Hoi An is one of the most picturesque places in the world. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site and is known of its full moon celebrations where the town’s canals are illuminated with floating candles carrying the wishes of visiting tourists.

When I visited in April 2019, I had big plans to explore the nearby beaches and just wander around the cobblestone streets finding interesting shops and drinking lots of iced coffee. Instead, I had a stomach bug that kept me indoors and afraid to try much of the street food. But on my last day there, my friend Michael and I went for one last walk through the town.

We stumbled upon a unique shop that stood out from the many tourist traps selling knockoff bags or cheap sundresses (no judgment because I did partake in both!). But we were drawn to Silk and Cashmere Hoi An because of the vibrant colors inside and the friendly yet unassuming owner standing outside smiling at us.

As we chatted with the owner, Sohail Wani, we learned more about how this entrepreneur from Kashmir ended up in Vietnam. Wani comes from a family of artisans, his parents were weavers and worked with textiles. Kashmir, the region of India bordering Pakistan, is known for its rich tapestries and goods particularly cashmere.

Sohail Wani on duty.

COVID hit Wani hard, as with many business owners who depend mostly on tourists. His businesses throughout Vietnam suffered as tourism came to a halt and he went back to Kashmir to be with family. Wani is planning to go back to Vietnam and is awaiting the reopening but as with most things, it is uncertain exactly when that will happen.

His passion for sharing the art and culture of his community with the world inspired our WanderWomxn Bazaar. We are able to now bring these beautiful and authentic pieces to our community here in the U.S. and abroad. We hope you’ll check out some of the gorgeous scarves and goods we have direct from Kashmir so you can stay fly and stay warm this winter!

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