From one backyard studio in Melbourne – and a few in India – come the beautiful textiles that make up homewares brand, Shakiraaz. The collection of rich and colourful handprinted, painted and woven pieces are a combination of owner Shakira Lima’s designs and others by creatives she finds during trips back home to India
Both her parents were artists and her mother’s “sense of mixing old and new, sketching and painting” started her love for homewares early on. Even while studying a genetics degree, Shakira’s artistic inclination stuck, leading her to study textile design. “I’ve always gravitated towards art, design and beautiful things,” she says.
Now there’s Shakiraaz – a place to put her own designs and share the products she’s always been drawn to at the fairs and festivals in India. What Shakira’s pieces and those she imports from India share, is a similar sense of artistic effort. Her cushions are one-offs, all carefully hand printed and painted (“the product of late nights and several cups of tea,” she says) and the textiles from India are made with heirloom skills, like weaving and embroidery. The cotton dhurries, for example, woven by hand on a loom, take the women around 5 days each to make. Likewise, the vintage kantha stoles and throws are hand pieced together from old saris.
While there are only a couple of each of some products, that’s how Shakira wants it. “Our philosophy is to produce unique, one-off or limited edition work.” It might be time consuming, but Shakira enjoys every moment and takes a relaxed approach to keeping on top. “Once they’re sold out, I just update the range with more designs,” she says.