Rena Thiagarajan, the wildly inspiring founder of Project Bly, answers our quick-fire questionnaire.
You travel for…The people—and one of the best places to meet people are the markets. I love hearing a weaver’s story or chatting with flea-market vendors. I’ve drunk countless cups of tea and had some of the best conversations in markets.
Your travel style in five words…Slow and off the beaten path.
Your favorite place on the planet…I love Mumbai, and it was the city that launched Project Bly. It’s been one of my favorite cities since I first visited when I was 16. It’s the New York of India, and while huge and utterly cosmopolitan, it has also retained its character, history, and grit. It has such unbelievable energy!
Dying to visit…I loved Bukhara, Uzbekistan and would love to return to visit more of the country as well as some of its Central Asian neighbors.
Location that best embodies the Project Bly aesthetic…That’s a hard one! Every place we’ve been has products that embody the Bly aesthetic: lived-in, well-traveled, and sophisticated, mixing contemporary with vintage and hand-crafted with antique.
That thing you always pack…My sketchbook and camera, a Canon DSLR.
Travel advice you swear by…Always say yes to a cup of tea.
Your best market-shopping tip…Take your time and explore the market first before buying anything.
What you bring back from every trip…Textiles.
Dream travel partner in crime…Paul Salopek, a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist of Croatian descent, brought up in Mexico. He’s currently walking from Ethiopia to the tip of South America, a journey he started in 2013.
Current favorites on Instagram…So many! I love @petmbou’s street photography from around the world. She takes the most haunting portraits of people. I also just discovered @walilizhouwho seems to be just as crazy about textiles as I am!
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