We leased our space on Market Street in October thinking it would be a creative studio for Kim’s consulting business. By November we decided to give Range a go. By December our tickets to Morocco were booked.
I don’t recall making the decision of where to go for our first sourcing trip. In my mind, Morocco and Range would always be synonymous.
It’s not because we’d traveled there before. In fact, we hadn’t. The city, more than any other, had its own visual language. Moroccan designs were often duplicated. And we wanted to go to the source.
Traveling As A Business
From the outside having a business that involves travel seems like a dream. A tax write off, you may think. And while, yes, that’s true, our trips aren’t just long vacations. We spend the majority of our time observing, learning about products and their origins, negotiating, and tracking purchases.
Even with YouTube and bloggers documenting their journeys, we weren’t quite sure what we’d purchase on our 8-day trip to Marrakech until we landed. Googling “What to buy in the Marrakech medina” is a bit like pulling something out of a grab bag. The results are highly dependent on your tastes and, of course, budget.
Because this was our first stop, our motivation was to fill the shop. That’s one regret I have—shopping for quantity rather than a highly curated collection.
Don’t get me wrong, I love what we returned with. It just felt like the weight of procuring volume on a tight timeline and before the store layout was even finished, left little opportunity to be selective or produce a collection focused on a central color palette. Lucky for you, this means there’s a wider range of items to choose from.
Our Top 10 Favorite Purchases in Morocco
- Rugs. This one’s rather obvious, though we had no idea just how many rugs there would be to choose from. There are endless options to choose from and sort of like a wedding dress, when you see one you love, you should scoop it up. Waiting for a more perfect one to come along could end with regret and the majority of your vacation spent inside rug stalls.
- Brass Votive Lights. The brass lights you’ve seen in Instagram posts are beautiful. But did you also known they’re hand-hammered? Each hole is chiseled by an artisan. The votives are small enough to fit in nooks and crannies but complex enough to throw off patterns on a nearby wall when lit.
- Woven Pendants. When you think of woven products, you might think of geographies like Bali or Ghana. That’s why we were surprised when we saw so many options for natural lighting fixtures. The pendant lights were a favorite, mirroring quality and designs that go for $500+ in the U.S.
- Babouches. If you love slides, you’re going to be a sucker for this Moroccan slipper. Made with carpet material or tanned leather, our babouches range from women’s size 6 up to men’s size 12. They’re perfect house shoes and don’t overheat your feet like other slippers do.
- Argan Oil. Fun fact: the brand MOROCCANOIL was accurately named. Morocco is known for their argan oil. Infused with different scents like lavender, orange blossom, and sweet almond, you can use it on your hair, nails, and skin to moisturize. One of our guides told us that it’s jokingly referred to as Berber Botox.
- Pottery. The pottery game is STRONG here. If we’d have known how to ship it back, we would have bought entire stalls of plates, cups, and vases. Available in both matte and glossy finishes, you’ll find ceramics that are completely different than anything on the shelf at home. We hand carried all of these back and recommend you do too.
- Baskets. The perfect vessel to hold your blankets, backpacks, or toys, we’re a sucker for woven baskets. Aside from their utility, the natural materials used bring the outdoors in and help warm up any room. We have a variety in stock, from 18″ tall x 16″ wide to 25″ tall x 24″ wide.
- Pom Pom Blankets. These throws are made of wool and cotton, perfect to add some depth to the end of your bed. With you king size you can choose to fold the blanket across the width of your bed, with the pom poms hanging off the side. Or, if you prefer a lighter statement, you can use the standard size to lay across a corner. With a gold or silver thread accent running through, these blankets are a cold season must-have.
- “Cactus Silk” Pillows. While these pillows aren’t made with cactus fibers, as storytelling will have you believe, these pillows are gorgeous hand-sewn artifacts. Recognizable for their weathered fabric and geometric designs, these pillows breathe life into any space. With our latest drop, we now have standard square and king size available.
- Brass Mirrors. Interesting mirrors are hard to come by, especially at a price point under $300. So when I saw a set of three mirrors in the brass section of the medina, I snatched them up. After buying out the stock, we sent for two return orders. Clearly you love these as much as we do.
Shopping The Morocco Collection
When first laying out our space, we had options. One friend suggested we lay out each room by country, almost like a museum. Another recommended organizing by color.
We landed on integrating items throughout based on how they’re used. And that decision was intentional. While many of our items can be used for a variety of things, it can be confusing to categorize something when it’s completely new to you. Take our hand carved stools as an example. You could use them as a foot rest. I’ve seen them photographed as a bedside table next to a low or sunken bed. Our tags call them plant stands.
That’s partly why each time you return to the store the layout is likely a bit different. An 1800s colonial walk-up isn’t exactly the ideal spot for showing up large area rugs. But we sure do dig the history. So we make it work.
With that said, if there’s anything you’ve seen in the shop that you can’t find when you return, don’t hesitate to ask us. Some of our rugs are stored at home (hello small business). Others are being rotated in and out based on the season.
The Moroccan aesthetic is a cornerstone of Range. The culture, the color, the texture—it’s what we’re all about. We’ve already had two shipments arrive after our first sourcing trip and this collection is one we’ll continue adding to.