About Ian Snow: how it began in India, as told by India... | Q&A

Hi India, thanks for talking to me. How are you?
I am wicked thank you.

Before we jump right in, how would you describe Ian Snow – both the person and the products – to anyone who hadn’t heard the name before?
Ian is a younger day hippy turned latter day eccentric. His two passions in life are India (the country) and running. He has been a vegetarian since the age of 18 and a vegan since his mid-20s, which is something he feels very strongly about. Ian Snow the brand - handmade, fairtrade, bohemian. Handmade because we source only products that are hand crafted and aren’t mass produced by machines in factories. Fair-trade because we abide by the 10 principles of fair-trade and are a registered member of BAFTS (British association of fair-trade shops) and bohemian because we refuse to conform, and we offer unusual products.

So can you tell us a bit about what Ian’s life was like before the business came about?
The young Ian was a photography student college dropout, he was unable to hold down a job (he was sacked from his job as a librarian as he refused to wear shoes) so he hitchhiked to India at 18. It all began on that initial trip to India where he brought products back to sell to finance his next trip etc. etc. ad infinitum.

How did Ian go from traveling India and the world to starting his own business?
As above, he opened his first shop in Liverpool selling whole foods, bric a brac and the stuff he brought back from India. Then, after one of his Indian trips, he decided to up sticks to wales to live in the middle of nowhere and started selling on markets in mid wales. Then he opened a shop in mid wales. And then another. And then another. He also used to trade at music festivals such as Glastonbury where there was only himself and one other trader, oh how things have changed!  Eventually, due to the quantities of goods he was now importing he had to start wholesaling to other shops.