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I met Monique about 10 years ago, when I was in my early twenties, at a psychedelic trance party in the tropical rainforest of Far North Queensland, Australia. In a subculture that attracts the free-spirited, the gypsies, the creatives, the curious, the free-thinkers, and the bohemians, we met across a wild dance floor in the sunrise hours of a new day. I remember seeing her bright-blue explosive eyes shining mysteriously out from under her long, dark eye-lashes at me, and from that moment, I knew she is someone one special. That she is one of my people, and a mystical and long-lasting connection was formed.
As with many modern nomads and gypsetters,
the winding roads of life have kept us on separate paths,
for much of our friendship, however our connection as remained strong no matter what.
I have admired from afar, Monique’s global adventures, abandoning the conventional life, to follow her heart and soul purpose, sharing the beauty of art and handicrafts from exotic lands afar, which she makes available to us at her Pop Up Souk which you can visit by clicking HERE. Monique is a shining star amongst us, and a beautiful, bright example of living life from the heart and on her own terms. I adore this woman with every cell of my being.
Today, Monique honours us by sharing her story.
 
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A contemporary nomad by nature, I travel because it is a way of expressing who I am at the core of my being. Travel and the adventures I co create have become a platform for my existence and the way I work in this world of form.
Travel is a form of communication that both excites and inspires me……I generally can’t sit still for long periods of time, only long enough to dream up the next steps on my journey and to imagine strongly into being, the vital elements of this blossoming love story “my life”!.
I love beautiful things, born from many aspects of my early life in Australia. As a child I played in my Grandmother’s antique shops in Adelaide, listening to the music of the door chime and the peoples voices as they discussed silver, and alabaster, old coins, chandeliers and paintings. I ran about the bush in Broken Hill watching the way mica glistened in the tar on the roads, paying close attention to the painted desert sky that hung over our heads daily. Roaming the shops of London as a teenager, peering into windows filled with everything from the wonderful to the whacky, first laying my eyes on the temple of Karnak and the great pyramids of Giza at the tender age of 17 and turning 18 at the Valley of the Queens and Kings. All these memories and many more moments combined to feed my imagination and assist me to create the life I now live, a life of passion, fuelled by my heart.
Nature is the great healer for me, I seek it out. By spending time in remote deserts and or lush tropical forests, gardens and wild coast lines, my spirit is always revitalised and my soul fed generously by the timeless connection to the greater energies that are available in such sacred, near silent spaces. During these times I make plans for shopping and sourcing of items, in-between the day dreaming.
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I began Pop Up Souk one year ago, on top of my existing independent fashion agency where I distriute and find stockists for a gorgeous colourful funky French label called Pygmees.
The Pop Up Souk developed from a simple idea when one day, I found myself in Morocco while waiting for the borders to re-open in Mali, West Africa, where I had spent quite a lot of time the year prior. What happened while I was waiting at the border that fateful day, changed my life!
I fell in love with Morocco and all that it offered. It was like waking up in a room filled with treasures; only it was a land, a vast, wild and beautiful land and I knew in an instance, that I would never be able to completely leave again.
It is a country overflowing with creative spirit, art is in abundance, and artists are the very core of life here. Be it the ancient medina’s, mellah’s, souks, villages and cities, where there is life, there is art.
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Pop Up Souk is an extension of my travel bag, no trunk! I long for the days of ocean liner travel, where I would use a large Louie Vuitton trunk that would be filled with vintage textiles, clothing and jewellery from the backwaters of exotic ports ahh dreaming still…..but anyway a bag, case, trolly will suffice.
With my office in my lap, I live between Morocco and Australia. When I am not shopping in Morocco, or organising the online shop from the ground up; you will find me in Australia running both business, gathering orders and building the website and moving about on my sales trips. I love the freedom that this life gives me, and simultaneously at times, long for a base, and dream that is coming to manifest as well.
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Thank you for taking a peek in to Pop Up Souk. The site is currently under construction and it is a learning process, so constructive feedback is always welcomed.
I offer one off pieces and a small range of certain items. I concentrate on vintage textiles, such as the handira cape or wedding blanket, leather goods such as handcrafted poufees, bags, belts and gorgeous leather baboosh slippers and shoes. I will also be offering high quality silver Tuareg and vintage to antique Berber jewellery.
Pop Up Souk carry wonderful vintage haik’s, in excellent condition, and you can read about these textiles on my blog. I aim to blog about the items I carry, their origin and history so each length of fabric is recognised as the unique piece of art it is, and shows that I have nothing to do with mass manufacturing or copies.
The aim behind Pop Up Souk is to support artists of Morocco who have no other income but their art and craft and to source from the villages, charity shop’s that support local education and women’s collectives about the country.

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Monique Drinkwater is a professional gypsetter, Creator of Pop Up Souk and Director of Fashion Agency Fantastic. You can buy her uniquely hand sourced items online in the store or email her with any queries you may have. Monique also offers personalised sourcing and importing of decor and exotic items for your home and business, as well as provides styling for shoots and events internationally. You can contact her directly at popupsouk@gmail.com.

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