by Jane Kendall
Photography by Christian Lee
It has always been her destiny to travel. Lorry Bolton fondly remembers travelling with her parents to many destinations across the USA as a child. At age 9, wanderlust settled into her heart when she flew to London with them. As long as she can remember, she has been fascinated with planes, and for good reason: Her father, Larry, spent his entire career at Gulfstream in Savannah. He travelled all over the world for his job and always brought home cultural trinkets for Lorry. She was equally intrigued by the baggage tracking tags on his luggage. She saved every tag and learned about cities around the world by memorizing the airport codes on each one. This curiosity, combined with her natural charisma, transpired into landing her part-time jobs from her teens through college at travel agencies.
Another skill emerged when Lorry was 8 years old. She learned how to design and craft jewelry. By age 14, she was selling original pieces to big box retailers. After graduating college, Lorry moved to London, where her parents had relocated. They encouraged her to nurture and expand her creative and entrepreneurial talents. She spent two years there and then returned to the U.S. to rejoin the corporate travel industry.
In 2003 Lorry took a road less travelled. She opened a storefront in Beaufort and named it 3 Doors off Bay. Eleven years passed and she began to feel bored and unchallenged. She learned about a posting at Gulfstream for her ultimate dream job as a corporate merchandiser, which tied together perfectly her love of aviation and corporate buying. She applied but was not hired. The job became available again in 2016. Lorry applied, but again someone else was chosen. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, Lorry took inventory of her many talents and redefined herself as a world traveler/buyer for sourcing globally conscious products. In that same year, she planned a trip to Asia. Starting in China, she did all the buying for her store and attended a trade show to link with various resources and manufacturers.
With business done, she headed to Nepal and met up with a group of strangers for a four-week, eco-humanitarian immersion trip she booked online. The group was briefed in the culture and language of the Nepalese people before beginning daily trips through the jungle in Chitwan to provide instruction right in the midst of the rice fields to children from the outlying villages. To Lorry’s amazement, the Nepalese were studying e-commerce rather than traditional subjects. The children and their families made products, then went into Katmandu to sell them by posting flyers and sending e-mails. This trip was an eye-opener for Lorry. She had visited developing countries in the past, but had always traveled first class. This time she had to adjust to squat toilets and hostel living in Katmandu. She was humbled by the resourcefulness amidst the poverty and the gentleness of the people. She calls this experience “the best trip of my life!”
Many special moments followed, which opened Lorry’s heart to be of service to others wherever they may be. She returned to China and Nepal in 2017 to source manufacturers for her products. She set up a profit sharing concept, where three quarters of the money from the sale of Nepalese beads (in her store and others) goes back to individuals and families in Nepal. Seeing immediate improvements in peoples’ lives through profit sharing contributes to her happiness and sense of personal gratitude. In December 2017, Lorry moved her storefront to a larger location and renamed it To Market, To Market to reflect her newly found passion for global humanitarianism.
She is planning to return to Nepal in the fall and is excited about taking more people with her this time, including other storeowners to introduce them to potential manufacturers for their products. “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
Travels: 6 continents, 25 countries, 30 states
Next Adventure: Cruise to Cuba
Lorry’s Advice: The world can be your playground. Make it happen!
Make a Difference: www.buygivingbeads.com
Storefront: To Market, To Market, 715 Bay Street, Beaufort, S.C., 843-476-0319