Rae's Journal

  • At Rae Feather, we source baskets from all over the globe, Morocco, Portugal, Bali, France and quite recently started working with a company in Tunisia. I discovered them at a trade fair and the owner, Meriem, invited me to come and visit their factory. I'd never been to Tunisia so decided to make the most of it and explore for a few extra days.


    We flew to Carthage from Gatwick and after some research, I discovered the incredible Villa Kahina. The photos speak for themselves but it is truly unique.

    Set in a unique spot on top of a hill, overlooking the clear blue waters of Mediterranean Sea, in the classified UNESCO world patrimony village of Sidi Bou Said. The Villa emphasises on meticulous attention to every detail yet is soooo simple. White washed everything, contrasting with beautiful blue wooden shutters. The team were incredible. Friendly, relaxed and nothing was too much trouble.

    Five minutes from he hotel was the Souk. Small and intimate and a chance to stock up on herbs, spices and of course Argon oil!

    We ate so well but perhaps not very healthy. The first lunch was at Chez Franky - great fun. Delicious pizza and the perfect place to people watch.

    Tunisia may be Mediterranean, but the diet is not. Tunisians, with their penchant for oil and sugar which has led to soaring rates of heart disease, do not adhere to the almond and yoghurt-laced Mediterranean diet. The cornerstone of a Tunisian meal is bread, and the rest of the table will be groaning under the weight of additional carbohydrates: macaroni with potatoes, couscous, deep-fried potatoes and peppers mashed into a paste called Kefteji, sandwiches stuffed with French fries.

    La Villa Bleu restaurant is well worth a visit. Perhaps a little touristy and commercial but a charming place.

    Le Golfe restaurant on the beach serves delicious fish including shell fish.

    Here's what I packed to take away with me:


    Feel free to send over your questions, I'll see if I can help.

    Email info@raefeather.com

  • A few years ago, I would silently boast to myself how low maintenance I was when it came to time and money spent on beauty products. My mother wears little to no make up and her daily regime has barely changed from when I was a child. Soap, water and Ponds cold cream... well maybe not Ponds but a high street chemist offer of the day. She is very lucky and has stood the test of time with true grace and good genes.  Beautiful advertising and social media awoke my senses quite late in life... and perhaps the hope of taking a few years off my face. These are my go to pieces. Tried and tested...

    I know facial brushes have been around for a while but this one combined with the Mary Kay Facial wash are a dream team. I brush religiously every morning and night and my skin feels so squeaky clean, bright and tight. Here's a video.

    Shop Mary Kay Facial Cleaning Brush here!

    Argon Oil is something I can not live without. I use it like the Father  in Big Fat Greek Wedding used Windex... if in doubt apply Argon oil. I use it on dry skin, dry hair, my face, my feet... I bought this one from a street vendor in Tunisia but I have also used this one which I bought from Amazon.

    Shop Argan Oil here!

    Sisley skin skincare is like no other. It is outstanding... They understand the sun and they understand the importance of sun care. Their Tanning Cream, I have used it for years - it is amazing - it works... a couple of applications and you look perfectly sun kissed!

    Shop Sisley Paris here!

    We've recently partnered with Sisley Paris UK on a marketing collaboration and I got to try some amazing new products from there Super Soin range. See them below...

    Click above to shop Sisley Paris!

    I do not leave the house without foundation. I feel bare without it and I only wear one with high SPF. This one from Studio 10 is incredible. Its has formulated for the more mature skin and leaves a really flawless finish.

    Shop Studio 10 here!

    I have recently been introduced to this Chanel bronzer - it is amazing. Goes on beautifully and looks very natural.

    For eyes I always wear a waterproof mascara and to brighten my eyes up this earthy palate from Chanel.

    Click above to shop Chanel!

    Finally, I don't leave home without a little bottle of CBD oil - this is the best I have tried.


    Shop Well Double LL here!

    I used perfumes really difficult. I wore Chanel Mademoiselle forever but slightly fell out of love with it after 20 years of wearing it every day. Others I tried sometimes made me feel claustrophobic. I was in a restaurant in Paris about six years ago and the lady next to me smelt so good. I had to ask... she was wearing Molecule 01 and I ordered it the next morning and haven't looked back. I can not smell it on myself but i get stopped in the street when I wear it. For something a little more feminine I wear La Labo Bergamot - it's so unique.

    Shop Molecule here!

    Shop Le Labo here!

    I'd love to hear your thoughts - please do share...

  • About 8 years ago all my family sat around together to plan a city trip that would mix culture, shopping, eating, drinking and a little luxury. It got a little rowdy so it was decided that each of us would write the name of the city on a piece of paper and it would be drawn out of a hat.

    My choice was Istanbul and I won the draw!!

    The trip was incredible and ticked every single box. We stayed in a hotel over looking the Bosporous with delicious lunches and dinners on various pontoons watching the comings and going of super yachts, ribs, day boats and International cargo ships. Truly fascinating!!

    The Bazaar was more inspiring than I could even begin to describe. Once I got over the heckling, I found myself totally immersed in the culture. I loved the people. I found them warm, welcoming and humorous. Thus began my little love affair with Turkey.

