Net Block Collection

Profiles: Safomasi

Sarah Fotheringham and Maninder SinghHomegirl London pays homage to Safomasi.  This is a textile design studio founded by a couple – Sarah Fotheringham and Maninder Singh.  Having met at a photographic shoot through work, they have been together ever since and it wasn’t long before they were realising their dreams by setting up their company.

They make absolutely beautiful hand-printed quilts and cushions which are inspired by their worldly travels and often feature Sarah’s distinct drawing style or focus on pattern and colour.  Indian sweets and camels influence their current collections which are delightful and fun.  Every product is hand-made and so totally unique.  Their aim is to bring colour and comfort to your home.  I caught up with the couple to find out more …

Q: Tell me about your design backgrounds.

A: Sarah studied Illustration at the University of Brighton and does all the designing.  Maninder worked with the Fashion Design Council of India and handles all the production.

Q: How did you meet?

A: We met in Delhi through work at a photo shoot and we’ve been together ever since.  We started working on Safomasi a year later.

Q: What made you decide to set up your business?

A: We’ve both always wanted to have our own thing and work for ourselves.  Sarah always loved textiles, prints and patterns.  We both love travelling and the idea is that we spend time in a particular place and build a collection inspired by what we see and experience.  Safomasi is a way of combining our mutual interests and using our different skills to make beautiful things!

Camel Traders cushions

Camel Traders Cushions

Q: Why call your company Safomasi?

A: It’s a mix of our names; ‘Sa Fo’ from Sarah Fotheringham and ‘Ma Si’ from Maninder Singh.  We were looking for something reflected the both of us and just liked how it sounded!

Q: Where are you based and why?

A: We’re in New Delhi, India.  It’s a great base for our production as we have our network of friends and suppliers here.  Plus it’s easy to travel from!

Q: How many people work at your company?

A: For now it’s just the two of us although we work very closely with a brilliant team of printers and manufacturers to produce our products.

Q: What do you make?

A: Hand printed cushions and quilts.

Q: Describe your design style.

A: Illustrative, colourful, modern

Q: Where do you draw your creative inspiration from?

A: The world around us!

Q: Tell me about your collections.

A: The Mithai Collection: Inspired by the hundreds of varieties of Indian sweets.  The main print is a 13 colour screen print (which was a challenge to print on such a scale!) and features a layer of shiny silver! On our products this print is paired with candy stripes – to create something that blends both Indian and western influences.

Mithai Collection

Mithai Collection

The Pushkar Collection: There are three main prints which are inspired by the Pushkar Camel fair.

‘Different Different Camels’  is an illustrative print featuring the different characters of camels, which from afar all look the same but in fact have their own personality and style.  ‘Camel Traders’ is inspired by the scene of the bright turbans of the camel traders, spotted amongst the herd of thousands of camels.  ‘Net Block’ is a geometric pattern referencing the nets that many camels wear as decoration.

Different Different Camel Collection

Different Different Camels

Camel Traders Collection

Camel Traders

Net Block Collection

Net Block

Q: What’s your fascination with cushions and quilts?

A: Cushions are a really easy way to brighten up and transform a room – you can never have too many of them!   And quilts are so versatile.  You can use our quilts as a decorative bed cover, as a cosy blanket, or layer it up as a light summer duvet.  Plus all our products are reversible, so you can style them in different ways!

Net Block cushion

Net Block Cushion

Mithai quilt

Mithai Quilt

Q: Which designer do you admire and why?

A: That’s so hard!  There isn’t anyone specific, but we admire designers who cross over between different disciplines – applying their aesthetic and vision to products, fashion, interiors, etc and grow their business without compromising or over commercialising.

Q: What’s the best thing about owning your own business?

A: Doing what you love!

Q: What one piece of advice would you pass on to someone wanting to set up their own business?

A: It’s very challenging, but if you can pull through then there’s so much you can do.  So stick at it!

Q: What’s coming up for the rest of 2013?

A: We’re looking to expand our product range to include rugs and also hopefully to come out with a new collection by the end of the year!

You can buy their products online at Safomasi.  Credits: text by Homegirl London, images courtesy of Safomasi, special thanks to Sarah Fotheringham and Maninder Singh