African Prints & Fabrics Meet Brooklyn Style

by Sandy Salle on May 16, 2013

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When we heard about Origins Style by Nasozi we were ecstatic! This unique company creates handcrafted home decor items using African prints and fabrics with a hint of Brooklyn style. We were delighted to interview the founder and artist herself and are pleased to share the interview with you!

See below for our exclusive interview with Nasozi, founder and artist behind Origins Style by Nasozi (side note: Nasozi is a Ugandan name which means “something to look up to in praise for.” How beautiful is that!?):

First off, we LOVE your Africa-inspired products. You do an amazing  job of mixing traditional African prints, fabrics, and colors with fun Brooklyn style. Tell us a little bit about your brand story and what makes your products unique.

I started Origins Style a few months after a work trip to Dakar, Senegal in 2011 (I was working in human rights/social justice at the time). I returned home with a bounty of wax print fabrics, but with little idea of what I was going to do with them next. Eventually my art history and architecture background reemerged to the fore, and I decided to focus on interior decor goods.

Pillows were my first items, and my company has since grown to include all manner of home decor accents, and some of the best new items result from customer feedback. By that time I had been living in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn for six years, and noticed a style and aesthetic here that I had not seen anywhere else. There is a constant deluge of inspiration that comes from living and being immersed in such a culturally diverse neighborhood, so the ideas are constantly coming!

What can the handmade interior design products made by Origins Style by Nasozi (OSxN) bring to a home that other more mainstream, traditional interior design and home décor companies can’t?

My collection offers items that are often one-of-a-kind, and always handmade by me. My products are not made anonymously in a far-off oppressive factory, but rather in a real home by a real working mother.

I think a lot of people can relate to some aspect of my story, as well. I was raised in America, educated here, and grew up in a middle class family, in the suburbs of Washington, DC. I happen to be the child of immigrants, which many Americans can also identify with. This status also grants me the personal connection and fascination I have with African wax print fabrics. Growing up, they always reminded me of my family in Uganda whenever I would see them, and I continue to feel connected to Uganda and other parts of Africa today as I work with them. The designs and stories behind each of the designs can transport the OSxN customer to a faraway place without ever having to get on a plane. You can go on safari right from your home!

african decor

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picture frame

pillow

stool

We support Fair Trade businesses and initiatives and were delighted to hear that OSxN carries Ugandan Fair Trade goods. Tell us a little bit about what that means and what makes these products unique?

I am half Ugandan, and this accounts for a significant part of why I worked in human rights/international development for the better part of a decade. This heritage and work experience factors heavily into my business model, and since most of the items in my collection are handmade by me, carrying Uganda Fair Trade products is one of the direct ways in which I can engage the country which is the inspiration behind my company. The Fair Trade items are either made in Uganda (the aprons), or in close proximity to my family’s village in Uganda (sisal baskets). I am also in the process of seeking a community organization or local school to which a certain portion of my profits would go to.

What are your top 3 most popular products or prints?

The most popular prints are always changing because given the nature of the African wax print fabric supply and manufacturing my stock is regularly changing. But GOMIS Sparrow is ALWAYS a hit, and I’ve had it in several different colors throughout the years. Bull’s EYE is another one that I’ve had in several colors and remains popular (attached, but no longer in store), and GIZA is currently my favorite.

Where can individuals go to purchase your gorgeous products?

Customers all over the world can purchase OSxN products directly from my Etsy shop. Requests for custom goods can also be made through here. New Yorkers can also find me at a variety of craft and cultural festivals in and around NYC, usually during the spring and summer months. For example, this May, I am participating in the Fulton Flea during the DanceAfrica Festival at Brooklyn Academy of Music, and also the Hester Street Fair, in NYC’s Lower East Side neighborhood. In June I’ll be at the Renegade Craft Fair in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Thank you for indulging in my safari and I hope you enjoyed 🙂

All of the pictures above are owned by Origins Style by Nasozi and all products can be purchased here.

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