    A few years later I attended a detox retreat in Bodrum. It was run by a gorgeous girl, Kate Marriott. Her company Revive Wellness,  was basically juicing and raw eating for 7 days... the results after just one week were astounding.

    Due to the nature of my detox trip I didn't get to explore too much so decided a few months ago to go back to Bodrum. We stayed in a new hotel, Caresse Resort. Situated 10 mins outside Bodrum and one of a few new 5 star resorts recently opened, Caresse did not disappoint. The hotel overlooks the Algean Sea with stunning views across the bay. From the minute you walk in it feels uber relaxed. Masses of comfortable seating areas and quiet corners. Wonderful friendly service, amazing Spa (you must try a Turkish Bath treatment!!) and relaxed, delicious dining - try the Fried Aubergine with Pomegranate!!!!

    At night it livens up with the recently opened Buddha Bar which attracts The Beautiful People coming in off Yachts (great for people watching if you'd rather not get involved?). Also…magnificent sunsets!!

    My room was spacious and really comfortable but to be honest because outside is so beautiful I was rarely there. Water taxis's operate and will transport you across the bay to the charming town centre for late night shopping and some beautiful traditional restaurants. One's really worth visiting are Orfoz and Mimoza - incredible!!


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  • About a year into launching the monogram basket, I felt there was a need to create a monogram bag that served the same purpose as a basket but would become almost a “bag for life”. I was at a fair in Paris and met a wonderful lady who had just what I was looking for. After heavily admiring her collection, we got talking.

    canvas classic

    Sheenagh had worked for the UN. She had been sent to Bangladesh to educate and help implement means of birth control to women in remote towns and villages.

    For Sheenangh, this proved to be a major challenge in that the majority of the women she met had been brought up to believe their only job in life was to procreate. If they did not marry young, many were forced to become young sex workers.

    After much research, it was discovered that those who worked and were financially independent, followed advice regarding birth control. They felt valued and had a purpose outside that of giving birth.

    Screen Shot 2019-07-05 at 16.52.10 (2)

    She found a small group of women from rural communities who were fabric weavers. These women had little to no education. They married very young and by the age of 18 could have had 2-4 children. For many, this was the first time they had ever earned an income.

    Their salary really mattered. They could contribute to family expenditure for the first time, and their first priority when you ask them is always education, education, education of their kids and particularly their daughters, for whom they wish a life with far greater opportunities than they ever had.
    Canvas Straw Fringe

    The woven cloth was then sent to Dhaka to be tailored and produce the finished products. A number of the women making the bags used to be sex workers in the city. They were taken to a safe environment by the NGO and trained in tailoring by voluntary women groups. They are now paid, not only a fair wage, but get paid for over-time and have a regular health check offered to them on site by the NGO.

    I guess the essence of the above is to say how much it pleases me that as a brand, we can work with organisations like the above and give a little back. I should however add that most of what we do has an element of fair trade attached. Much of manufacturing for example, is done in India. When we first find factories, they are thoroughly researched. I ensure they operate in a very transparent manner. I ask for a tour. I engage with the work force and ask the necessary questions, to ensure we are working with reputable organisation.

    Support the community and shop canvas!

  • Firstly, I apologise for the fact that we lapsed in the blog department in the last months but the good news is, we're back and I want to kick off with a trip we did recently to Essaouria, Morocco.

    Essaouria Streets

    Marrakech, as we know, has been at the forefront of many people’s bucket list over the past few years. It’s perfect for a mini break. Not too long a flight and you arrive in what is culturally a very different world. On my first visit I likened it to going on to huge film set. I was blown away by the colour, the people, the food, the architecture, the noise, the atmosphere, the diversity…

    We wanted to shoot 2019 Spring Summer Collection somewhere a little raw, colourful, atmospheric and most importantly we needed strong chance of good light/sunshine. Morocco in early March ticked all the boxes and we chose the coastal city (small city) of Essaouria, 2 and half hours north of Marrakech.


    Formally known as Mogador, the name means “The Picture”  in Arabic and it is a painters dream. Lots of vibrant colours everywhere.... bright blues, whites, pinks and oranges. The Port surrounded by sand stone walls contrasting with the colourful fishing boats.

    Along the port are masses of little outdoor restaurants. Important to note, none serve alcohol and they are all fighting for business so be prepared to be bombarded however, when you do make your choice it’s very calm. I would guess all are the same standard and same price.

    We stayed in Riad Malaika. The host was charming and the staff so helpful HOWEVER, the chef was off the scale. A 24 year old girl who was so passionate about cooking that from young age watched You Tube videos of really high end French chefs and is totally self taught. I rarely have eaten so well. We were all blown away.

    Check out their website for more details and arrange a stay! : http://riad-essaouira-malaika.com/home-3/

    Follow them on Instagram: @riad.malaika


    There are many Riads in Essaouria and I would strongly recommend staying in a Riad as opposed to a hotel. Instagram is brilliant for research. We shot in one of the loveliest I have ever seen - 5 columns. Owned and restored by an English couple.


    Check out their website for more: http://www.5-columns.com

    Follow them on Instagram! @5.columns

    In short, Essaouria is well worth a visit. I might even suggest a 2 stop trip. Marrakesh and Essaouria. Hire a car but BEWARE of very corrupt traffic police. Stick to speed and signs. They do not take credit cards - say no more!!!


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