Aloka Home Explores Textile Traditions

Amy Flurry, author of the Recipe for Press books and co-founder of Aloka Home.

Amy Flurry, author of the Recipe for Press books and co-founder of Aloka Home.

We’ve known Amy Flurry for a number of years, and we’ve always been impressed with her vision and her ability to strategize. We’re now celebrating her entrée into the world of textiles with the launch of a new business Aloka Home—an endeavor she says she owes to her business partners Ashu and Monik Ladha. Before we share how this effort crystalized, we’ll give a bit of a backgrounder on this dynamic businesswoman and artisan. The twenty-teens was a busy decade for Amy, as she co-founded Paper-Cut-Project with Nikki Nye in 2010, the effort a collaboration based on the transformation of simple sheets of paper into dramatic silhouettes that fascinated us when we saw them. The duo garnered commissions from several of the world’s top fashion houses, which included Hermès, Cartier, Kate Spade, and Valentino. They created a series for the famed Victoria & Albert Museum, and their artistry was featured in The New York Times, Selvedge, Numéro, and Italian Vogue.

Amy Flurry and Ashu Ladha, two of the co-founders of Aloka Home.

Amy Flurry and Ashu Ladha, two of the co-founders of Aloka Home.

At this point, Amy had already been producing features and writing for top print and online publications for two decades. The editorial experience she had gleaned as a content creator propelled her to write Recipe for Press: Pitch Your Story and Create a Buzz, which she published in 2011. The interactivity this book provided her as she spoke to interested individuals about how to enhance their brands through publicity resulted in a second book, Recipe for Press: Designer Edition, which made a splash when it debuted. “For over a decade, I assisted interior design firms, designer showrooms, and manufacturers in positioning their companies through strategic communications planning and implementation,” Amy told us. “In 2018, I published the second book geared toward designers, which gave them the tools they needed to take advantage of press opportunities. In working so closely with mid-sized companies and putting together teams to articulate the vision, I gained exposure and deep learning about many aspects of these businesses.”

The Launch of Aloka Home

You can feel the suppleness of this quilt just by looking at it draped around the human form.

You can feel the suppleness of this quilt just by looking at it draped around the human form.

This understanding prepared her for her role in directing certain aspects of a company in the home furnishings field. “It was clear that communications and commerce were becoming more closely intertwined and so it was natural to be in the development stages of range-building,” she said. “I particularly loved product development and, increasingly, where this connected to branding.” Fast forward a decade and Aloka Home debuted in 2020 during High Point Market. “I have my current partner Ashu Ladha to thank for inviting me to be a part of this project,” Amy said of her participation in co-founding the brand that is committed to creating arrestingly beautiful, well-designed products for the home. The quilts the company sells are made from layers of saris that were originally hand-stitched some sixty-to-eighty years ago in India. These are hand-picked, one at a time, for their material integrity and design. The Aloka team then shampoos, softens, and dies the vintage pieces in India before they are turned into quilts or sent to the Aloka Home studio in Atlanta to be turned into pillows and custom cushions. The artists and textile aficionados who create the products embrace the beauty of the quilts “as-is,” and feel passionate about reenergizing them with custom and natural overdyes.

Pillows created by rescued vintage textiles, which are given new life.

Pillows created by rescued vintage textiles, which are given new life by the Aloka Home team.

They are so serious about preservation, they treasure the smallest remnant they find, a point-of-view they see as expressing their care for handicrafts and the planet. We asked Amy what steered her toward creating a bespoke brand. “The opportunity came about sweetly,” she told us. “Ashu and his son, Monik, were visiting family in their cultural home of India. On one of these visits, they came upon a particular sort of hand-stitched vintage quilt, weighted blankets made of layers of saris with gorgeous, time-worn patinas. Ashu shared the pieces with me and asked if I would like to join them in creating something new for the home, made from these beautiful old pieces! He saw these quilts as a unique material, one we could organize and apply our own creative techniques to. That absolutely appealed to me, and the three of us started Aloka in mid-2019.”  We asked if she had always been interested in/passionate about textiles. “I have!” she exclaimed. “In my travels and time spent living abroad, I always sought out antique textiles. These were the souvenirs I chose to bring home and then I would refashion them in some way.”

The warmth of the products is evident in this image.

The warmth of the products created by Aloka Home is evident in this image.

Amy added, “There was also a time when my children were little—they’re in their early 20’s now—when I made soft accessories for kids out of vintage fabrics, and I even sold these at a few markets.” The effort Amy is undertaking with Aloka Home is a much heavier lift, as the company’s team has already sorted through thousands of quilts. “We only buy a few hundred out of that many,” she said; “and that’s just the first step of ten or more that we undertake as we refresh them to make them an Aloka product.” We asked her how the endeavor has enhanced her life beyond being her new business model. “Aloka requires that I apply my understanding of creative storytelling to sales, and that is key because it keeps us focused on creating a sustainable business,” she answered. “And this has expanded my community—our buyers in the business are amazing, interesting people, as is our team in India.”

The vintage aspects of the fabrics Aloka Home sources make the company’s textiles unique.

The vintage aspects of the fabrics Aloka Home sources make the company’s textiles unique.

The aesthetics of the brand is a bonus for Amy, who noted, “It is also a business that fills every day with beauty, like heart-stopping beauty. And then that beauty extends to the home where I set my table with Aloka Home placemats or curl up under an Aloka quilt and watch a movie. There are few things that are not made better when they are covered in Aloka.” We asked Amy if there was anything she would like Design Diary readers to know about her or about this new venture. She said, “Our customers often become collectors. They fall in love with the feel (our signature is the softness) and the evidence of the hand in these pieces. I simply want more people to fall in love with Aloka!” We are betting this will be happening in spades as these visionaries continue to infuse this brand with passion. You can follow Aloka Home on Instagram and can shop online for their products.

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