Welcome to the Marco Polo Trading Company Boutique!
The Marco Polo Trading Company, housed in a century old building right on the Tobermory harbour is much more than a boutique.
It is an amazing manifestation of almost thirty years of travel, creativity, design and love of fashion.
An ever changing treasure trove of unique finds and designs for every age and taste.
The Unwitting Start to the Amazing Journey That Became Marco Polo
It seems a lifetime ago that I graduated University with a very creative mind and a hefty student loan.
I was told Japan was a great place to go to make money so I packed my bags and was off.
Little did I know that first trip to Asia would inspire a life time of traveling and adventure!
Marco Polo represents my heart. Traveling opened my eyes to something greater.
It provides a richer perspective and deeper understanding of people.
We are all a part of this rich and wonderful complex planet that we share.
While I hope that everyone one of you gets a chance to see the world, I feel I bring all that I have experienced over this journey to those of you who travel through our door.
Why Tobermory Became Home
Marco Polo what was the original century old “Belrose Inn“ of Tobermory. Thanks to some very special people became my home and base to travel from, and I’ve been amazed at all the people I’ve met from all over the world who visit here.
Like them, I too, fell in love with the rugged landscape that is Tobermory.
I could never leave long term. I need to be by these waters. I can’t think of another place that I have travelled to that I love more.
To see what makes Tobermory so special, check out our videos on our Tobermory Area page!
We also still offer four quaint and cosy rooms at the Belrose Inn
Where Did We Find All Our Cool Suppliers?
Travel and the hunt for unique beautiful things from around the world became a lifestyle and passion.
Through many different countries, on the backs of motorbikes, I’d go careening through areas where whole parts of the road or a major part of a bridge were missing yet still functional, passing rice paddy’s, entire families on motorbikes with no helmets, men with carts stopped in the middle of the road, and sacred cows meanering across busy highways.
All of this wove a magical adventure that was so wonderfully interesting from my Canadian background.
I was always on the lookout for cool things to buy for my store.
Luckily, I met so many great artists and people making such wonderful things!
A Mecca of artists at the ready to make whatever I could imagine, and Imagining things has never been a problem for me!
(In fact, I usually wake up with a million ideas and there isn’t enough time in the day to make them all reality! So, with this incredible turn of events, I felt I had died and gone to heaven! I wonder how many of you feel the same way?)
In the end though, we choose our inventory based on you – our wonderful customers.
If you like something, I buy more of it! If you don’t, well, I just get to find or create something new!
As for the particular details of our suppliers…Sorry folks but that remains our secret.
We pride ourselves on being unique and we want it to stay that way!
How Our Own Marco Polo Designs Came to Be
Looking back, it all started with a wonderful Batik artist who started to make fabrics for me.
Then there was the wonderful pattern maker that could take my ideas and sew them into samples.
Oh, and the lady who could very skillfully bead my garments.
I can’t forget all the Wonderful European travellers who shared their designs and ideas with me.
A fellow who made shoes encouraged me to try my hand at the craft and I did. What fun!!
Ah, and a wonderful wood worker who painted tropical fish just the way I wanted them.
I also found an amazing metal smith who had more ideas than me! He designed a bunch of my store fixtures and metal handicrafts. He even lent me his motorbike and babysat my nine month old son!
Like so many others I met on my journey, we became fast friends…and so it went.
I design clothing full of colour, in comfortable, breathable fabrics.
I create spaces that are full of light and fresh air, and deliver items that are groovy, well designed, tasteful, and exciting,
I listen to my customers,
I listen to all the wonderful artists I have worked with.
I listen to nature and my spirit.
I let every experience inspire me to do better and I pray and follow my heart.
This is the history of Marco Polo, our journey and our offerings.
I welcome your feedback and I hope you enjoy the wonderful treasure trove that is Marco Polo Boutique, whether you are visitng our shop or staying in the cosy rooms of our Belrose Inn!
Shelley Belden Owner and Founder