Our darling designer Mariska and her brand Ssen Studio, based in Brooklyn, New York, specializes in unique, handwoven pillows. Her inspiration is drawn from two major issues the world needs to attend today: Sustainable and Ethical Products for our homes.
We are ever so proud of working with her for she sets an example in her use of natural materials and ethical labor practices.
We hope you enjoy the beauty of long-lasting handmade pieces woven on a loom in a 'moving meditation' — resulting in one-of-a-kind home accessories.
It’s rare to meet a designer that is passionate about handwoven products. Can you tell the story behind Ssen, Mariska?
Working in the interior design field, I found sustainable and ethical products difficult to source. SSEN merges my passions for weaving and dyeing with my desire to provide more sustainable options for interiors. I see SSEN filling this void one product at a time and contributing to the conversation about what we are bringing into our homes - our most sacred spaces.
You are working with natural dyes such as cochineal, turmeric, avocado, acorn, hibiscus. How does it feel to cooperate with mother Earth?
My initial attempts with natural dyes came from thoughts of excess. What can I do with all these avocado pits? The acorns covering my front stoop and sidewalk? All the felled hibiscus flowers from my mom's garden? It has evolved a bit in that my materials have moved beyond my immediate home and garden as I began to seek out plant materials in nature.
In a world you can design anything, why pillows?
Pillows make for a perfect plush canvas! Pillows are a quick and easy way to transform a space instantly. Working with pillows enables my exploration of infinite weave structures and dye techniques while maintaining a simple form.
How do you think you contribute to the change in the world?
I like to set an example in my use of materials and labor, always using natural materials and ethical labor. Once you begin producing something, you realize each decision you make for your product materials, as well as decisions for packaging and marketing, hold more weight. I'm continually checking in that my business practices are aligning with my values. In a society where mass consumption and production is the norm, I like consumers to take in the beauty of long-lasting, handmade pieces.