It's a peaceful day in Göreme, a small Cappadocian town. The breeze, a guide to my wandering soles. The sun setting, I stare in awe of the golden, coned-topped landscape - a vision come to life out of the pages of a fairytale.
Doorway after doorway, I pass them on my way to something bigger. Each one in a row, somewhat similar, somewhat unique, all of them closed.
Then I hear the faint chatter and laughter of women nearing closer as I round a corner on this often traveled pathway. A woman with a beautiful smile sits in her open doorway. A humble porch in a quiet town on just another Tuesday. But she is happy. She has enough.
A poster board with many intricate jewelry pieces on display stands next to her, propped up by the stone wall of her home, hand-laid many moons ago. She has everything from necklaces, to earrings, to bracelets all hung neatly in rows across her board. Every color string you can image sits in tidy spools in a basket at her feet. A rainbow of welcoming. Beads and small coins are laid across a table on her other side, twinkling in the daylight.
She smiles in my direction, and we make eye contact, her fingers and wrists in constant motion. A tradition she has memorized and perfected, now a small business she runs from her doorstep; the art of hand-crafted lace jewelry. A popular custom in Cappadocia and an art form that has been passed on for many generations.
Fatima Acar is her name. Her English is halting, and my Turkish non-existent. But the language of twinkling eyes, warm smiles, and hands waving in happy excitement are universal. I try piece after piece on and fall in love with each one. How do you choose just one hue to treasure from all the hues of a rainbow?
Finally, I settle on a coin embellished collection, with miniature Ottoman Turkish charms. I try to explain how I'd be thrilled if she could make these for our Artizara family. It'll take time she says, but she'd be so grateful. It'll help her pay the rent on her home. Her son speaks English better, he'll call me.
And that's how it all started.
Many weeks later, Fatima's hand made Cappadocia crochet lace necklaces and earrings arrived, just as promised. And we can't wait to share them with you.