Terry's MacroSun Story
Terry's MacroSun Story
When I first discovered MacroSun on Euclid in the Central West End, I was completely enchanted. A real Alladin's Cave of treasures, I'd assumed it had been there forever. Stunning silks, carved wood totems, the wealth of myriad cultures all lovingly displayed for my convenience. It was like an art museum that actually encouraged you to touch and examine things up close.
I imagined the owner's Indiana Jones lifestyle of high adventure, travelling to far away Shangri Las in search of ancient handicrafts and lost arts. I had no idea the store had just opened and the man behind it just beginning his adventure. I remember the year precisely because I was just beginning to study /le danse du ventre/, aka belly dancing. One of the girls in our group worked at MacroSun and soon, she was off to Tibet to gain wisdom and new experiences. Another dancer headed to Israel to live in a Kibbutz. A friend and I decided to visit Turkey to see “real” belly dancing and obtain first hand some of the gorgeous metalwork jewelry that MacroSun brought to America.
Fair Trade was not a famliar concept then. We didn't appreciate what went into the making of fine crafts or the relationships between indigenous artisans and buyers.
So off to Istanbul we went. To the bazaar! The Souk! Apple tea in tiny glasses. Rugs! Jewelry! Scarves! Everything you could imagine, lushly displayed in tightly quartered stalls along winding halls.The vastness of the wealth was overwhelming. In just this one bazaar, this one country, there were thousands of choices. How did our friend at MacroSun do it? Was he like Santa Claus? Able to travel to hundreds of countries in the blink of an eye? That's the magic of MacroSun. All the world's beauty, found, vetted and arranged for our pleasure and consideration in one convenient location.
We came home with very little from the Souk-- a hip belt, some scarves, a couple kilims-- but mostly just wonderful memories of the country. It turns out, when it comes to shopping the world, it makes more sense simply to return again and again to MacroSun, our own little piece of the world within reach of home.
Today, I have my own store, Home Eco, where inspired by my friends at MacroSun, we try to maintain a similarly high standard of fair trade and artistry. Our emphasis is on recycled and renewable materials like hemp and bamboo. Local artisans help reduce our carbon footprint. When we bring in imports, we make sure they are fair-trade certified. As retailers, we don't get to travel much. With the internet, we don't need to go to the markets...they come to us. So when we get the urge for a little culture, it's just a short trip downtown or to University City to see our friends at MacroSun.
Terry is co-owner of Home-Eco.com, a local St. Louis store selling environmentally friendly home products.