Ayla gloves; photo by Melo Photography

A couple of wonderful ideas for the travel-minded woman in your life — from comfy, practical fingerless gloves to beautiful gold-plated tribal jewelry from Mali, West Africa.

Ayla gloves; photo by Angela Cameron

Ayla Bamboo Gloves

We’re always happy to discover locally-made products and with winter still in gear, we found these pretty bamboo gloves by Ayla right up our alley. Made right here at home using natural, sustainable fabric, owner Janet Katalinic’s gloves are getting more buzz by the day!

Ayla gloves; photo by Melo Photography

I caught up with Janet, who started her shop in 2013, to learn more about the benefits of bamboo. The born-and-raised Vancouverite gave me a list! Here are the top four:


The fabric feels warm when it’s cold and cool when it’s hot. Pretty handy when we’re in and out all day in meetings, grabbing a tea, playing with a new tech toy or on photo shoots.

Absorbent and Quick-Drying

Did I hear someone say rain? Yep, bamboo is better than cotton for getting wet – and dry.


Compared to wool or hemp, bamboo provides a hypoallergenic approach to layering (perhaps between your hands and a pair of big chunky wool gloves).

UV Protection

These stylish gloves not only look pretty when worn but also protect the hands and arms from excess sun exposure.

Ayla Bamboo Gloves-2

So how did Ayla get its name? Ayla (pronounced Eye-La) is a common Turkish name that means “halo of light around the moon”. As Janet’s business philosophy centers around women making empowered choices to make them feel good about themselves, this seemed an appropriate, easy-to-remember name. Shining light, illumination and joy is something we should always experience in life, thus these gloves are named from the heart.

Ayla Bamboo Gloves-1

I chose a couple of pairs, one a best-seller, the other from Janet’s newer Yaletown 2.0 line (the other three lines are Gastown, English Bay and Yaletown).

Ayla Gloves-1

While the long fingerless gloves are meant to go all the way up the arm, the Yaletown (these in Lake colour) are mid-length. I like the way the light captures the colour variation at different angles — from warm grey to blue! All are fingerless, so you can get your texting or coffee drinking done without having to take them off.

Our office is in the coldest part of the suite so a little extra warmth goes a long way in keeping the digits moving throughout the day.

Ayla gloves; photo by Angela Cameron

The Ayla gloves are available online, through Ayla’s Etsy shop, at This Counts, Favourite Gifts in Lonsdale Quay and ArtMania in West Vancouver’s Dundarave Village. Her gloves can also be found in both Ontario and North Carolina. In fact, she’s aiming to expand availability worldwide. Pretty soon you’ll be able to boast that you got a pair of Ayla’s in hometown Vancouver!

Gold-Plated Fulani Tribal Earrings

Gold-Plated Fulani Tribal Earrings

Based on a traditional West African design worn for centuries by Fulani women, these delicate, lightweight earrings (known by their Fulani name as kwotene kange), are handcrafted from hammered brass that’s plated with bright 24-karat gold. The hinged ear wires are made of 12-karat gold.

I was captivated by their striking design, based on pure gold earrings that at one point in history could weigh up to 300 grams each, showing off one’s wealth.

Fulani Tribal Earrings

They measure approximately 1 1/2”, though actual size may vary. Priced at US $79. There’s a matching cuff also available via the site.

National Geographic Store/Shipping to Canada

Under $15, $14.95
Between $15.01 and $25, $15.95
Orders over $25, $17.95
Shipments will arrive within five to 10 business days. Additional duties may apply. Two-day or Next-day shipping not available.

Unwatermarked photo credits: Ayla product photos by Melo Photography; model photos by Angela Cameron. Fulani earrings hanging from a branch courtesy of National Geographic.

1 Comment

  • Comment by Arorra — July 23, 2016 @ 9:12 pm

    Excellent post! Find and save recipes, parenting hacks, style inspiration and other ideas to try.
    Africa earrings

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