buy enough at the store to get a special discount card that we can use in the future as well. I took pictures of the women who helped me (below) to share with you and told them about our girls. They were so excited to be part of the Emerge story! (well, they were probably extra excited to hear that we will definitely need more beads…)

Before my flight back to Sri Lanka (which departed in the middle of the night), I found myself at a mall in KL, buying labels to make a bead catalog. Somehow, the next thing I knew, I was getting a Malaysian-style makeover from the Estee Lauder booth (fake eyelashes and all!). I have to say, I might not have made it through customs without the nice Estee Lauder lady’s help. 36 kilos of beads was way more than I was allowed to carry in my luggage. I had to repack 3 times in the airport! But, I’m pretty sure my fake eyelashes and hot pink dress got me through customs safe and sound. Got to remember that tip next time.

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