Beksan Imports - a journey begins
As we look out from the hotel’s rooftop terrace, we watch the ships sail calmly through the Golden Horn. I remember how much I enjoyed seeing them as a child, trying to memorize the nationality of each ship’s flag. We sip our Turkish tea and reflect on our stay in Istanbul. It is so exciting when you can see Beksan Imports turning into a reality! Since my sister was in her 20s she dreamed of starting a jewelry business with Turkey. At that time, she used to make jewelry as a hobby, giving many as gifts. During the 2010 holiday season we were having dinner one night and realized that both of us were at transition points in our lives. That’s when Meyla asked me to join her to turn her dream of a jewelry business into a reality and that's how Beksan Imports was born.
Last July, we were here on our initial trip to Istanbul for our new business! My sister had designed some sketches of jewelry and she had been given a couple of contact names in Istanbul. As a family, with her husband and twin 8 year old daughters, they outreached to our initial contacts. I joined them the second week of their trip to Istanbul. We got to know our favorite entrance to the Grand Bazaar, Gate 1, and that’s where we found our way to the myriad of stores and manufacturers. We were particularly drawn to the hand-crafted jewelry and the exquisite textiles, admiring the detailed workmanship.
We speak some Turkish because we learned the language as children. The contacts we were referred to and the new manufacturers we met were so welcoming, offering us tea “chai” and exchanging ideas. When she showed her drawings to the jewelry manufacturers they said they would love the chance to make samples for us! A few days later we had our first set of Beksan Imports jewelry. We had also picked out some beautiful cotton, silk, and pashmina scarves as well as other uniquely Turkish products to bring back to California.
After returning from the initial trip, we launched our business. The reception at our initial Trunk Shows and from local jewelers was so positive we realized this really could be a business! We decided to go back to Istanbul in February to solidify our relationships with our manufacturers and expand our inventory. And that brings us back to the rooftops of Istanbul. As we sip tea on the hotel terrace, we reflect on our journey thus far, excited about our new Spring collection of jewelry, scarves, and purses, and wondering where this journey will take us.