Many have heard of Ubud thanks to the famed ‘Eat, Pray, Love’. Wander around its streets and you feel a certain excitement from the night markets, yoga studios and many a swanky coffee shop that offer the chance to sample Balinese culture that has been modified for western taste.
Now take a turn down Jalan Gootama road. Here there are less crowds, and as you walk uphill with your back to the organic market there is an energy rich with the promise of discovery. It is on this street that a revival of real Balinese craft and culture is beginning a journey. It is here that you will discover Love Stories.
Love Stories is a brand new concept store founded upon the principles of fairtrade and ethical practises. It is a community of modern artists who love to make a difference in the world by handcrafting gifts that are stylish, sustainable and help others. If you are looking for a love affair with authentic Bali, Love Stories is it!
During my time in Bali I was lucky enough to be invited to the opening. Before we could go inside a traditional Balinese ceremony was performed where colourful petal filled canang sari and incense were displayed outside for blessings and good luck. Inside, we toasted with Jamu, a traditional Indonesian health drink that uses a base of lemongrass, turmeric and ginger. It’s tasty, really really tasty and made fresh in the shop for you to buy!
All of the designers showcased in the store are united by their passion to produce beautiful contemporary products that are made fairly and sustainably. The clean whitewashed walls and welcoming atmosphere makes it easy to browse designers and try on clothing, without the hassle or pressure that you so often get when shopping in Bali. Each brand empowers local craftsmanship and supports techniques and skills that would otherwise be lost to modern production methods.
Who are the designers?
Love Stories is a community of designers that is continuously growing. A few of the many designers whose work is featured are SAYA Designs, Feel Good, Batiktuk, TRI Handkerchief, Eco Initiative and House of Rumantra, and many, many more exciting brands.
Where can I find them?
Love Stories is located down Jalan Gootama street opposite Paradiso. The sign is made from cleverly placed recycled plastic bottles inspired by Eco Bricks. If you still can’t see them, just look for the white sign saying JAMU with tastefully coloured stools outside.
So go in, sip on some jamu and chat to the women whose knowledge is empowering. You never know who you will run shoulders with in Love Stories, and more often than not it will be one of the designers who is popping in to say hello!
Behind every craft is our love story. Love to be beautiful – inside and out. Love to create a healthier planet. Love to give back to others in need.