Things That Matter


For the past two months my favourite brother in law has been on life support in the ICU. I say favourite, he's my only and I can't imagine the hell that my sister and her kids have been through. But he is my favourite because he's taught us all a very big lesson. “For what it is worth Tai, you must get out and smell the roses”, he told me today after a not so good report on my on health, “as life sure is precious”. For eight weeks now he has been, as my niece describes, "circling life and death". To be honest it has been very grim and at times very little could be done as staphylococcus ravaged his body and took him to a very dark place. So bad in fact, they had to remove his artificial hip replacements he received decades earlier as they were turning against him too.




It all happened one day when he least expected, he was out on his mountain bike as he does daily and took a tumble, bit of a graze here and there but he thought nothing of it. He then begun feeling unwell so my sister forced him to see a doctor, “I'll be fine” he said, as all men do. Eventually he got in for a blood test. Thankfully he got the right doctor as she checked his results after hours, if she hadn't seen the results and called him immediately to get him to hospital, he would have passed away at home that weekend, in his chair probably, watching sport. Within twenty four hours he was in a coma.

By some miracle and the faith of the medical team who worked every trick in their doctors bag, they eventually woke him up, he's going be alright – thank the Lord! Still he has fight on his hands getting well enough to receive new hips and the road of rehabilitation and walking again. 



It's not a mystery to any of us that sickness and death is absolutely going to happen to everybody, yet it's always a shock when it happens to your tribe, your people. However it's a good reminder to ask yourself, what's my intent for this life? You spend a hell a lot of time working, so what intent do we have for that work, to make money, be the best at what we do, lead the field? It's not easy to say what the best intent is because they are different to everyone. But it's a damn good thing to think about considering the state of the world. Is it just me or has this desire for fame and adoration just gone nuts over the past few years? Apparently it’s the most in demand thing as the goal for some people’s lives. Honestly who would want it? Life under a blinking microscope, all eyes on you waiting for failure.

It brings into line how we want to work with intent. What we know about our company, is that for 24 years we have been dedicated to these corner stones.

- We are dedicated to handcrafted ethical product.
- We care about the people who make it.
- We care about how product impacts on the environment.
- We want the world to look better and be better.



A girlfriend of mine recently went on a weeks seminar in Morocco to study with a world renown guru of marketing. The biggest thing to come from that course from world research is 'our clients are generally someone like ourselves'. They have a similar value system and ascetics, drive similar cars and are attracted to similar objects for their inherent value.
It’s certainly simple, but very relevant.  So our intent is now to work with others who care. So we're introducing – Bandhini Partnership Pals.
We want to work with mutual intent to help you. We don’t want to dump a bunch of cushions on you and depart. Here’s what we want to do to help so that there’s real connection and a experience as valued as the product.

- In store training sessions by me personally: Including the story behind Bandhini and how all our products are made, by who and why with demonstrations on how block printing and weaving is achieved.

- In store materials: Including swatch books, quilt swatches, point of sale material (posters and books) to display and special give outs to clients

- Free storyboard service: Storyboarding is an invaluable resource and service that has changed our business, it helps put together collections for you and your clients for in visioning our product in your project.

- Champagne Evenings: For you, your staff and your clients. Interactive workshops (how to layer a bed, a sofa or layout an art wall, textile craft),  gift bags, Photo booths.

- Social Media collaborations: Sharing and promoting your business through our social media platforms.

- Eco & Luxe Ranges: We have also listened to you and are introducing a Bandhini Eco (economy) and Luxe ranges. The new Eco range allows you to achieve that brilliant Bandhini look with budget in mind – both looks fully supported with Lifestyle photography!




We know that the internet is not going to go away and it certainly is a very important part of how we all need to do business, but let’s layer that with a one of a kind shopping experience – something memorable and fun that sitting behind a key board can’t do.
I’m up for it “getting out there and smelling the roses” – as life sure is precious! Are you up for it too?
...So I'm off to New Zealand today to check in with my family - sister and brother in law, plus my old mum turning 89, still going strong and asking me what the collection colours for the season are!

Tai Schaffler - Founder of Bandhini
August 17, 2017 — Tai Schaffler


Carol Taylor

Carol Taylor said:

My prayers go out to you and your family at this difficult time – a very inspiring read, all my love

Lyn said:

Thankyou Tai for a great story and reminding us to “smell the roses”!
Lovely meeting with you all this week with my 89 year old Mum!


