Combining ancient techniques with a minimalist sensibility, Studio Variously creates swoonworthy luxe textiles, including throws, rugs, blankets, and pillows. Founder Anjali Purohit works directly with teams of international artisans — who maintain the traditional methods of development that have spanned centuries — to create her slow-made, small-batch pieces. Best of all, Studio Variously is a sustainable brand, using eco-friendly materials and environmentally conscious methods of production.
We spoke with Anjali about the story behind her brand, how her pieces are created, and why the work of artisan makers is so important. Read on to see what she had to say and be sure to shop the brand’s full range on Chairish.
Tell us about the name of your brand. Where does Studio Variously come from?
The name Variously is an extension of all the combined experiences I have had culturally, professionally, and creatively by living and working in different places between India, the EU, and the US. The backbone of my brand is the collective skills of not one but several creatives, including artisans, designers, and others involved in our supply chain. The strength of Variously lies in the harmony of the slow-made textiles.
Sustainability is a major element of your production process. Tell us about that.
Sustainability for Variously is a combination of empowering our people and the choice of materials and techniques. Natural materials and non-toxic, eco-friendly dyes are all tested and ethically sourced before being used in production — all our yarns are completely natural and breathable. Sustainability also means producing collections and taking projects that can provide sustained employment to our artisans, who are experts in handweaving, printing, and dyeing. Making what matters and doing it consciously is at the heart of our design and manufacturing process.
You also use very traditional techniques in developing your products. Why is that important to you, and how does that work?
Being born and raised in India and pursuing my design education there, I was fortunate to get a lot of excellent first hand exposure to textiles. I got to travel and work with artisans in remote pockets of the country, which helped me understand the challenges facing them and their techniques. These ways of working need to survive, since they connect societies to their roots, heritage, and stories. These techniques provide livelihoods to artisan families, many of whom are now the last remaining ones. There is so much to learn from these people, which is why I work directly with artisans (without any middlemen). A lot of time goes into researching, traveling, and meeting them on site and sharing our experiences before we collaborate.
How do you find inspiration for the pieces you create? What kinds of subjects, elements, people, or places inspire you?
Cultural spaces, art and design books, and travel are the basis of inspiration for the pieces I create. I like to take pauses in my design process so I can get some time to reflect and improvise. I get naturally attracted to simple, clean, minimal elements that create a pleasant, classic, yet contemporary feel.
You create several different types of products, including throws, pillows, and rugs. What’s your favorite thing to design and why?
My favorite thing to design is throws as they can be combined with the personal touches of spaces like furniture. We are now also translating a lot of our throws into bedspreads, which is getting a lot of encouraging positive feedback.
Tell us about your personal spaces and how you design at home. How would you describe your aesthetic? Do you collect any vintage or antique pieces?
I do collect some vintage textiles and books. My personal space is surely something that reflects a clean, modern sensibility. I also keep things cozy and functional for our two boys.
What’s a dream piece you’d love to have for your own home?
Right now, I’d love to have a book rack or bookshelf that can also be a modern statement piece, since I have a huge collection of design books that I’ve collected over many years now.
What trends in the design industry are you loving right now? And are there any styles or trends you’d like to see disappear?
I am loving the trend of embracing earthy shades like browns and greens in living spaces. I would personally like to see materials like natural leather and natural fur disappear.
How have digital avenues influenced the way you sell your work?
Digital avenues influence our brand storytelling in more ways than one. We want our consumers to get the best experience possible by seeing well-styled photos of our work with as much information as possible, so they can understand all the work it takes to create our textiles.
Where do you see your business going in the future? What kinds of pieces would you like to design next?
I hope to explore more unique artisan-based techniques and continue to collaborate with our makers. In the future, I would like to translate our textiles onto furniture, wall decor, and table linens as well.
All images courtesy of Studio Variously