A design with a real story to tell, our Sahara collection is made by our artisans in Jodhpur, India. Go behind the scenes to discover how we make the chest of drawers design – a statement piece for bedrooms, dining rooms and even living rooms alike.
One of our most-coveted industrial designs, each and every Orson stool is entirely hand-made. Available as a bar and kitchen stool and in various finishes, discover its journey from raw planks of mango wood and ribbons of steel to a catwalk-worthy statement piece.
Shrawan showed us a little wooden tractor that he made in his spare time. “It reminds me of being at home. We have two cows there – we call them ‘mother cows’ because they’re sacred. They make our house holy.”
Inside the wood store timber is stacked in its thousands. “To some, the wood store may be intimidating. I like to think of myself as its master.”
“I come from Mandawa which has a tradition of painting houses with frescos. They’re like mural paintings. People from Mandawa tend to learn to paint very easily. It’s like we have inherited knowledge of it.”
“My daughter has just turned two. My parents and uncles all saved up to buy her a gold ring that she can wear on special occasions – it’s just like my wedding ring. We have to stop her swallowing it though; she chews everything!”
“My husband and I scrimped and scraped to put our girls through school, and now they’re both in their 30s. My elder daughter works in Shanghai and my younger one’s a nurse in the city. They don’t come home very often, but we speak every night on the phone. We’re very close”
“My favourite thing to do on pay day is to buy myself some gold jewellery. My husband only owns one gold ring, but he’s very understanding of my habit and saves up to buy me things too.”
“I had a near-death experience in 2000. I came off of my bike in front of a car. I smashed my arm and chest and was in a coma for 15 days. But when my girlfriend came to visit she yelled at me to wake up. So I did. Then I married her!”
“I was born in the year of the goat. It happened to be the year that Tet celebrations took place this February. What happens during Tet is very important – it sets up what’s to come for the rest of the year. My Tet holiday didn’t go so well.”
“My designs tell stories about west Africa. When people are attracted to a piece, they’ll ask what inspired it. Beauty draws people in. It gives me the opportunity to discuss native parables and current issues on the continent. I always hope that when people hear them, they’ll want to help in the way I do.”
“I trained as an interior designer in Vietnam, but really wanted to learn more. I thought working on furniture would be a good stepping-stone. Six and a half years later though and I’m still designing furniture. I just love it. It’s my calling.”
“There’s no point in stressing about life. Every situation has a solution, and if you stay calm and let time pass, you’ll figure it out.”
“I dyed my hair myself with henna for the Lunar New Year and girls seem to like it.” Phong is the workshop heart throb. Several of the women had mentioned him to us. We could tell just from the way he walked.
“I started at the workshop six months ago. I used to work the 700km Guangzhou to Xiamen route as a truck driver. It was exhausting. We did eight-hours-on, eight-hours-off shifts the whole time. The worst part was that I could only come home once a year to visit my wife and son. Now I see […]
“When I’m not working, I spend most of my time playing football. I’m a fan of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester United. My favourite player is Messi because he’s so passionate. I’d love to be like him.”
“When I founded Kith and Kin, I wanted to create a brand that not only creates fun, quality pieces, but that also gives back to the community. There’s a lot of pressure on companies these days to produce cheaper designs, but we’ll always remain true to our ethics. We’re currently working with a charity called […]
“It doesn’t take me long to get to work – I live just 500m away amongst the shrimp ponds and rice fields. I’ve lived there my whole life.”
“I’ve been working here for three years, since I left my hometown in the south to come to Saigon. I used to look after baby shrimp in the delta, getting them to grow up big and fat.”
“The Vietnamese are very friendly – but not immediately! You have to spend some more time with us, then we’ll open up to you.”
“I moved to Saigon three years ago when I was 19. My older brother came too and now we live and work together, but somehow we never fight! We didn’t fight when we were children either.”
“Every evening after work I go to the river and sit there until about 10pm. I find it so relaxing – I love the peace and quiet. Sometimes, if the fishing’s good, I’ll stay there all night. You can catch a lot of fish overnight.”
“I’m sorry to stare – I just love to look at foreigners. We don’t see many here.”
“I bought this necklace in my hometown, Thanh Hoá. I was feeling a bit rundown and someone told me that the tooth would ward off fevers and colds. It’s true – it even cures hangovers!”
“I wear my camouflage jacket and matching hat every day to work. It’s my uniform. When I wear this outfit I feel prepared.”
Li only agreed to having his photo taken if we “made him look handsome”. He has a loud personality and a wide, confident smile. He seemed to enjoy posing.
“Where I come from in Hebei you can see the Great Wall from my village. It’s 60km away so I never actually went up it that often, but just seeing it there every day, looking down at you, was pretty inspiring. I still remember that view.”
Long rectangular planks of pine arrive wrapped in plastic all the way from New Zealand. Like gifts waiting to be opened. Artisans cut them down to smaller, more manageable pieces, piling them up in Jenga-like towers in the middle of the floor, ready for crafting the Mimi three-seater sofa.
Mimi has been living in Saigon for three years. She moved over from Denmark after university. “My connection to Denmark is much stronger than to Vietnam; although both my parents are Vietnamese. My father fled to Denmark during the Vietnamese war. He met my mother there. She’d run from the war too.”
In the designer’s studio, the walls are covered in mood boards, photos, magazine cutouts, hand-drawn doodles of sofas and chairs, and elaborate floral patterns. When it comes to designing a sofa like our Mimi or any of the beautiful pieces that come from the workshop, Bertil, one of the designers looks all over for inspiration […]
“I’ve got a black dog. He’s a stray breed from the village and is only two-three months old. I call him Baobao, which means baby. It’s pretty appropriate given he basically eats what I eat, and as soon as I’m home he gets all my attention.”
“My wife and I have an agreement that whoever gets home first starts the cooking. I can’t cheat as she works here as well, in the painting department, so she’ll know if I’m just shuffling or detouring on my way home.”