Last week I was invited to the Of Mountains and Mangoes soft launch party (thanks Libby). I ventured over to MacCosham Lofts on 109 Street and fell in love with the building immediately upon stepping foot inside. The main floor of the building houses offices and at the very back are the elevators to get up to the lofts. Once I entered the door of the loft that the soft launch was being held at, lovely art and decorations flooded my eyes. The loft belongs to Shweta and her husband Nate, founders of Of Mountains and Mangoes (aka oMAM).
I got to chatting with Shweta and learned exactly what is Of Mountains and Mangoes, interview after the photos.
Pictured above: Libby (Project Management), Maggie (Social Media), Brandon (Graphic Design), Nate (Founder, Business Development) and Shweta (Founder).
Can you tell me what exactly is Of Mountains and Mangoes?
I came from the tropics, from the ocean, from mangoes and came to Canada. I’ve been here since 1998, so the mountains are just as much part of my heart as the mangoes are. So it’s a collaboration between our lives and our travels to the other parts of the world.
Why did you decide to do a soft launch?
We often have talk about how would we describe what we’re about. The soft launch is to get an idea of what people think about our treasures, to get some great feedback. It’s a nice, chill atmosphere for people to see what we’re about and to maybe be part of a movement in Edmonton to bring the eclectic and artisanal community into our city.
The soft launch is a bit of a practice run. As you can see we don’t really have a lot of inventory just because we’re steering away from things that are produced in a factory. So we want to see what people like. We’ve stayed in touch with the artisans and if there’s a need we’ll get more items. Our desire to is to see the world and build some great relationships and make the 7 degrees of separation into 3 degrees of separation.
Why is it important that your items are handmade and from another country?
It’s important to support artisans and creativity. Their skills could be lost from urbanization and corporate takeovers, it’s really tragic. I’m also Indian and a big part of our heritage is what our artisans have introduced and the empowerment that it brought to our communities. It’s important to keep it alive.
For us we really try to stay away from things you get at a market by just showing up. 90% of our pieces have a story behind them and that’s what happens when you veer away from the beaten track. We’ve built relationships, they’ve poured their hearts and skills into these items. We’re looking for things that are truly one of a kind and have come from a place of genuine love.
When it’s just a normal day, does your loft look similar to this set up?
Your home is supposed to be where you can relax and lay your head to sleep. Definitely we try to keep it comfy and cozy. It’s a creative part of our lives that’s always in progress.
You can catch Of Mountains and Mangoes on Facebook and Instagram. Their plans are to do more pop up shops and eventually opening a store online. Nate and Shweta travel 3 months out of the year so you can definitely expect more from them!
Next week, I’m back at Vacancy Hall showing you guys what’s up with Art by Pekoe.