When Postcards Home first began we were based in Kerala, South India and to lighten our moody furniture we bought some colourful contemporary cushions from a talented pair of budding young designers based in Delhi, called Safomasi.
Flash-forward to today and those cushions are still brightening our offices (currently in leafy North London) and batting off daily compliments, but now we get to share the Safomasi collection with all our lovely customers.
Safomasi was founded by Sarah Fotheringham (SaFo) and Maninder Singh (MaSi), combining Sarah's background in art and illustration and Maninder's background in fashion and production to create designer homeware and accessories that are as beautiful as they are well-made.
As the pair work and travel together they record their experiences of the everyday and the exotic with playful patterns and punchy prints. Through their collections you can globetrot with them and experience different cultures and destinations translated into textiles with buckets of soul and sophistication.
Every Safomasi product is handmade and entirely unique, giving each piece its own character and bringing a small part of the pair's colourful world into your home.
The process is meticulously managed to ensure local artisans and producers are being supported, all dyes used are AZO free, and the finishing touches of zips, tassles and pom poms perfectly match the colour combinations and patterns of each product. Some of the pom poms on the cushions are even made by Maninder's cooler-than-cool Grandma who is welcome to work from our office any day of the week.
We jumped into bed with Safomasi and asked them a few questions:
Tell us a little bit about how Safomasi started
S: When Maninder and I met, I had recently moved to Delhi to work as an art director with an advertising agency. Before then I’d spent 4 months travelling around India and had sketchbooks full of ideas I wanted develop into prints. I’d work on them in the evenings and weekends and Maninder would help me out. We thought it would be fun to try printing on fabric – I’d worked at a fine art screenprinter’s in London, but hadn’t worked with textiles before, though Maninder was working with the Fashion Design Council of India at the time so knew a lot of designers that could point us in the right direction. Those experiments would become our first collection – the mithai collection, a pattern of 169 different Indian sweets. We loved the process and how it came out, it all grew organically from there.
Which bit of your job do you most enjoy?
S: Designing, especially at the beginning of a new collection when the concepts for patterns and products are starting to form. It’s something I really need to schedule in time to do though – it’s so true in art school when they tell you that if you have your own business as a designer you’ll only spend 10% of the time designing!
M: The best part for me is sampling new designs, which is the first time we see them off the computer and printed on fabric. It’s exciting to see it all coming together.
What's your favourite design in the current collection and why?
S: The Festival Quilt from the Kawaii collection is one of my favourites – all the characters and elements in the design have a story behind them as they were all spotted at different festivals and processions on my travels around Japan.
M: The Regatta cushion – I love the flag edging.
What's in the pipeline for Safomasi that we can get excited about?
S: New accessories including scarves, laptop sleeves and pouches. We made some jackets in our prints to wear when we exhibited at Tent in September, which went down really well so we’re hoping to produce those soon!
M: We’re also working on developing woven fabrics in our designs, and of course another collection later next year.
Why do you think it is important for people to buy from independent designers?
S: When you buy from independent designers you’re directly supporting them and their network of artisans and producers. We’re so passionate about quality and design, there’s no compromise and you’ll be sure to get something unique and different.
Tell us something nobody knows about the Safomasi team
M: I’m a trained chef
S: When I was younger, I really wanted to be a Blue Peter presenter (I would have been terrible!)
What's your dream travel destination and why?
S: There are so many it’s too hard to pick! Mexico is definitely on the list along with Morocco, Turkey, Greece! Places with a lot of culture along with beautiful landscapes appeal to us.
One of the most exciting things about working with Safomasi is seeing Sarah and Maninder's ideas come to life. Each product tells a story, and one that we could hear again and again. If you would like to brighten up your home with a product from the Safomasi collection or buy a unique gift, click to shop below.
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