The name of our store, Ottomania, tells you that we sell products from countries and regions belonging to the former Ottoman Empire. Ottomania's devoted and enthusiastic owners are Maarten ten Böhmer and Tara Strategier. We travel, taking our children along whenever we can, to the countries where our products are made to search for beautiful products, inspiration and artisans.
How it all began
Tara's passion was kindled during her first visit to Turkey in 1986, when she was 14 years old. In the following years, her passion, together with her love for design, Ottoman architecture and lifestyle, kept growing. Fortunately her parents shared her fascination, so that a trip to Turkey became an annual family event, always going to relatively unknown regions untouched by tourism, although tourism was still rather new to Turkey at that time. After many years, Tara did a course in Turkish in Istanbul and during her studies of museology she participated in as many projects related to her passion for Turkey and the Near East as possible. Taking beautiful things from Turkey was something that Tara had already started doing as a child: wrapping paper, mouth-blown teacups, fabrics...
Together with first partner, later husband Maarten, a true entrepreneur, the first trip to Turkey was rather exciting: would he be able to understand this passion? Fortunately, he too was fascinated, and many travels to Turkey and neighbouring countries like Syria and Lebanon were to follow.