I’m so excited to have Luru Home here today! Mattie Tiegreen introduced us, and wow – these girls are incredible! I love all of these beautiful designs, and how their company really is influenced by their environment.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT RUNNING YOUR BUSINESS : Our favorite thing about running LuRu Home is working and living in Shanghai. The city is incredibly inspiring. It’s a quintessential example of Imperial China catapulting into the 21st Century, with a good dash of art-deco French influence. We’ve called it home since 2009; Liza lives there still, while Claire has come back to the states to open our Brooklyn office. While we’ve got a foot in two hemispheres, The Pearl of the Orient is truly at the heart of our creative inspiration and design.
FAVORITE CANDY/TREAT : Dark chocolate by the bar… that’s a food group, right? And bubble tea. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.
WHAT’S A RECENT FAVORITE FIND : We are glued to The Cleaver Quarterly, a new Chinese food publication out of Beijing. We share their love of Chinatowns worldwide, and adore their mouth-watering photography and clever writing.
TELL US HOW YOU GOT STARTED WITH HOME DECOR : We both taught in international schools in Asia after college. We each traveled widely and collected examples of fabrics and crafts we admired, gravitating specifically toward traditionally dyed textiles from Shanghai. There was so little being made by hand in China — what a treat it was to find fabrics that had been printed the same way, by hand, for generations.
In particular we had a strong attraction to Nankeen indigo dyed textiles, which dated back 3,000 years and were still being produced by a handful of families. We were simply floored at the beauty of these fabrics, and became determined to advance their cause. Nankeen indigo dyed cottons form the foundation upon which we’ve built our collections of contemporary and vintage textiles for the home. We’ve branched off into screen-printed yardage, accessories, and limited edition capsule collections; each year brings a new crop of exciting products, and we love the pace and design challenge that each collection holds.
WHY DO YOU INSTAGRAM : Liza wears the Instagram pants in this relationship. She bops all over Shanghai, whether to the Button & Trim and Fabric Markets, or the Shanghai Library for design inspiration, making frequent detours to sample so-and-so’s legendary street noodles, egg pancakes, or Sichuan chicken. We delight in sharing these glimpses of China life with our community, and Instagram is the perfect forum.
ANY ADVICE FOR FELLOW ENTREPRENEURS : Ask everybody everything, all the time. And never stop reading! Most importantly, if there’s a communication barrier preventing you from achieving your goals, simply learn the language to get past it. Whether Spanish or Mandarin or manufacturing lingo, just go out and learn it! Speaking the tongue of your work community removes obstacles, builds trust, and demonstrates your commitment to the people with whom you partner.
WHO’S A FELLOW ENTREPRENEUR YOU’RE CRUSHING ON RIGHT NOW : We’ll assume we can have a double crush because there are two of us! Our first crush: Hart Hagerty and her eponymous line of jackets. One of our closest China friends, Hart is a creative force in both Shanghai and New York City. Her use of Miao hand embroidery is extraordinary, and we speak the same language of China Design and preserving handcraft techniques. Our second crush is Nasozi Kakembo of xnasozi, one of our favorite female entrepreneurs in Brooklyn. Her home accessories bring African mudcloth and waxprint to a new level. She is absolutely the African design counterpart to our Shanghai creative vibes.