I've been following Charlene Carlos and Leona Panutat, sisters-in-law aka The Inspiration Seekers on Twitter and Instagram and I knew they've been jetting off to exotic locales for shopping.
It was only when they invited me to their press lunch back in May that I realized, "Oooh! They are opening a store!". That store is L'Indochine, a gem of a shop on the third floor of SM Aura that carries handpicked treasures, mostly from Thailand and Vietnam.
So I, along with the kids, braved the mass of people that flowed into SM Aura the day after it opened, to check out what Charlene and Leona had in store. And what a store it is!
I promised myself I would just pop in, say hello and stay 15 minutes max, but I ended up staying for over an hour because I just loved browsing in their store. It was like being in an "Asian Anthropologie"!
mermaid door stoppers
owl bookends, a best seller!
printed throw and floor pillows
octopus in a lacquer bowl, a close relation to the door stop mermaids
I ended up going through each rack, touching each piece - from silver hammered bowls, indigo-dyed fabrics, lacquered trays, accent tables, fabric poufs and pretty stoneware - picking it up, feeling the heftiness of it all (no flimsy products here!), admiring it further when Charlene tells the story, even the person behind each object. How each item is made by hand by artisans whose families have handed down the skill from one generation to another.
The curators of L'Indochine, Leona and Charlene (I want Charlene's embroidered jacket! Hee!)
I left with a few things to spice up our home, such as the owl jar, which I filled with Sharpies:
...a lacquered tray, a blue patterned plate for my accessories and a cozy navy, drapey cardigan for movie nights. Each piece is precious, and priced so reasonably it feels like a dream.
Leona and Charlene are currently on a buying trip as I write this, and I cannot wait to see what they'll be bringing home to L'Indochine this time.
3/F SM Aura
Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City