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About Zarabesque

I traveled the Middle East and North Africa when I was 18 and developed a deep connection to the peoples, their cultures and traditions in this alluring part of the world. Back then it was shrouded in delicious -- and dangerous -- mysteries for me and I stored visual memories to the last the rest of my life.

After many months of wandering small mountain villages and large urban meccas, in and out of bright bazaars and shadowy souks, I -- along with so many travelers of my generation -- went a little native, as they say, dressing in local traditional garb in a mix and match way with my western style gear. I still have a few the Palestinian folk dresses, Moroccan djellabas and one very threadbare Algerian gandourah as well as bits and pieces of jewelry and other treasures.

I never quite re-assimilated when I returned home to Chicago and just created my own eclectic style, although it was easier to be myself when I moved to Berkeley, California.

But Moroccan clothing was not an easy thing to find in the States. I kept in touch with a few merchant friends, at first importing my favorite pants, a pair or two at a time, for decades. At some point I, like many of you, discovered Laise Adzer -- a warm and wonderful woman whom I'd had the pleasure of meeting in Morocco -- and her romantic boutiques.

And then Laise Adzer had passed, her boutiques gone. I searched desperately for her manufacturer and after years of research I finally found her legacy lived on, that her fabulous design portfolio was still with the Moroccan family business that loomed her custom sousde for decades. No one else was selling online, world wide -- I'm no salesperson, I told myself, but someone needs to be doing this.

And thus I created this fabulous job for myself.

I launched this website in 2004 under a different name (tiendaholics). I've survived copycats and genuine intellectual property thieves to bring my love of all-things-susti to women from small-town Iowa to Japan to Australia and even Kuwait. My mission has been to 'Share the Susti Love' and this joy comes back to me in words and even grateful tears from my customers, which has made it all worthwhile for me.

In 2014 I changed the name of my endeavor to something all my own: Zarabesque. It is never recommended to rebrand in midstream; as an ad man's daughter, I know this well. But here we are in 2023, still spreading the susti love around the world.



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