Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Nautical Luxury from Kevin O'Brien Studio

Kevin O'Brien Studio is a textile design company based out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  I discovered their original nautical linen pillows in one of the many trade magazines that we use religiously to find new product.  (it's not as easy as you think!) We fell in love!  First with the linen luxury, then the completely original hand-printed designs,   and then the story of their company....

Taking original artwork designed by their creative director (O'Brien), the studio artisans turn it into amazing, colorful products which are made by hand.

O'Brien began the company in a barn in 1990, painting artwork directly onto silk scarves.  Eventually he started hand painting yardage of silk velvet and sewing it into stunning throw pillows, the textile product collection that KOBS is most well-known for.
"The way I remember it there was this huge loft in the oldest part of Philadelphia.  It was filled with the most splendid shimmering fabrics hanging everywhere.. from the ceiling drying, against the walls being painted, even from the fire escape.  That was in 1997"  Studio Manager,  Angela Romano-Vosburgh
Can you imagine??  I would have been in heaven among all of that incredibly beautiful fabric!
When I am searching for coastal living  home decor products for our online store,  I believe it is important to find companies that have a vision for the future  - one that includes fair trade and sustainable practices.  Kevin O'Brien Studio is one of those companies that we believe in.   They are creating elegant linen coastal themed pillows from skilled artisans - providing jobs, education opportunities, and a chance for a real future.

One of their first venture overseas included a trip to Nepal, where they have established a partnership with 35 local artisans.  In Kevin's words - 

"This beautiful country has a lot more to offer than tall mountains. Squeezed between the world’s two most populous and productive countries (China and India), the skills of the Nepalese are often forgotten. Even more valuable is their patience, beautiful attitude towards life, and eagerness for opportunity. We have tried to provide that opportunity to a group of 35 people who work as a collective, doing hand-weaving and hand-embroidery. 

This is how our linen and merino wool products are made for our pillows and bedding. When the opportunity came to learn screen printing, it was the sari-clad women who jumped at the chance to learn something new. We have built a small screen printing shop at the compound, and it is now their responsibility to print all of the fabrics which are then embroidered by the men and women."

Just see what they've created!   A whole line of unique, nautical themed large luxury linen pillows.  Hand screen-printed designs on elegant linen pillows, all with zippers and soft feather-down filled.   Can't decide which ones I need.... want... crave....

(A selection of these pillows can be found online at Caron's Beach House)

P.S.  We do have a FREE shipping promotion going on right now too!   "MyIsland" is our secret code!

1 comment:

sealaura said...

This is nautical pillow heaven! Of course the octopus and seahorses are my faves.

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