When I was in my twenties the wanderlust struck hard. I had graduated with my MBA and had a great job. Yet it all seemed so.... boring! I applied for a job through my church doing work overseas. There were literally hundreds of places to work around the world but I found myself on the way to Asia.
Tim in China, 1999
The first stop was training in Chiang Mai, Thailand for six months. When I stepped off the plane, I was struck by the lushness of the landscape - the tropical flowers growing off my balcony and the warmness of the Thai people. I also fell in love with the traditional Thai handicrafts - in particular celadon ceramics. The minty green and sapphire blue crackled glazes were so beautiful, and I loved how the artisans created what they knew - elephants, monkeys and other animals.
Next, I moved to China and Hong Kong. My time in China was in a rural area in the southwest that was so gorgeous and interesting. In Hong Kong I lived in Kowloon and learned about the fascinating history of Hong Kong. We loved how the people of Hong Kong blended traditional Asian motifs and designs with modern looks.
From there I was moved to Penang, Malaysia. Before I was asked to go there I wasn't familiar with Penang. But when I stepped off the plane I knew I had found a new home. The blend of Malay, Chinese, Indian and European cultures was so exotic and completely intoxicating. I loved the architecture, the food and how friendly my neighbors were. During this time I travelled to Singapore frequently and loved that island as well.
Back to the US
After that it was time to go back home to the US. I missed my time in Asia terribly and felt completely "homesick". As a way to remind myself of those happy times I started collecting vintage postcards from the cities and countries I had lived. I got them framed and hung in my home. I also displayed my other collections from Asia. People liked them so much I decided to start British Malaya so I could share my love of Asia with others.
Tim's Original Collection at Home
Helping us Helping the World
All products are either created by me or are purchased from local artisans/ companies that are fair trade certified and ensure artisans are fair compensated for their talent. Also, we donate a portion of our sales from British Malaya to continue the kind of work we did in Asia, and to honor the memory of my sister who loved helping others in the developing world as well.
Right now we're working with a group in Nepal who help widows and children who are in need. You can feel good that your purchases from British Malaya not only make your life a brighter place but also improve the lives of others.