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Celebrating a Journey of Inspiration and Craft: Scaramanga's 25th Anniversary of Founder Carl's First Visit to India

Celebrating a Journey of Inspiration and Craft: Scaramanga's 25th Anniversary of Founder Carl's First Visit to India

As we mark a significant milestone—the 25th anniversary of our founder, Carl's, first journey to India—it's a moment of reflection, celebration, and inspiration that has been the cornerstone of Scaramanga's inception and growth. This journey, which began in March 1999, wasn't just a travel experience; it was the beginning of a great adventure that led to the founding of Scaramanga in 2006. In this blog learn all about Carl's travels, the inspiration behind Scaramanga, and how these experiences continue to influence our ethos, products, and connections with traditional craftspeople.

The Genesis of a Dream: Carl's Indian Adventure

India, with its vast landscapes and vibrant culture, was where Carl's adventure began. His arrival in Mumbai introduced him to a world alive with colour, movement, and an ever-present buzz that captivated his senses. From the bustling markets filled with spices and incense to the streets lined with food vendors and the iconic yellow Ambassador taxis, Mumbai was a city that never slept.

carl dressed in colourful traditional Indian headdress 

Carl in Indian Rat Temple

Carl's journey was extensive, covering the length and breadth of India—from the tropical beaches of Goa to the historical richness of Varanasi, from the architectural wonders of Agra to the desert city of Jaisalmer. Each destination offered unique encounters with India's diverse cultures, languages, and traditions, making every moment unforgettable.

Carl was so taken by the  Bullet motorbike, a classic bike still made by Royal Enfield. Having never ridden a bike he decided to buy one and then learnt to ride it and took a short trip in Kerala. 

Carl and his bullet bike

The Birth of Scaramanga: Inspired by Craft and Community

The seed for Scaramanga was sown during these travels, particularly through Carl's interactions with the craft-based communities of Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, and Udaipur. The purchase of a satchel in Jaisalmer, browsing through antiques in Jodhpur, and witnessing the artistry of bookbinders in Udaipur left a true mark on Carl. These experiences highlighted the beauty of traditional craftsmanship, inspiring him to start Scaramanga—founded on principles of quality, authenticity, and sustainability.

our leather journal maker showing us how he binds our journals

learning how the handcrafting process of leather bags

A Journey of Cultural Encounters and Memorable Moments

Carl's travels were filled with cultural encounters that enriched his understanding and appreciation of India's heritage. Celebrating Holi in Jodhpur, witnessing elephants playing football at a festival, and being invited to a Coorgi wedding were just a few highlights that showcased the warmth, hospitality, and vibrancy of Indian culture.

Carl and his wife Emma during holi

An elephant decorated with colourful flowers

A particularly memorable experience was the visit to Bishnoi villages with his mother. The Bishnoi community, known for their commitment to environmental conservation and their deep-rooted love for nature, offered insights into a way of life governed by harmony and sustainability. This encounter with the Bishnoi and their practices had a profound impact on Carl, influencing Scaramanga's dedication to ethical sourcing and environmental consciousness.

two Indian men sitting cross legged

Legacy and Looking Forward: Scaramanga's Commitment to Craftsmanship and Community

Reflecting on 25 years since Carl's first visit to India, we celebrate not just the journey but the connections made and the lives touched. Scaramanga continues to work closely with artisans and craft-based communities, ensuring that traditional skills are not just preserved but also celebrated and shared with the world. Our collection of handcrafted leather bags, satchels, and accessories pays homage to the artistry and dedication of these craftspeople, bridging cultures and histories.

Carl tries his hand at traditional pottery making in India

As we look forward, Scaramanga remains committed to fostering sustainable practices, supporting artisans, and providing our customers with products that tell a story. Carl's journey to India was just the beginning, but the principles, inspirations, and relationships forged during those travels continue to guide us.

Here's to celebrating 25 years of inspiration, craftsmanship, and cultural connections. May we continue to explore, learn, and grow, always honoring the rich tapestry of traditions that shape our world. Thank you for being a part of our journey.

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