In June 2019, I went to Marrakech to do my first orders and start the Mouyma adventure.
It was the beginning; I didn’t really have a clear idea in mind regarding the products that I was going to find. I was opened to everything and envisioned to do my shopping instinctively. Of course, finding handmade Moroccan wooden stools and Berber rugs was something I had in mind.
So, I walked the alleys of the Jemaa el Fna square in this great month of June. The weather was hot, too hot. But as soon as we rush into the alleys protected from the sun, we find freshness.
After a short moment, we came across an alley which said to me “come in, I have some gems to show you”. Indeed, good surprise. My eyes are smiling, and I am like a kid in front of a Christmas tree. And then, I bumped into Zouhair, who was kneeling down on wood chips. He was busy using his machete, he is focused and can’t see me. He was fabricating a handcraft Moroccan bench. The first thought that I had in mind was that no security measure was set and that his knees might hurt. But Zouhair doesn’t have the same frame of reference. For him, that’s how it goes.
And then, I watch him, he has precise gestures. He has probably been making the same stools and benches for 20 years, so it’s all in his head.
We start talking, he tells me that he works with his brothers and nephews, that they are Berbers. I tell him about Mouyma, he smiled and told me that it was a touching name. It is not much, but it warms my heart.
He showed me everything that was in his cavern. Too much choice and too much desires, it’s going to be hard to choose! This is the moment when you have to follow your instinct. Then, I started to think about the quantity of stools that I was going to order, to the sizes, the materials for the seats. He said that he could do everything. This is what I like with the Moroccan craft, we are our only limit. Zouhair showed me all the sizes he had adapted already; the differences of braiding of the leather or palm trees leaves. It is unlimited. I take notes in my notebook.
It was a fruitful meeting, and my mind is full of ideas. The time to think about all of that has come. Not to rush, take the right decisions and so on. I explained him that I would go back tomorrow with a precise order.
I went back to the hotel and had crazy energy. I also had the feeling that the adventure really started and that I was very lucky. Being in Morocco for work was a new experience, but I felt at home.
This night, I slept well but with the desire to go back there and confirm this order.
Finally, Zouhair’s stools arrived in my home in Marseille 3 weeks later. The lemon tree wood left its olfactory print… I felt like I brought the Marrakech souk at home.
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