I first went to Morocco in my twenties. Its vibrant culture has always inspired and fed me, so I promised myself I would return one day to wander the exotic salons and souks of Marrakesh. I have always been fascinated with humanitarian and designer Maryam Montague's book Marrakesh by Design, which was inspired by her warm, inviting and popular blog My Marrakesh. Poring over her beautiful images always made me long to spend time with her, so visiting her compound in the city, Peacock Pavilion, was at the top of my list when I returned last year.
While I was visiting with Maryam, I found out Annette Joseph, another creative tribe member was organizing a photography and styling workshop at Peacock Pavilion in the near future. I knew the timing was fate, so I gathered a group of my most talented, stylish friends and they all signed up to return with me, daughters in tow.
Knowing we had a week to maximize quickly sent me into a planning frenzy, piecing together an itinerary of places I wanted to both revisit and see for the first time. I sourced amazing places via the advice of friends from past visits. My new favorite place for finding kindred spirits, instagram led me to an incredible tented camp called Scarabeo (where we are pictured above) and some fabulous design-driven hotels. Everyone was so inspired!
Maryam has an amazing philanthropy called Project Soar, which serves to empower under-served Moroccan girls through art, sports, and health education. They help keep girls in school, breaking the cycle of girl marriages and early motherhood, and preparing girls to have productive and fulfilled futures. We knew we wanted to help give back!
I was bringing home some things I designed for a client which needed to be shipped. Sarah Hovis Olsen, and her mother Sally Hovis, business partners in S.Carter Designs (some of my favorite jewelry!) wanted to bring back things for their own houses, as well. I decided I wanted to also bring back some chairs... and then some lanterns... as you can imagine, soon things began to rack up! We all kind of got carried away...
Truly "collected", the Nomad Collective tribal pop-up shop was formed when we decided to share the surplus of incredible things we found during our travels with our friends at home and sell them to help benefit Project Soar. We wanted to only buy things that we would put in our own houses. With our whole tribe of friends at home and far beyond, who in various ways have contributed to this project, we have filled a pop-up shop with exotic goods. My own proceeds will help Project Soar send girls to summer camp.
I started Ballard Designs, so a project like this seems like a natural segue, but it's really just for fun, to help raise money for a great cause, and collaborate with my friends.
I hope you will visit us this Wednesday, June 1 and Thursday, June 2 from 12PM - 4PM as well as Friday, June 3 from 12PM - 2PM as we "pop up" in the Buckhead area of Atlanta. We'll be at 3273 Roswell Rd.
I hope Nomad Collective awakens the globetrotter in everyone who walks through our door this week. See you soon!