Sunday, February 27, 2011

Mud Cloth Skirts and Cow Horn Bracelets

We're excited to be receiving a new shipment of Senegalese cow horn bracelets tomorrow, as well as our first ever shipment of mud cloth skirts from Mali. The cow horn bracelets come in a variety of sizes and designs - it all depends on the cow and the artist! If you wish to order online you can have us select one for you, or contact us and we'll be happy to send a picture and dimensions of current stock so you can choose for yourself.

The mud cloth skirts are in stock simply because I wear them at the store and frequently get asked whether I carry them. I've held off on stocking them because they are fairly expensive to obtain and I'm not sure I can sell enough to make them worthwhile. But, by popular demand, they will be on our racks by this Tuesday and on the website soon after. We'll see how they go! They are beautiful, durable, and comfortable, and after a few wearings will conform to your shape.

We have hundreds of African baskets in stock, so come by and pick up a Bolga market basket and start shopping with it!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

New Ghana Baskets

New Ghana baskets have arrived. These beautiful and durable Bolga baskets make great farmers market baskets. They are fair trade baskets, as are our Zulu baskets and other African baskets.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Movie Night in Port Gamble

Zombies of Mass Destruction, a movie filmed here in Port Gamble, will be showing at the Pavilion on March 11. The movie begins at 7pm, and doors open at 6:30. Tango Zulu Imports will be open until 7pm that night, so come a little early and do some shopping before the movie. We have a great selection of African baskets, handmade shampoo bars and soaps, Nepalese handbags, and much more.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sea Salt Soap Bar Inventory

Here is our current sea salt soap inventory status. We'll add Hot Chocolate sea salt bars as well as Eucalyptus sea salt soap in early March. Currently we have Plum Spice, Sweet Coconut, Warm Vanilla, Ginger Citrus, Peppermint, and Peppermint with French Green Clay. The Ginger Citrus, Peppermint, and Eucalyptus handmade sea salt soaps all qualify as true natural soaps because they contain no artificial ingredients. The other sea salt soaps contain a minute amount of safe synthetic fragrance oil. We strive to strike a balance between carrying a wide variety of fragrances, including many that aren't available with essential oils; and ensuring we always have some 100% natural soaps available. Please note that even our sea salt soaps that include synthetic fragrances are far more natural than the average drugstore soap.

Friday, February 18, 2011

African Baskets

I often tell customers that Bolga baskets are the work horses among the African baskets we carry, while Zulu baskets are the show horses. Bolga baskets are affordable and versatile, lending themselves to grocery shopping, garden harvesting, picnic duty, toy storage, and a host of other tasks. If you purchase a Zulu basket like the one shown here, you are buying a collectible, heirloom quality work of art. Zulu baskets are higher priced than most African baskets, reflecting the many days of painstaking work it takes to create even a small one. We love each African basket we carry, from the most humble Bolga basket to the most glorious Zulu basket.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

African Baskets & Other New Inventory

We just got in a fresh shipment of Bolga baskets, including natural large market baskets, dyed extra large market baskets, and both dyed and natural ovals in all sizes. The larger size African baskets are selling really well lately, perhaps as people turn their attention to the farmers' markets that will soon be opening for the spring.

Today we're expecting a big shipment of Nepalese handcrafted items, including felted wool pot holders, recycled silk scarves, and our ever-popular monk's bags.

Next week we look for more organic cotton baby clothing, olive wood utensils, Chilean copper bracelets, and much more. At the end of the month we'll have a fresh batch of felted soap, and look for us to expand our line of handmade soaps, sea salt soap bars, felted soap, and solid shampoo bars later in the spring.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Solid Shampoo Bars

We'll have some new solid shampoo bars in stock within a couple of days. In addition to a fresh batch of Plum Spice Shampoo Bars and Tea Tree Oil Shampoo Bars, we'll have Rosemary Solid Shampoo and Floral Vanilla Solid Shampoo. The Rosemary Shampoo Bar is a true natural shampoo bar, while the Floral Vanilla contains a small amount of synthetic fragrance.

Our handmade shampoo bars are free of parabens and sulfates. They have an old-fashioned lye base. They are travel-friendly (no gels or liquids to worry about getting through airport security), and long-lasting as long as they are allowed to dry between uses. Because solid shampoos are concentrated (as opposed to being diluted by water like liquid shampoos), a little bit will go a long way. Simply wet your shampoo bar and run it over your head a couple of times until you have enough lather.

