Refreshing My Spirit on the Road by İpek Kocatepe Dumani

Traveler: İpek Kocatepe Dumani – Founder of Bago Handicrafts

Why do you travel?

Traveling is the best way to develop a different perspective of life. Getting to know different cultures and being on the road refreshes my spirit.

What are some of your most unforgettable escapes that have inspired the identity and story of your brand?

Magical Philippines! We use many different natural materials in our designs. Unfortunately these materials are not easy to find. Even if we find these materials, they must be above of a certain quality to obtain sustainable and high quality designs.  We found so many natural materials such as buri palm leaves, banana tree leaves, sodsod grass, pineapple leaves and mother of pearl in the Philippines since the country is such a heaven for natural wealth.

Where do you search for inspiration?

Mother Nature.

How does travel shape the development of new collections and new pieces?

I like meeting new people from different cultures and visiting local markets in every country I visit. I love to discover the nature and the magical underwater world. Thousands of different colors and textures during these travels encourage and inspire me to develop new collections and pieces.

What are your favorite escapes at home, unique hidden gems in Turkey that everyone might not know about?

Camlıyayla, a hidden paradise among pine scents with unique nature, where I spent most of my childhood. When my soul needs an escape that is peaceful and close to nature the first place I want to be is Namrun, Camlıyayla.

How is your brand tied to our culture, geography, heritage and history?

Bago is trying to create an awareness by combining Turkish traditional culture with different cultures in the world. Our aim is to show how beautiful handicrafts can be created when different cultures and materials are blended. We create unique accessories with the values of Turkish culture such as embroidery, molding and handweaving while using natural materials which we obtain from the Far East.

Share with us some of your favorite summer stays here in Turkey.

D-Maris Bay and Hillside Beach Club.

Favorite restaurants?

Can Oba has always been a favorite.

Favorite local finds from local brands, artisans and craftsmen?

My favorite local finds for this summer are; an amazing illustrated silk shirt from Rumisu and the chakra body oil from Homemade Aroma Terapi.

Ideal travel partners?

My husband and my family.

Can you share with us an unforgettable memory from a Mediterranean escape.

My beach wedding.

Where are you dreaming of escaping to next?

Bodrum, to celebrate sunlight and visit the ‘74Escape Store & Gallery.

What does traveling mean to you?

Feeding my soul.