After a long day of searching throughout the souk and talking to various artisans, Jonathon and Aziz finally found the perfect guy who would sell us leather and let us use his metal stamps. It was so useful having a local friend to help us out in this process.
Aziz offered to let us use the back of his shop in the fondouk as a workstation for us to stamp our new leather. We woke up early the next day and headed to Aziz’s place for a long day of work.
We both thought about that unforgettable memory as we set up the desk, small stools and the metal stamps and leather. We had come so far from where we started and it was a special moment to take in together as we started the process all over again in a new country.
Aziz gave us a small hammer to borrow and we started right away. At this point, we had hand stamped thousands of LOOTB tags, so the process came back to us like riding a bike.
After a few hours of working on our leather, Aziz offered us a pot of traditional Moroccan tea to enjoy while we took a break. He made up the teapot complete with Chinese green tea, fresh mint and a large amount of sugar to make it a hot sweet treat for us all. Drinking tea is an integral part of local Moroccans’ daily lives and Aziz was excited to share this with us both.
The tea warmed us up from the inside out that chilly morning in the ancient fondouk that was crumbling around us. We knew this was a very special experience.
Aziz’s warm hospitality and friendship towards us was something that we cherished. We began understanding that this was how many of the local Moroccans working in the souk treated their friends, both old and new.
With a little sugar buzz from the tea and smiles on our faces, we went back to work. Quite a few tourists came into the fondouk to look at Aziz’s shop and at what we were doing as we hammered numbers into leather on the little wooden desk towards the back. In that moment, we realized that although we weren’t locals, we were no longer tourists either. Everything that happened today was a special memory, like our very first memories of hammering on the floor with a rock in Nicaragua, that we would never forget.
Check out the video below to see us hand-stamping our very first products back in Masaya, Nicaragua in 2012: