WE’VE BEEN WEAVING OUR STORY FOR NEARLY 20 YEARS
I first met Divakar, my friend and Reluctant Threads partner, in a back-office in Delhi. It was 2003. Divakar had traveled 12 hours by train from his home in southern India to meet me.
I was there as a founder of my old company The Land of Nod, a Crate and Barrel partner. It was my first trip to India to source textiles.
I only remember two things from that meeting. Divakar's beautiful woven fabrics. And Divakar's smile. If there was an entry in the dictionary for "good karma," a photo of Divakar would surely be there.
Over the years, we produced several successful programs together for The Land of Nod. Eventually, Crate and Barrel bought the company, but Divakar and I remained in close contact.
In 2012, Divakar started telling me about some amazing Tellicherry Peppercorns growing in the jungles near his home. His textile business had slowed, so Divakar was looking to branch out into the spice business.
I offered advice. But as far as joining forces, I was Reluctant with a capital "R." I didn't know a Tellicherry peppercorn from a telephone pole. I thought spices were all the same. But Divakar just kept smiling, and insisted on sending samples. The peppercorns that he sent were, well, life changing. The Reluctant Trading Experiment was born.
Today, The Reluctant Trading Experiment
supplies James Beard and Michelin Star award-winning restaurant and home chefs across the country with over 25 extraordinary spices.
A couple of years ago, we started making aprons. Our chefs immediately took notice and began ordering. Then they came back for more. That’s when we decided to launch Reluctant Threads. Now we're supplying restaurants with both spices and aprons.
Like a shuttle returning on the loom, we’ve come back to making textiles again. We make our aprons on 100-year-old looms(!) with skilled artisans
in Divakar’s hometown.
I'm thankful that karma smiled on me that fateful day in 2003. Well, actually, his name was Divakar. - Scott Eirinberg