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Rising Stars: Meet Courtney Vardar

Today we’d like to introduce you to Courtney Vardar.

Hi Courtney, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself
I began my journey as a merchant on my first trip to Turkey. I brought eleven rugs back with me, and a husband. Suleyman and I moved back to the U.S., opened a boutique in downtown Lawrence, and began importing goods from Turkey, and all over the world. Turkey has such a rich tradition of artisans! Being an ethnically mixed family, we wanted to share these traditions with the West.

We started with rugs, jewelry, clothing, and ended with shoes. It was serendipitous! The first gift Suleyman ever bought me was pair of Yemini shoes! We’ve now been working with a family of artisans in Gaziantep, Turkey for four years. We design in-house still using the traditional 700-year-old technique!

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
We are constantly learning from our mistakes. We once had a clothing line that grew so quickly that it immediately collapsed! Letting things grow naturally, and getting clear with what we want, that has been our biggest lesson.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
As I mentioned before our shoes are handmade using a 700-year-old Turkish shoe-making technique. The family of artisans making our product have been making shoes for generations! We use sustainable material, all leather, recycled yarn, and all-natural dyes.The shoes mold to your feet. Originally made for the Nomadic people of Anatolia, they are made for traveling!

What was your favorite childhood memory?
My first trip overseas was with my grandmother when I was 12 years old to London. After that trip, I knew I had to travel for a living!


  • $150 average price for our shoes

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Ingrid and Micheal at IM Photography

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