What a great time for female entrepreneurs. We are delighted to share with you features and essays written by super women with inspiring careers and businesses that are reshaping our economy and the way we consume. They share their journey, the process it took them to get to where they are now and what they’ve learnt along the way. Welcome to Modern Mentors.
From Turkey to the US, here’s Asli Musso’s journey of creating Letters From Bosphorus.
The beginning of the journey
The story of Letters From Bosphorus dates as far back as about a dozen years ago when I made the decision to merge my background in finance with my passion for interior design, to create a collection of authentic and luxurious soft home furnishings.
I started my professional journey as the CFO of our family healthcare business. However, I always carried a daunting urge in me, to create something from scratch and serve it to people’s tastes and sophistication. Given the fact that I was born into a country which is immensely rich in culture, history, arts, and handicrafts, the material was already out there. After all, Turkey is one of the world’s leading textile suppliers. With a small start-up budget, a big passion for creativity, and a vast resources of what the country had to offer in textiles, I started this beautiful journey.
My journey made me go out in search of artisans. These women already had the talent and the passion in handicrafts but unfortunately, didn’t have the means to put out their work. I started by creating a productive space for them- a small design studio where these women would come in, put their hard work and belief in their job, and create unique, timeless pieces of soft furnishing.
Decades later when I moved to the US is when Letters From Bosphorus was born. This was almost 2 years ago. Our operations in Turkey and Europe financed our launch here. This gave me a new opportunity to channel my team’s commitment into creating timeless pieces inspired by history. We hope to bring the age old classics to a contemporary world with our US store.
We are looking to make a difference by using handcrafts to create a collection of authentic luxury in soft furnishings. We strongly believe that the comprehensiveness of the products that we offer, their uniqueness, and the quality of materials used – GOTS (certified organic cotton), is going to make the brand, one of the most sought-after providers of handcrafted home furnishings.
Our carefully crafted items carry a message – ‘Care for each other and care for your environment’.
The brand reflects what I value in home decor. Our designs are bold but carry an old world charm. They are fashionable yet practical, authentic but made with contemporary aesthetics, and most importantly, they are all environmentally conscious. Our consumers value these characteristics in their personal choices and also in their home decor.
Our consumers also want something that they can connect to on a personal level. Which is why our products are not mass produced. Take a set of bedding for instance, it’s most likely handled by a single artisan, right from cutting and sewing until it it finally placed in its signature box. This individual attention to every item makes each of our products personal, special, and highly exclusive. Our products channel love into someone’s home!
Dealing with challenges
It’s never easy to keep up the same level of fun through out your journey. There are of course a lot of bumps along the way where you often find yourself wondering, “Is that it? Is this the end of the road?”. You often find yourself asking “would I be a fool to quit now?”. But, then comes the inevitable question; “What are you going to do without that constant thrill in your life?”
And then of course the feeling of responsibility towards your community and your team pushes you further.
‘’The pride that I feel from empowering the women- who put their passion and talent into creating an object and making a living out of it- also empowers me in return! It is this mutual effect that keeps me going, I would not let it go for anything in the world.’’
We want to reach more and more people who share the same values and aesthetics as we do! Although we have started an online shop, we are open to any kind of partnership that would help us touch more lives. We want our Letters to be read and shared with the future generations!
About the Author
Asli Musso is the founder of Letters From Bosphorus. Born and brought up in Turkey, she runs a design and production studio in Turkey while currently living in Chicago. She may be new to the US market, but has been working in soft furnishings since 2005. Her recently launched luxury brand, Letters From Bosphorus, specializes in eco-friendly, and ethically produced organic cotton bath, bed, table linens, and other home furnishing products.