A New Collaboration

Over the past few years, we’ve been connecting with artisans outside of Tameslouht– but still within the greater El Haouz province– to expand our offerings and our artisan network. Recently, though, we have established a relationship that jumps beyond our current borders and takes us up north to a little town called N’zalat Bni Amar.

Located about 30 minutes north of Moulay Idriss, N’zalat is home to the Seven Stars Cooperative. They describe themselves and their mission in their blog:

Seven Stars is a small Moroccan baking and embroidery cooperative founded and powered by Moroccan women dedicated to bringing opportunity to their community and keeping alive a traditional Moroccan art form.

Seven Stars is run by three women, but they employ a network of about 30 women in the surrounding villages. They specialize in the Fessi embroidery style and have been working with Peace Corps volunteers on design innovation and integrating tradition designs into modern products. Some examples of those products can be found below.

In our experience with Maslouhi, marketing embroidery is tough. Traditional Moroccan embroidery, including this Fessi style, is absolutely gorgeous. Clients love the look of it and are fascinated by the complexity and intricacy of this geometric design that manages to be identical on both the front and the back of the fabric that it embellishes. However, this craft is incredibly time-consuming, and so the base cost of the price is often a deterrent for the average consumer. That’s why the work of Peace Corps volunteers can be so critical for connections with foreign audiences; they are able to be that in-between that can communicate with foreigners about their price points and what products they would be interested in buying, and then translate that to the artisans and ensure a smooth transaction. It’s not that the artisans cannot handle this process themselves, but it’s often time-consuming and requires a level of language that can take awhile to perfect. In short, the work of PCVs expedites this process and leaves the artisans with more time to focus on their craft.

Maslouhi is excited to be piloting several of these “in-between” pieces that strike the balance between honoring the beauty of traditional Moroccan embroidery– and all of the time and skill that it takes to produce it– while still managing to be an affordable and useful product for the average consumer. Check out some of the items that will be in our Etsy shop in the coming days:

As always, thank you to the incredible artisans who have worked on these beautiful designs. We are so excited about this new collaboration!

For more information about our new headbands, makeup bags, and keychains, please email us at: creation.tameslouht@gmail.com.

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Moroccan Rugs: A Story of Amazigh Symbols

Tameslouht, where we source all of Maslouhi’s products, is an Arab village. This might seem like an obvious statement, but the indigenous people of Morocco are actually Amazigh rather than Arab. Most people colloquially refer to Amazigh people as “Berber” (although there is a controversy surrounding this term– it is a derivative of the French word for “barbarian”), and the influence of Amazigh culture across all aspects of Moroccan society is something that sets the country apart from its Middle Eastern, Arab counterparts.

893c28ac042b20a89b19c436b7269103Many of the traditional Moroccan artisanal designs are informed by the Amazigh aesthetic. Geometric designs, colorful patterns, and heavy metals are prevalent throughout the traditional handicrafts of this culture. Are you a fan of wedding blankets and their glitzy sequins? You might not be surprised to find out that those are, in fact, traditionally used in Amazigh wedding ceremonies!

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Tameslouht is located in the Al Haouz province of Marrakech. It stands alone as the only Arab village among its Amazigh neighbors. The aesthetic of the artisanal products that are produced in Tameslouht, however, is heavily informed by the boldness of its Amazigh neighbors.

One of our more recent sourcing adventures has been in rugs. Maslouhi artisans do not traditionally produce rugs, so we have moved further back into the mountains to work within Tameslouht’s artisan network to locate rug weavers (everyone knows a cousin or an in-law or a friend or a sister’s best friend or a….). And we’ve been so excited with what we’ve found.

As you can see, these rugs have a uniquely geometric look. All of the symbols can be decoded– most referring to nature– and can be woven into a narrative about live in the villages where these rugs are produced.

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We’re so excited to be expanding the scope of our work and celebrating Morocco’s Amazigh culture. For more information about our current stock of rugs, please shoot us an email: creation.tameslouht@gmail.com!

Atlanta Arab Festival, 2018

We just completed our second pop-up shop/ festival of 2018 at the 13th annual Atlanta Arab Festival!

AlifFestivalFlyer2018_FacebookCoverSponsored every year by the ALIF Institute, this cultural celebration is a dynamic opportunity to be immersed in the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of the diverse Arab world.

This year, Maslouhi had a booth at the festival!

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Mustapha enjoys his breakfast from Leon’s International Foods!

We loved the opportunity to meet so many people– Arab and non-Arab– and talk to them about where our products come from. Every product sold by Maslouhi has an incredible origin story, both within the locally-sourced materials and the people who transform them into objects of beauty.

What products would you like to see at our next pop-up shop/ festival booth?

Some Christmas Cheer!

For the month of December, we’re trying something new: product giveaways!

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Each Friday in December, we’ll be promoting one of the artisans’ products on our Facebook page. All you have to do is follow the directions (like, share, tag someone, etc.) and you’re automatically entered to win the featured product! We’ll announce the winner each Monday. And that’s it!

