Aspire to Inspire

inspired travels, Inspired Products and other Travelisms

~Marlys Giordano


A few months ago we lost one of my travel idols, Anthony Bourdain; to say that I was heartbroken, would be an absolute understatement. I watched him for many years, traveling the world, sharing meals and connecting with people; so much of what he did inspired my own travel.

In my position as Creative Director for Couristan, I have the great fortune of being able to travel to a lot of really cool, interesting places—places that constantly motivate me both personally and professionally—places that give me an opportunity to meet all kinds of people and see how they live, work and interact. By doing this, and having these experiences, I am forever stirred to create.

These same people, and my interactions with them, begin to become the inspiration for many of the collections that we develop. We will talk about an experience that we had on a trip or a delicious lunch in a far-flung locale, discussing the sights and sounds and smells and that’s it; my mind will begin to race and I will start imagining how all of these things can come together and become a group of rugs. What stories will they tell? Will people understand the journey of these designs? Will people be inspired?


Rugs in and of themselves have a rich and varied history—much like the people that I meet along the way. The rugs become a tapestry, woven of experiences, colors and people. They pull from the old, but live very much in the present.

Inspiration is absolutely everywhere, in everything. In an age of digital addiction—where our every meal, night out with friends and walks home from work are documented—we sometimes forget to live in the moment and look up. Away from our screens, and the endless scrolling and blue-tinged light, we can take in everything around us—the sights, the sounds. The world. We can engage with each other on a much more human level and be inspired—inspired to connect and learn.

Traveling has changed me, as it is supposed to do. It has made me more aware and more enlightened. It has humbled me and made me realize one very important piece of the puzzle: that no matter where you are or who you are with or how different you may think that we are, we are all pretty much the same. We all work hard…go home every night and sit down to dinner with family, sharing in the retelling of our days. Or we meet up with friends at the end of a long week and recount a bad day or a fight with a boyfriend. We are all the same, no matter what country you are from or going to.

In the final episode of “No Reservations”, the TV show that made Anthony Bourdain a household name, he closed the show with this sentiment:

“If I’m an advocate for anything, it’s to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. The extent to which you can walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food, it’s a plus for everybody.

Open your mind, get up off the couch, move.”

I could not agree more.

Put your phone down and connect with someone. Put your phone down and share a meal.

Put your phone down and be inspired.

Short Bio:
Marlys Giordano is Couristan’s voice on all things creative. A veteran of the home furnishings world, she has held various positions over her 20+ year career in all facets of the field from buying to sales to trend to product development. Marlys travels extensively, both for business and pleasure, and is inspired by the world around her.

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