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February Star Maker: Safomasi

Author: Micaela Sharp

Read time:

10th February 2024

Each month I create an edit of nine independent brands in my Indie Interiors column, in Reclaim’s print issue.  And now, every issue, I’ll be choosing my Star Maker from these nine and getting to know them a bit better

My first is Safomasi, founded by British-Indian couple Sarah and Maninder. I love their unique blend of modern, original surface pattern, all designed by Sarah, who I speak to here. The pair draw on Maninder’s heritage and work with teams of artisans, including screen-printers, quilters and weavers across India to produce their beautiful, vibrant homeware.

 

Lodhi Garden quilt and cushion cover
Lodhi Garden quilt and cushion cover

Introduce us to your brand

Safomasi is a home and lifestyle brand founded by myself and my husband Maninder in 2012. Based in both the UK and India, we create handcrafted fabrics, rugs, soft furnishings and accessories designed to bring joy, character and a small part of our colourful world into your home.

What makes you stand out from the crowd?

Our playful illustrated prints! Each design tells the story of our travels around the world, and while inspirations might be as diverse as Devon, India or Japan, they are united by a distinctive figurative style and joyful colour palette.

Which part of the process of making your items do you enjoy the most?

The best bit is seeing new designs come to life on the print table. Our fabrics are screen-printed by hand and seeing each colour go down one layer at a time to slowly build up the design never gets old.

Pink Belle Mare woven beanbag
Pink Belle Mare woven beanbag

When did you realise you were a creative soul?

Growing up I liked drawing and had an interest in interiors from a young age too. I would buy home magazines and watch all the 90s home makeover shows! Then as a teenager I made greetings cards and sold them in my aunt’s post office shop… but it was my art foundation year (the best time!) that I really got the chance to explore my creativity fully.

What’s the best feedback you’ve received about your brand or products?

I’ll always remember an email from someone who had bought one of our quilts from a shop in New York. Describing the moment she saw it in store she said she dropped everything and just had to have it! It touched her soul and reminded her of a quilt her mother had made her when she was a child… it’s that kind of feedback that’s the most precious, when our designs really connect with someone to bring their happy memories home.

Pine quilt
Pine quilt

Why is sustainability so important to you personally – and how you build your brand identity?

As a designer we are aware that we are creating more ‘things’ in a world that already has so much. However I’ve always seen Safomasi as an outlet for self expression, in the same way that an artist might. From a brand perspective that means creating pieces that are designed to last and loved for a long time. Also slowing right down and launching new designs as and when they are ready and not being pressured into creating newness every season (or following trends) like big retailers.

We’re by no means perfect but from the production side we try to have systems in place to minimise impact. This includes supporting artisans and handmade techniques with fair wages, only using natural cotton and linen, azo-free dyes and water-based inks to print fabric in small batches, which is then made into products in our studio, mostly on a made-to-order basis. This helps us to manage our inventory better, use fabric according to demand and avoid wastage. Any small offcuts are donated to a local upcycling company in Delhi.

Camel Traders cushion cover
Camel Traders cushion cover

When looking at your journey so far, what would you do differently?

It’s been a rollercoaster for sure but I don’t know if we would change anything. Even when things haven’t worked out or have been really hard, we’ve learnt so much (the hard way!).

What’s next for your brand? What newness should we keep a look out for?

New fabrics and rugs are on the way!

Find the full list of this month’s independent brands in Micaela’s column. 

 

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