Beyond Marrakech

Danielle Donker, born in the Netherlands, spent her childhood collecting trinkets, imagining the wonders of the world. Her house was always lavishly decorated with Persian carpets and furnished with Indian woodwork, brought back from her parents’ business travels.

 

As an adult she set out to travel the vast expanses of the world to explore the diverse techniques and designs of local craftsmen. She eventually found herself in Morocco, falling in love with the various sceneries and discovering her passion for Moroccan craft and design. While traveling through Morocco she met her life partner, also Dutch, in the magical beach town of Essaouira. Their stars aligned and both infatuated with Moroccan culture, they decided to settle together in Ourika Valley in the rolling scenes of the Atlas Mountains. 

 

As they started their life together, Danielle’s husband began designing and building their boutique hotel, Dar Zohra. As the hotel was built, Danielle spent her time studying the various vintage rugs and textiles of the souks, delving into the surrounding Berber culture. She connected with local artisans, studying their craft and building relationships with them. As time passed they welcomed their daughter, Zohra, into their lives. Now 14 years old, Zohra is a huge help to Danielle in various areas of her business, from social media and interior design, to going out with her mom to the souks to find exquisite pieces, Zohra too finds a passion in the textiles and designs of Morocco. 

 

Now, after dedicating decades to her studies, Danielle has curated one of the finest collections of restored Moroccan vintage rugs. Danielle advocates for the preservation of traditional craft and empowers local artisans through her business and lifestyle, decorating her own home and hotel with the various treasures of both local artisans and ones she has met on her far away travels.
 

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