I do love me a soft furnishing (guilty as charged), so I was rather delighted when I discovered local Creative Shakira Lima during my online travels. Her store, Shakiraaz – a celebration of handcrafted and Indian-inspired gems – was established in 2011 after she spent a few years prior developing and creating products out of her Melbourne home.
Not only does she make her own pieces, she sources other unique items from Indian artisans. “Meeting the honest workers behind these amazing crafts and hearing their stories is the most enjoyable part of sourcing,” she tells me.
Sourcing one-off piece doesn’t come without its challenges, though. “The one-off nature of certain items like the vintage kantha throws or my hand-painted pieces, can be a bit of challenge,” Shakira explains. “[but] if you are one of those people who does not want to have what the masses have and like the look and feel of our products then Shakiraaz is definitely the place to shop!”
A self-proclaimed lover of colour (“Being born Indian and literally having colour run in my genes, I could never have a space that was all beige-ish”), Shakira also screen prints a lot of her own designs. It’s a process that can be fairly laborious (trust me, I’ve tried it), but she admits that “screen printing is almost addictive, once you give it a go”.
Launching a new set of throws any day now and participating in the Primrose Fair at Mount Eliza in October, it’s safe to say there are some big things on the horizon for Skakira, who has some lofty goals for the business.
“I am yet to push the boundaries in creating a first in the homewares industry with regards to product design,” she says, “but that is something I am working towards”.
Check out the full range of Shakiraaz goodies for yourself on her website!