The weather in Quito is seriously four seasons in every day. I woke up to brisk fall weather, then it’s warm sunshine, then it’s hot summer weather (got sunburnt for the 2nd time in my life!), then the lighting and thunder hits and the sky is all gray till night comes and it’s cold, wet, and feels like winter.
But what all that crazy-ass weather gets you? RAINBOWS. I mean, everything seemed to be screaming rainbows. From the goods we found to the Ecuador’s Ministry of Tourism current campaign logo – a huge circular shaped rainbow! I even packed the perfect washi tape for this sourcing trip’s travel journal – rainbow stripes!
Second day in and I’m headed to a museum when I spot a series of office supply shops. There was one particular shop that was crackin’! I’m talking mobs of people and lines 5 people deep before it was your turn. I knew this place would have something for our STMT X Ecuador Kit. Whatever all the locals were buying, I wanted in on it. The shop was a family business with the matriarch, the Grandmother, tending the super old-school register. The mothers, the daughters, the sons… everyone was so personable. I loved watching them interact with their customers.
I asked to see the A5 notebooks and the gal pulled out a glossy notebook with a cover featuring a race car. I asked for other designs – I got horses, cats, and more muscle cars. I asked if there was anything more simple. Nope, she explained that all notebooks look like that in Ecuador.
But I didn’t sweat it. I asked to look at the loose-leaf packets of paper. We’ve never included any loose-leaf sheets, and I’ve been wanting to since the 3rd World Tour kicked off. My only concern was the folders. Would they also be super cheesy? Nope! Clear front cover with a colored back. And the color options included pastels!
The mom-and-pop shop also had a pack of 12 colored pens PERFECT for the Ecuador Kit. I LOVE that this pack is the only set of colored pencils or pens that I’ve ever spotted where the colors are not arranged like a rainbow. Instead, they start with their country colors from right to left. The other colors? NO clue how they decided to arrange ‘em!
Secured the inventory and decided to move on. I walked down the street and straight into the back of an office supply shop. I could see the cabinet full of writing instruments from the street. Within seconds, I spotted them – jumbo-sized turquoise pencil with a green foil-stamped elephant! They totally match the pretty pastel folders! Jumbo-sized pencils may be made for kids, but who says only kids get all the jumbo-packed fun?