The Silver Sahara Story
Our Silver Sahara shop in Essaouira, Morocco circa 2018
Silver Sahara is a Moroccan import store featuring authentic, handmade, one-of-a-kind, hand-selected items sourced directly from indigenous Tuareg and Berber Amazigh artisans of Morocco and North Africa. Artisans are paid fair-trade prices for their products, ensuring an ethical and beneficial system that supports the continuation of these skilled craft techniques.
Silver Sahara began as a beautiful partnership between two cultures, founded in 2017 by Carolina Cooney in the U.S. and Mohamed El Fassi in Morocco.
Obsessed with the color Majorelle Blue, Carolina decided to travel to Morocco in 2016 to discover the source of the vibrant color and the culture surrounding it. A clandestine invitation to a college friend's Yoga Adventures Worldwide retreat in Essaouira, Morocco provided the perfect conduit for the trip, and the dream was realized.
Almost immediately upon arriving in Essaouira, Carolina met the charming shopkeeper Mohamed El Fassi, who sold outstanding items from his hometown of Amezrou, a small town deep in southern Morocco at the door to the Sahara Desert. Forming an immediate bond -- and despite often being separated by a vast ocean -- the two have been inseparable ever since.
Enraptured by the old-world craftsmanship and beauty of Moroccan handicrafts, Carolina felt it was vitally important to share these amazing goods with the world, and together Mohamed and Carolina decided to create Silver Sahara. Silver Sahara's products have been created by the friends and family of the El Fassi silversmiths of the Zagora province in Morocco, or have been passed down through generations of their Berber Amazigh and Tuareg tribesman lineage.
These offerings are supplemented by Carolina's regular trips to Morocco to discover other amazing handicrafts: the highest quality leather poufs, metal lamps & lanterns, antiques & Moroccan Judaica, argan oil, Berber carpets and rugs, and much more.
Silver Sahara was created to show deep gratitude to the beautiful country of Morocco and its high-spirited and talented people. Recognizing that artisans in Morocco and North Africa struggle to maintain a decent and dignified livelihood, we reinvest up to 70% of our profits back into Moroccan artisan cooperatives and communities.
Silver Sahara strives to abide by a sustainable fair-trade model: all sales help provide artisans with living wages, better working conditions, and basic technological training. Silver Sahara is a provisional World Fair Trade Organization member, 2021.
Silver Sahara's mission is to ensure the continuation and worldwide appreciation of indigenous traditional craft techniques.