Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - LIFESTYLE - Laura Tri­este Check out Kaspia’s Car­a­van at 357 Cleve­land St, Surry Hills, mov­ing to 284 Wyndham Rd, Alexan­dria on March 1, or on­line to

THE splashes of colour that adorn ev­ery inch of Kaspia’s Car­a­van is the first thing you will no­tice when you walk into the Afghan bazaar.

Look a lit­tle closer and you will find that it is the sto­ries be­hind each vi­brant prod­uct that makes them truly rich.

The owner Kaspia Warner and her hus­band Ben­jamin Gilmore are pas­sion­ate about sell­ing one­off hand­i­crafts and home­wares to help sup­port ar­ti­sans in war-torn na­tions and de­vel­op­ing coun­tries.

“We love to travel to de­vel­op­ing coun­tries, dan­ger­ous zones and places that are re­ally off the beaten track,” Warner says.

“As soon as I hit the ground in a city I go straight for the mar­kets.”

Kaspia’s Car­a­van is a pop-up store cur­rently open in Surry Hills, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with rug ex­perts Afghan In­te­ri­ors, un­til the end of Fe­bru­ary. The store and on­line shop is build­ing a cult fol­low­ing of peo­ple look­ing for prod­ucts from hard-to-ac­cess places in Pak­istan, Afghanistan, Iran and Morocco.

Ev­ery piece, from the hand­wo­ven palm plat­ters to tribal neck­laces, and hand-loomed rugs, has a rich cul­ture be­hind it, Warner says.

“Bring­ing some­thing home that tells a story in­spires you on a daily ba­sis. It talks of a time and place that is still on earth,” she says.

Warner, who will move the popup store to Alexan­dria in March, is de­ter­mined to help ar­ti­sans keep their tra­di­tions alive.

“They are not go­ing to be able to keep do­ing th­ese crafts, they are go­ing to end up find­ing jobs work­ing in the fac­to­ries,” she says.

Kaspia Warner in her colour­ful and vi­brant pop-up Afghan bazaar Kaspia's Car­a­van.

Pic­tures: JOHN AP­P­LE­YARD

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