Nikki said:

Beautifully written and inspiring, thank you :)


Neve said:

Hi Tai
I don’t usually read things from suppliers I suppose life is so busy especially when you have 2 kids around your feet when your trying to do things. I read your story and it was beautifully written and really made me to stop and think . Instead racing around this evening I let my house fall around me while I sat and played with my kids and it was wonderful.
So thank you. Sending all my love and any Irish luck I have into to me to your brother in law.


Nicole said:

Had to respond….what an important message Tai (as I read this a girlfriend of mine has a child in ICU too with a similar touch and go bacterial infection that had her in an induced coma).
Thank you for sharing & it certainly sounds like wonderful things are coming from Bandhini (as always). I hope your brother in law is doing well and back with his family soon.


Kerrie said:

All the very best for you and your family through these trying times……I know as I have been through them too with my Husband a couple of years ago. ( Aorta replacement) It is a testing time getting older, and it is a tough journey…..but with support from friends and family to help you, you are very lucky.
In a world which seems so angry and complaisant at the moment, it was inspirational to read your story then, knowing that someone else is at times is doing it tough but still keeps the simple things in life in perspective.
The industry we are in is all about making the nice things in life obtainable for many- and if it brings a smile to someone it makes me feel so much better than money or status can give. Far to many have lost why we do what we do……I am grateful that I am doing business with someone who has the same thoughts.
Good on you to keep the soul in our industry…….take a big sniff of those roses and enjoy every moment.
Take Care


Rosemary said:

Hi T, I am so glad your brother in law is going to be ok. What a beautiful letter ✅✅✅ What a beautiful family. Did you say you had a bad report on your health? I think we all need to smell the Roses ??? We just like working too much
Love and hugs


Nola said:

Dear Tai
Your letter is both touching and inspiring.
I wish you and all your family improving health….I do hope you and your brother-in-law both come through….and I send your mother my love….as a mother I can imagine how she is feeling.
I am an interior designer…not a retailer…so I’m afraid I’m not a big client…but I salute your ethos and where I can, I will certainly specify your beautiful pieces.
Best wishes


Tracey said:

Tai I really feel for your brother-in-law and family. What a really awful shitty time. We adore our families don’t we. And we can’t be without one of them.


Ann said:

So lovely and inspiring. Hope your Brother in Law makes a complete recovery and can get back on his bike again.
All the best.


Tiffany said:

So well written, I hope your brother in law is on the mend & it’s onwards & upwards from here for him. Sending well wishes!
Love the sound of the Bandhini Partnership Pals! Great idea!
I look forward to seeing the new Eco range!
Best wishes to you!! & enjoy New Zealand ?


Deborah said:

Hello Tai,

I’ve not been in touch before directly, however am moved to respond to your blog as it resonated with me. I appreciate you sharing your story about the challenge faced by your brother in law and your family and am pleased to hear that he is recovering. Traumatic events enable us to reflect on what’s most important to us as human beings and to reassess and reconfirm our values. I don’t work in the retail space, however will be even more engaged with you and your business as a result of your blog. Thank you.


Belinda said:

Really nice email/newsletter – thanks so much for reminding us what is important.


Carol said:

We say an earthly goodbye to my dear Mum tomorrow, we have already said our goodbyes 7 night ago Mum held my face, in turn with my sons, her grandsons. she kissed our lips,we told Mum how much we have loved her, 7 hours later Mum left this earthly plain to be with our Dad and her husband of 65 years.
We will cherish those last hours forever grateful to be able to say goodbye, hold Mums hand .we do,nt always have that moment who knows when our time will come so please make the most of everyday tell your family you love them, hold their hand just because you can.
Life is precious as are the people we love.


Michele said:

If you make it to Dunedin, come and stay ?
Good wishes to your family.


Suzi said:

Wise words Tai and am so happy and proud my daughter gets to work and learn with you every day.
After losing my brother 2 years ago I see the world through a different perspective. Every soul out there is important and has a purpose here on earth and we are here to learn, help and make a difference. People come into your life for a reason and yes you have had an influence on my life that you probably didn’t realise. I was at your lunch and my creativity was stirred up again after being buried for years. So I thank you for that and I adore what you do and the way you live your life. Xx

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