Istanbul Old Lady Street Seller Gorgeous Handmade Pouch

Explore Turkey Day 12: 5th January 2018

As we explore the streets of Istanbul, along the way to Topkapi Palace, one can find this old lady sewing handmade pouches. On our first day there, we were on the opposite side and as we saw a group of crowds, we were not able to see her.

The next day, when we finally got on to this side of the streets, we then realised what the crowd was about.

It was this old lady’s masterpieces and the presence of her, diligently sewing every one of her pouch with great enthusiasm, love and patience, may have caught their attention. Who wouldn’t. Besides, I have a weakness when it comes to anyone who tries to earn by using their own skills humbly and sincerely. They did not beg, instead, they offer something they can afford to do in return for cash.

This has caught photographers and even customers to stop by and look at her workpiece and getting some shots of her. When we got there, there was a male customer who was busy with his DSLR, snapping photos of her as she sew her pieces. While I busied myself looking at each pouch in awe and even took some time to watch her working on one of the latest design. Each designs are different, which makes it even more unique. The longer pouch which has a yellow flower with red border caught my eyes instantly and I knew who it will be for – my mum, who loves yellow. And I find that to be one of the most stunning piece this lady has sewn.

As I was busying myself trying to pick 2 more of the pouch, hubby occupied himself with taking photographs of this moment as per my request to him earlier on. It took me awhile as I couldn’t make up my mind. The lady was kind enough to help me choose some of it. I respect the male customer who bought 1 of the small pouch in return for the photograph he gets out of her.

Finally, after what seems like forever, I picked another 2 small pouch which cost 2 Liras each on top of the long pouch which cost 10 Lira, making it a total of 14 Liras. I paid to the lady and she beamed up with a very sweet smile. It was at this point when I suddenly saw my grandma’s face. I nearly cried. But instead, I smiled at her and said “Tesekkur Ederim”, which means ‘I Thank you’ in Turkish as I hold her hand and she hold mine.

So if you see her on the streets, do support her by just buying 1 of the small pouch. There may be some scams out there but this, I doubt so. She works hard for it, sewing it on her own and as you can see, there are not many pieces. So definitely not a scam.

Have you come across any handmade seller by the streets? How do you feel about it?

It’s been almost 2 weeks since we got back and I still feel like my soul is in Istanbul.


Lia Schmolphin

Author: schmolphin

BIOGRAPHY Born petite, Liyana or better known as Schmolphin (pronounced as smallfin) in this cyber world was brought to the world in a country known as the small red dot city or ‘Singapore’ to be exact. She has been moving alot within the country – from the north-west to north to east then central. As a child, she's already a traveler in her own mini City. She is always holding on to a full-time job and a freelance job where she ventures into freelance accounting, wedding cards & favours, event executive, wedding deco, and tutoring during her free time. She enjoys learning and growing in every way possible. To stop & breathe, she’d go swimming. To ease her mind & soul, she seeks the beach where the sea comes running & hitting the shores & the wind can just dance on the surface of the Earth. To relax her body, she’ll dance to the beat of the musics played from her own list. No, she’s not a clubber. But a home clubber where she can just dance her heart out! Bowling is what she would do every week if possible. Oh, she just love it. N no, she has never break her bones carrying the bowl.. ^_^ All her life, she speaks in her mind. N they’re always debating. The good versus evil, they say. But it’s what that keeps her wiser each time for she thinks n listens to the small voice inside her before taking any actions. The purpose of this web is mainly to share her travel experiences & reviews or anything related that may be helpful to the next traveler. And most importantly, this web is to serve as a motivation for anyone and everyone to travel even with a tight budget. So feel free to come on board & leave your footsteps by commenting or liking whenever possible for keepsake! =) Xoxoxoxoxoxo; Lia – schmolphin

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