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A Day in Tameslouht with Anjali Power Yoga

This past week, we were visited by a group hailing from Philadelphia, PA and Charlotte, NC. The common thread between these two cities? Anjali Power Yoga Studios!

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Returned Peace Corps volunteer Lucia coordinated a week-long yoga retreat for practitioners from these studios in Marrakech, Morocco. In addition to planning what sounded to me like the most fabulous crash-course in all of the fabulous things that Marrakech has to offer, Lucia also highlighted some of the most authentic things, as well. This included teaching everyone survival Darija, discussing customs and traditions, making sure to taste all of the local fare, and, most importantly (in our opinion!), visiting the town of Tameslouht.

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Our morning involved meeting at the most popular cafe in town, ordering a round of nss-nss coffees, and engaging in a discussion about Tameslouht. The retreatants had many questions about the economic life of Tameslouht, the women artisans, and the religious aspect of Tameslouht and its zaouia, or ancient Sufi religious school.

We walked through the town, stopping spontaneously at the olive oil processing center. Tameslouht is famous in the region for its aromatic and absolutely delicious olive oil. We watched the olives get mashed and pressed, all while smelling the beauty of the distinctive oil.

Afterwards, we arrived to Abdelilah’s house, where two of Maslouhi’s women artisans, Meriam and Rabiaa, awaited us.

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The retreatants learned the art of basket embellishment, a popular craft that has ignited the tourist markets in recent years. Although no one got anywhere near close finishing their baskets in the time allotted, everyone went home with new knowledge of a craft that they were seeing everywhere in the souk.

We enjoyed a massive and delicious lunch in the zaouia, and then went on a tour of some of the different properties of the religious complex.

The last part of our day in Tamesouht involved a visit to some of Maslouhi’s other artisans: our weavers! We had the pleasure of catching Si Hassan, who is one of Tameslouht’s “m3allam,” or master weavers. Two of the brave retreatants even tried their hand at the loom!

We at Maslouhi genuinely enjoyed our time getting to know Anjali Power Yoga Studio’s retreatants. We hope that you all enjoyed your time in Morocco, and in Tameslouht especially!

If you have a group coming through Marrakech and would like to visit the artisans of Maslouhi, engage in a workshop, eat a traditional lunch in a beautiful, ancient religious school, and see what life is like in a rural village, let us know! creation.tameslouht@gmail.com

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A Little Northern Detour

Last weekend, we traveled to the gorgeous coastal city of Assilah. Suffice it to say, I’m in love.

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One of the loveliest surprises of this blue and white haven is its small but robust artisan community. Mustapha and I met, talked to, shook hands, and exchanged business cards with several extremely talented artisans. We are so excited about the new products that we’re offering in the Maslouhi shop:

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We arrived in the old medina at 8am– several hours before any of the artisans opened up their shops. The first stall that we saw, we ended up spending over an hour in. Anwar, a young man with an impeccable eye for color, was generous with his time. He showed us his loom, a variety of blankets and scarves, and answered a ridiculous amount of questions from the two starry-eyed foreigners. We have two designs currently for sale on Etsy and are also taking wholesale orders.

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We cannot get enough of these gorgeous baskets! Woven with two colors of yarn and held in place by a sheet of a plastic rice sack, the materials are traditional but boast a modern style. The colors radiate the northern charm of Morocco– inherently colorful and bold. We are currently accepting wholesale orders for these beauts.

Vintage rugs and wedding blankets

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Everyone is always looking for a “rug guy,” someone who has the right connections and will sell you coveted Moroccan rugs for a decent price. We’d pretty much given up on Marrakech, to be honest– with such a high concentration of tourists willing to pay inflated prices, there’s really no incentive to build a relationship with a business and offer reduced prices. Additionally, these middle men often completely stiff the rug weavers themselves. Not the case in Assilah. Mustapha and I had to ask several times to make sure that the price quotes that they were giving us were in dirhams, they were so low. We didn’t leave with any carpets in-tow, but do officially now have a “rug guy”– so let us know if you are looking for a tufted wedding blanket or kilim rug!


Our trip was unintentionally successful. We met a lot of wonderful artisans, experienced the not so famous (but incredibly warm) northern hospitality, and have a lot of new products to offer our customers. Shoot us an email if you see something you like or have any questions about ordering: creation.tameslouht@gmail.com!

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Hello, Etsy!

If you couldn’t tell, I (Sarah) am on winter break– and Maslouhi is getting some serious social media presence as a result.

In addition to Instagram and Pinterest accounts, we now have an Etsy— making it now easier than ever to buy from the artisans of Tameslouht! We’ve included woven blankets, market baskets (embellished + sequined), woven scarves, and handira blankets.

We’re trying to expand our audience and find new markets. We’re still available for wholesale orders, but we’re also trying to market our products to individuals who are into fair trade, supporting artisans worldwide, and fabulous fashion.

Browse our Etsy and let us know what you think! Would you like to see different products? Different colors? More options? We’re always open: creation.tameslouht@gmail.com