Serife from Turkish Dowry
Who is behind the brand Caria Handmade?
My name is Serife Dogan, I am a Turkish housewife living in Kayseri located in the centre of the country. I grew up in a small Turkish family and have learnt since a young age how to sew and knit and to make Turkish goods. A real passion that became my job.
Why did you choose to launch your own brand?
I lost my husband in 2004 and became on my own with my three daughters. We needed to stay strong and continue our life. I then decided to make my own towels in loom and decided to create a more versatile and unique designs to the Turkish Towel, which I weave in my house.I love to play with different materials; I mainly use cotton but linen is an amazing material to work with. I started selling in Turkey in markets and then online, it is amazing to reach anyone in the world and see my products traveling and being wear across the globe !
Where do you find inspiration?
Traditional Turkish natural products and natural ingredients and essential oils.
How is made the Turkish Towel we can find in this month’s box?
I am making them by myself in my small work area.
Firstly, I buy natural cotton thread in different size and design templates Before I start to weave them, I will decide which color combination I will use in that size.
The one we find in The Made in Turkey Box this month is a striped patterned Turkish towel which we call in Turkish"Gelin Teli" which means towel for the bride. In the old times, it was a tradition to give a Turkish Towel as a present to our friends or relatives who just got married wedding to welcome in their new home.
I use my vintage loom left by my father to start weaving the towel and then I knit the fringes - it is now all ready to be delivered to your sweet home!
What Handmade means to you and why it is important?
Handmade means for me as it is part of my everyday life. It is a passion that became my job and fulfilled my life. Handmade is an art which keeps the special soul in each design because when you buy something someone made you see the product through this person's eye and feelings. It becomes so much more than an item.
Where have you been living?
I am a Turkish Anatolian woman from central of Turkey living in a city called Kayseri and my family lives in the countryside of my city. It is peaceful and vibrant little town and remains very traditional in Turkey, I simply love it here.
Any recommendations for our readers who want to visit Turkey?
Obviously, I recommend them to visit me and drink a cup of coffee with mewhile I am making my towels :)
But if you are in Turkey for a short trip, I highly recommend them to visit Istanbul, which is a little bit crowded but worth to see and Cappodocia which is a very very historical and such a unique place to be!
In terms of what to purchase while in Turkey, I recommend some special items which symbolize Turkish culture like Turkish Towels ( of course!) , Turkish Kilims Rugs or Turkish Ceramics.
And Of course don't forget to taste the different turkish delights, it is my favourite