• Diann Schindler, Ph.D.

Incredible Handmade Clothing and More from India, in Marseille, France.


The breeze in Marseille, called mistral, can be fierce, to say the least. Yet, the mistral helps explain the unusually sunny climate (2700 to 2900 hours of sunshine a year) and clarity of the air. And, no one worries about the wind. No, the wind is embraced! After all, it's the charm of Marseille.

I love the freedom of spirit, not only in how people dress, but also in their attitude. I noticed it the moment I stepped in to the harbor area which was teeming with people, smiling, eating, drinking, and holding on tightly to their trendy

fedoras.

After a day in the harbor area, I decided to explore Marseille in the opposite direction. I found the Panier section which was once considered unsavory and dangerous. But, ten years ago, it began to improve. And today, it is upscale bohemian, busy with locals and tourists alike, filling the cafes and boutique shops.

I was drawn to the Duo du Panier shop because of the beautifully patterned scarves. Although they were tied securely to display structures, they waved and fluttered wildly in the gale-like winds. Inside, I found more enchanting items, including jewelry. I also met the owner Danièle, blonde and blue-eyed, from Belgium.

When I asked how it was that a woman from Belgium owned a shop of magnificant handmade and handpicked scarves, bags, blouses, and sarees from India, Danièle explained that, in previous career as a public relations executive, she often

traveled to India. She learned the country and made many friends, and, of course, she grew to love the fabrics and handmade items.

She left her high-powered career and became a shop owner in Antwerp. Just recently, she left Antwerp and opened for business here in Marseille in April, 2017.

She said, "Ram is the name of my "collection." It means Aries (astrology sign) in Dutch and also an Indian God."

Her authentic and versatile sarees serve as scarves, skirts, drapes/curtains/door decor, and cover-ups on a sofa and beds with a flash of ethnic color. Actually, they can be anything you want them to be.

Well, if you know me, you know I immediately loved this woman. She not only left a career, she also reinvented herself with artistic flair. In addition, she has a complete

understanding herself and put it all into an impressive concept for her business. Besides all that, she's warm, friendly, humble and sweet. What's not to love!

When you plan your next trip to France, please stop by to see Danièle. I want you to be wowed by her and her shop, just as I was. And, besides, you will love Marseille.

Please take a moment to access her Facebook Page, "like" it and say "hello" for me! Also, I encourage you to "follow" her because she is in the process of developing a new website and is also preparing for winter by purchasing special woolens and cashmere. She returns to India twice a year to buy more items, especially in Mumbai (Bombay) and Delhi. She reminded me that she has immediate access to manufacturers and can order very quickly. You will want to know more, I'm sure.

Meanwhile, you can email her at ramdecomode@gmail.com.

I'm eager to go exploring in the windy city again tomorrow! I'm planning to visit "Place de Lenche." In the 5th century, Saint Cassien founded there a convent of nuns named Saint-Sauveur which was devastated in the 8th century by the Saracens (meaning Muslim Arabs, terms which were not used in those days). According to legend, the nuns cut their noses after the example of their abbess, Eusebia (the head of the abbey of nuns) in order to make the invaders abhor. They were nicknamed the "desnarados."

I'm told you can see over the entire city of Marseille and it is especially magnificent at 6:00 pm. But, no fedora for me. I'm blowing freely in the wind!

Finally, be sure to click on Duo du Panier Shop Gallery Marseille to see Danièle's lovely collection for yourself!

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