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Zamalek, Cairo, Egypt.
Tao Gallery: Homemade, Bohemian-Style Accessories Galore
Sometimes, the minute you enter a store, you feel like you’re in a wonderland of lovely and beautiful things. You look around from floor to ceiling, wall to wall, with eyes wide open and a huge smile on your face; noticing intricate details in the fabulous selections.
With its new location on 26th of July Street in Zamalek, Tao Gallery is one of those places. The display may fuel you with inspiration and creativity as soon as you walk in the door; so be prepared to browse for awhile. While there is a lot to look at, there isn’t a single thing that should be missed.
The store is filled to the brim with various nick-nacks and fun gift ideas; all reasonably priced and delightfully quirky. Decoupage coasters are hand painted with a design or photograph gracing the front side. Down the hall, the hammered silver mirrors and bowls caught our eye with their modern yet authentic quality.
However, there was one shelf in particular that had us squealing for joy when we realized what it contained. These earthy journals (50LE) could possibly stop any writer from wanting to buy a Moleskin notebook ever again. They’re hand-woven and made of animal skin, bound by a tied string and finished with an intricate design on their covers. Made from the same material and design, satchels (40LE) are a great option for a special gift.
Upstairs, local jewellery is sold, in addition to a few clothing items and funky candle holders. At first glance, the candle holders looked like miniature artistic sculptures until we looked closer and saw their sensible function. The handmade and original taper-candle holders are finely textured and finished off with a simple bead or two. Although one holder costs a hefty 140LE, its unique style would add some flair to a bedside table or reading area.
Scarves, hand-painted lamp shades and local artwork are among many of the other items gracing Tao’s shelves and tables. Wander around Tao Gallery just for a bit and you’ll soon be wondering why you haven’t discovered this enchanting little place before.
Tao also offers artistic workshops from time to time. For more information, contact: email@example.com.
The common notion in the Egyptian market that the word ‘Imported’ stands for good quality has lead many business owners to neglect Egyptian-made products and even take pride in offering the costumer the imported ones. Now that almost everything we buy has been manufactured abroad, one can’t help but be impressed when finding quality products with the label ‘Made in Egypt’.
Among the local brands that are swimming against the tide, Inca & Co. offers a variety of furniture textiles and fabrics, which are designed by Egyptian artists and mostly manufactured in Egypt. Located on 26th of July Street next to Drinkies in Zamalek, the spacious shop well-organised and efficiently set-out. On the left, is a collection of fabrics is displayed on wall-mounted metal tubes, while other products, like cushions, are shelved on the other side. At the centre of the shop, a number of swatch books are displayed on a rectangular island.
One of the collections that can be found in the swatch books is ‘The Road to Marrakesh’, whose relatively light fabrics can be perfect for beach house furniture. From this collection, we liked a white fabric embroidered in black with a simple floral design (340LE per metre).
With a more complex design of flowers and birds, ‘Mexico Passion’ (460LE per metre) boasts a heavier material, durable for daily-use furniture. Not as heavy is the curtain-suitable ‘Winter Dust’ (325LE per metre), whose geometrical patterns come in various colours, including beige and light blue.
Besides fabrics, Inca & Co. has a versatile collection of products, including cushions (medium 325LE / Large 375LE), poufs (1150LE) and mattresses of different shapes and size. From the latter we liked the over-sized squared mattress (1980LE), which can comfortably take two persons, as well as a more firm mattress for a single person (890LE).
And like any Textile shop, none of the displayed items are available for instant purchasing; while the fabrics are received four days after placing the order, other products take to 10 days, which you can customise by choosing the fabric and adding tassels for an extra fee of 65LE.
In the textiles business, both durability and design are of great importance. And while Inca & Co. designs mainly cater to modern settings, the diverse collection promises good quality and taste – but at a price.