Travel Diaries: St. Frank Founder Christina Bryant Takes on Istanbul
As the CEO of St. Frank, a curated collection of ethically sourced home goods, Christina Bryant is always on the move, searching for new products.
“All of our pieces are created in traditional crafts. So, learning about the wide range of textiles and the history and iconography behind their creation, is crucial to our ability to develop authentic, beautifully made pieces with a story to tell,” she said, when asked how travel influences the line.
“Designing my own home, I felt a pain point in searching for beautiful pieces that also spoke to my values as a global citizen,” she continued.
“There are, of course, no shortage of gorgeous materials and items for the home, but pieces that are also ethically sourced and have rich stories behind them are much more difficult to find.”
“I wanted my home to tell the story of who I am. I wanted my home investments to be both aligned with my moral compass and also interesting items. I wanted to create a special place to live and entertain that was true to me. So, our mission is to take traditional crafts and offer a new lifestyle: to create a home that tells our collectors’ story and shares their values through high quality, authentic, and ethically sourced pieces.”
Here, Bryant shares her tour of Istanbul, where she shopped for vintage textile, and met with potential partners for the brand’s burgeoning bath line, in addition to taking in the sights of the Gateway to the East.
“A view of the Blue Mosque.”
“Inside the Blue Mosque taking in the prayers and ornate ceiling.”
“Fisherman on the bridge as we walk from Karakoy to the old town.”
“The main gate, Gate 1, to the Grand Bazaar.”
“Sipping traditional apple tea while shopping.”
“A wall of vintage decorative pieces from Turkey and Uzbekistan.”
Christina shopping vintage Suzani and Lakai textiles in the Grand Bazaar.
“A vendor showing us the difference between synthetic and non-synthetic materials through flammability. A little nerve wracking!”
“Piles of silk Ikat and vintage hats in the Grand Bazaar.”
Christina perusing shops in the Grand Bazaar.
“Spices in the Spice Market. We picked up saffron and jasmine tea.”
“The hustle of trade on the walk between the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Bazaar.”
“Organic silk scarves and hamam boxes.”
“Some of the beautiful vintage kilim we brought back.”
“The moody interior of the Hagia Sofia.”
“One of bridges over the Bosphorus, looking from the old city toward Karakoy.”