Let's Meet

Our story, the story of Mavili Kapı, is one that is familiar in many ways yet unique to us in many others. In this blog, you'll mostly find writings in 'our' voice. By 'we', I mean a large family. But I (Senem) am writing this article, on behalf of all of us, for all of us…

My parents, as long as my brother and I can remember, have been working in the television industry. My mother is one of TRT's first directors, a television professional who has taught at Istanbul University's Radio and Television department. My father, a television professional, set up Turkey's first live broadcast vehicles and achieved many firsts in technical infrastructure during the establishment of private television stations. Live broadcasts, TV series, promotional films, editing studios… we were born and raised in this environment. Naturally, during my university years, I eagerly dove into the same sea (and my brother, to some extent). It's a very long story, but in short, we did our jobs with real love and passion for years.

Then, due to the pace and the lack of satisfying content, we drifted away from TV programs and commercials and turned towards documentaries. For the last ten years, we have been preparing documentary films for a major channel abroad. We love our job so much… But! There were some changes in our lives in the meantime. First, my brother's and then my children were born. Words like healthy eating, additive-free, and poison-free began to be used in our lives. The more we read, the more overwhelmed we felt, leading us to research more and change accordingly… and then, life in the city started to suffocate and sadden us.

At this point, we made a radical decision and sold our three-story standalone workplace in the heart of Istanbul! It wasn't easy to make this decision, but if not today, then when? Yes, we sold it and bought a small, modest piece of land by Lake Iznik, where we built our home, and of course, its 'Mavili Kapısı' (Blue Door).

During all this, we discovered that my daughter had a food allergy. But this wasn't just a simple allergy. Yes, there was a list of foods she couldn't eat, and since I was breastfeeding, I couldn't eat them either, but this list alone wasn't enough. Her body reacted to products with additives and preservatives and to fresh fruits and vegetables with pesticide residues. For instance, when she was 1.5 years old, she could drink goat's milk brought from her father's highlands in the Taurus Mountains, but she could never drink conventionally produced goat's milk from supermarket shelves. This was quite surprising and challenging for us. We were already headed towards a certain lifestyle, but now we realized that this path was not a choice for us but a necessity. (I plan to write the details of this allergy issue in a separate article, discussing what we went through and are still going through. I know many families struggle with allergies, and sharing experiences is valuable. Plus, it's nice to know we're not alone.)

Our lovely blue door means "Mavili Kapı"

Fast forward to today, to "Mavili Kapı"... "Mavili Kapı" means blue door in Turkish. This is our brand's name in Turkey. However, we know it's quite hard to pronounce for non-Turkish speakers. So, we created a new brand with the letters M and K: MK Skinfood. Though we say a new brand, it actually carries all the experience of the 5-year-old Mavili Kapı brand. Today, in our garden where Mavili Kapı is located, in our home, in our stone kitchen, we spend almost all summer and parts of spring and winter. We still have our homes and office in Istanbul. We still make 2 or 3 documentary films a year for that big, international TV Network, prepare films for festivals, and participate in festivals. We don't think about giving this up at all.

At Mavili Kapı, in our small garden, we plant, learn, try to strengthen our connection to the earth, and build good relationships with it. Oh, by the way, a note; Mavili Kapı also has a neighbor :) As I said, we're a large family. My uncle and his family, and my grandmother, are also here with us. They are our next-door neighbors, but their door is brown :))

We also have our stone kitchen here. We love our stone kitchen. In this kitchen, we cook our identity. You know the saying, 'you are what you eat.' We add, "You are also what you apply." Here, we prepare the nourishment for our being, our identity. We especially love preparing fermented foods and oils from medicinal aromatic plants. We make kombucha tea, kefir, vinegar, St. John's Wort oil, soap, face cream... We keep making and making :) We prepare everything that we are sure is edible, applicable, and usable.

Mentally and physically simplifying, we strive to establish a life in accordance with our nature and create alternatives for our children.

Sending our love to everyone who takes the time to read.