Havana is a wonderfully strange place. The streets are potholed, the buildings crumbling and the people have a hard lot in life (understatement). Yet, the city somehow gets under your skin. More friendly and generous people - often with so little to offer materially - I've not met. And the cacophony of Havana - from the roar of 70 year old car engines to the blaring of salsa to the constant chatter in the streets - can be an assault on the ears, as can the smell of low-grade gasoline on the nose. With this in mind, I brought several Stimm designs to Cuba last week to gift to friends and ... they loved them!
The Stimm Scent Necklace seemed a natural piece to take with me, along with a few bottles of essential oil: rose, bergamot and lavender. It was a pleasure to see my old friend, Edenis, wearing one of our designs and - without thinking - bring the pendant to her nose, from time to time, to steal a whiff of something natural and calming. She chose the scent that suited her each day. A personal floral oasis in a city of wonderful chaos.
Big Yoel - a 6 foot four boxer who works in one of the cigar factories - is one of my oldest friends in the Cuban capitol. He's a man of few words with a heart of gold. An old softie, really. I visited Yoel's home, on this trip, and spent some time with his family, including his 9 year old daughter. To her, I gifted the Stimm Calming Ball, not because she needed calming - young children, innocent in how they see the world, can often teach us how to find a balance in life - but because the sound enchanted her. Like magic. You could see her focus completely on the gentle chimes, hearing nothing else and completely relaxed.
Without getting too philosophical, we read Shakespeare still, because he wrote about universal themes: love, loss, loyalty, betrayal. There's a bit of that in Stimm. Not those themes, but that which unifies us. We all need to find a balance in our lives, a calm in our everyday chaos, a reconnecting with our senses. There are no borders with this; it's innately human. Cuba is as different a culture to America and Europe as you can find and it was great to see friends wearing and interacting with Stimm designs. Viva Cuba.