This past October we were in Turkey or Constantinople as known in the past. The journey to Bursa began from Guangzhou International Airport in China late night at 10 PM.
Arrived at Istanbul International Airport fresh at 5 AM after a 12 hour flight which wasn't too bad as most of the flight was at night making it easier to sleep during flight time. It was cold outside with a real bite to it.
A short wait for the driver pickup and it was straight to Bursa city approximately 250 KM away from Istanbul and the first capital of the Ottoman Empire.
The roads were busy and chaotic and the travel time was close to 4.5 hours. Every few kilometers large Turkish flags could be seen either draped down buildings or nestled on hilltops amplifying this very patriotic country. As we got closer to Bursa the colder and wetter it got and it was clear we were entering into a freezing mountainous region.
Finally we reached our place of residence at about 2 PM Turkish time, checked in and then set out to the city center for a long walk through the cobbled stone streets of this world heritage city and bazaars dating back to the 14th century. Everything is laid back and conservative, a big difference from the hustle and bustle of Istanbul. The people are more traditional and conservative in their clothing, friendlier and obliging in personality.
After a peaceful nights sleep in our warm comfortable room (the cold European countries have mastered insulation so no worries there) we woke up and went outside to the freezing fresh morning view of a mist scattered Bursa surrounded by mountains and minarets everywhere you look jutting up through the mist.
It was time to make way to Inegol city, the furniture capital of Turkey. This was another leg of the journey which took us deeper into the mountainous valleys. It was getting colder and colder as we got closer to the furniture fair in Inegol. 1 Hour and 30 minutes later we made it to this even more laid back area of Turkey and now it was time for work in the furniture hub of Turkey.
Most of the furniture factories of Inegol were at the fair. Large booths were setup showcasing the latest furniture made in Turkey. Most of their styles were inline with the latest international designs and geared for European markets.
The lounge suites for example all had a touch of modern vintage about them. Rich royal looking designs with tufted button stitching, protruding solid wood legs on the sofa and chesterfield styled looks. Turkish quality as with other European manufacturers like Italy was distinct. They take their manufacturing and quality seriously and it was there to see.
Most of the fabric used were made in Turkey mills as local fabric prices dropped when the Lira lost value. The Turkish fabric was good, felt nice and rich in texture and color.
They're not too big on corner sets, seems the trend was more sofa, loveseat and singles.
We came back to Bursa every night and back to Inegol in the morning for the next 3 days as we did the fair, meeting suppliers and choosing designs for our customers back home in South Africa.
It was time to head back home with a little stop in Istanbul. This time we skipped the highways and took a ferry across the Sea of Marmara from Bursa to Istanbul.
With Turkey we were happy as first and foremost we found quality inside and outside, inspiring designs with a touch of classic in them and well priced so we can offer our customers good value. We feel we can spread our customer base with the above 3 reasons. We hope good quality furniture will add value to the lives and homes of our customers.
Our new shipment from Turkey will be arriving soon and we look forward to introducing these brand new designs in our store. These new designs have never been sold by anyone in SA before, and the manufacturers of these designs do most of their business in European countries and the Middle East.
On a final note we have so many customers from so many different paths in life, from Housewives to Gas Engineers in Uzbekistan, Engineers in Mexico to Doctors and Garage Owners, Water Sanitation Specialists and owners of Farm Plot holdings in the Eastern Cape, some of the oldest families in SA to name a few, and many more who have chosen us from the so many furniture stores in South Africa. We loved meeting everyone of you through our business and it was a pleasure dealing with you. As a little token of appreciation to all our previous customers we would like to offer you a 10% discount on any of our Turkish products. Please inquire in-store.