One of the best features of our handmade shampoo bars: no bottle to dispose of! Ours are packaged in wax paper for minimal environmental impact.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

New IWAKO Erasers

We have many new IWAKO erasers in stock at our Port Gamble gift shop. If you're looking for the popular Japanese erasers in koalas, hamsters, assorted ice cream cones and other deserts, as well as the new frogs and ducks, we have what you need. We also replenished older IWAKO favorites, like giraffes, pigs, and cows. Come check us out - and maybe get a small African basket to carry your IWAKOs home in!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Shout Out to Port Gamble

Tango Zulu Imports is fortunate to have its headquarters and gift shop in Port Gamble in Washington State. Port Gamble is a historic town in beautiful Kitsap County, and we couldn't be happier with our location. We can walk outside and see Puget Sound, bald eagles, and big old maples and elms. The community is fantastic and the town hosts many special events throughout the year, so there is always something to look forward to. Our fellow merchants and townspeople have been supportive since day one, and we really appreciate it. So if you're in the market for an African basket, handmade beer soap, Nepalese clothing, or other handmade artisan goods, some see us - but also check out the other wonderful stores and eateries in Port Gamble.

Storage Baskets

Most of our baskets are used as totes, like this market Bolga basket. Others are used to display fruit, soap and other items, like these fruit Bolga baskets. Then we have our beautiful Zulu baskets, which are primarily art pieces. However, we're finding more and more demand for African baskets with lids, and in response we have increased our selection of sizes and styles. This round lidded African basket is large enough to store laundry or linens in, and I keep my garden seeds in a Zulu basket similar to this one. Check out the Storage Basket section of our website for the full selection.

New Handmade Soap

We're getting lots of fresh new handmade soap in the next month or so. First up are new handmade shampoo bars, due 2/15. We're adding Rosemary and Floral Vanilla to our line. Some gorgeous new felted soap bars are due around 3/1. Our next batch of freshly cured handmade soap is due around 3/15. Look for more beer soap, sea salt soap, handmade chocolate soap, and much more.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Shamila Jewelry on Sale

All of our wonderful collection of unique necklaces and earrings by Shamila is on sale through February. My favorite is this oxblood carnelian necklace. We have several outstanding labradorite pieces, as well as chalcedony, blue topaz, and onyx. Shamila is a well-known jewelry designer based in Seattle, and all her pieces are exquisite and well made.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Valentine's Day Gift Ideas

Still looking for a Valentine's Day gift? Instead of traditional chocolates, how about a handmade chocolate soap or pure cocoa butter? Consider a Zulu basket, which is often used as a wedding gift in South Africa. If you really want to score points, stuff one full of little treats like a sea salt soap, fused glass heart necklace, felted wool coasters, or a pair of Shamila labradorite earrings. Have fun, break away from the clich├ęs, and help support fair trade! Most of all, have a happy Valentine's Day.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Sea Salt Bar With French Green Clay

We have a new sea salt bar with a twist. In addition to our usual Bentonite Clay, this peppermint sea salt soap also includes French Green Clay. French Green Clay is a high quality, powerfully absorbent clay that is often used in facial masks to draw out oil and impurities from the skin. Our peppermint sea salt soap bar is a true natural soap with no synthetic ingredients. It's a fabulous choice if you want a good astringent soap for your normal-to-oily skin.

Uses for Zulu Baskets

I'm finding that our beautiful Zulu baskets can be more than just striking art pieces. The incredibly tight weave lends itself to items that need to be kept dry and out of sunlight. I have a large Zulu basket at home that I'm using to store my garden seed packets in. Others have told me they use their Zulu beer baskets to store spices, tea, and other dry goods. We have many beautiful African baskets that are useful for storing a range of items, but Zulu baskets have their own unique beauty.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

About Our Sea Salt Soap Bars

Our Sea Salt Soap Bars are handcrafted right here in Kitsap County. They have a bentonite clay base and are contain real sea salt, so they exfoliate as they clean (don't worry about it drying your skin out - this is a nice rich bar of soap.) Our sea salt soap is very dense and will last a long time if allowed to dry between uses. It is a harder soap than our traditional handmade soaps, and produces less lather. Sea salt soap bars are not inclined to break apart in the shower, and they don't get slimy. All of our sea salt soaps, as well as our other handmade soaps, are packaged in reusable drawstring cheesecloth bags. They weigh 4.5-5.5 ounces.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

New Handmade Soaps on 2/3/11

We're receiving a freshly cured batch of handmade soaps, including some sea salt soap bars, on February 3rd, so they'll be ready for purchase by the weekend. We're getting more of the wildly popular plum spice soap, natural rosemary soap, and peppermint sea salt soap bars. We always have a wide selection of felted soap, natural handmade soap, handmade shampoo bars, and sea salt soap bars. Our handmade beer soap is especially nice! Come see us at our Port Gamble gift store, or shop online.