Makers Corner: Takako and Maurya

Our Makers Corner today features the lovely Takako and Maurya of Tamakurya Boutique whose interests lie in sustainable living, and are the founders of a forward thinking business partnership that fuses African textiles with ancient Japanese traditions and practices.

Hello! Please can you introduce yourselves?

We, Takako & Maurya, are craft-loving mums who create beautiful objects and tools that are not impactful on the environment.
We produce Furoshiki — sustainable and reusable eco-wraps—from Ankara fabric and teach people how to utilise them as an alternative to single-use materials.
Tamakurya Boutique run workshops where we give an insight into this 2000 year-old Japanese practice of fabric wrapping and its history and development.

Please can you share your processes?

A Furoshiki is a single square piece of cloth which, when folded in ways that we teach,  becomes a functional and adaptable tool for wrapping, carrying and storing a wide-variety of objects; from delicate glass bottles and gifts, to books and larger household objects. Furoshiki are reusable and an eco-friendly alternative to gift-wrapping paper or other disposable materials, which are often not recyclable and disposed of in landfill or by incineration. Furoshiki wrapping is a multi-purpose and useful way we can adapt our modern needs without lasting damage to our precious planet and the habitats dependent upon it.

What else do you make?

We also produce a variety of hand-made products including hairbands, ties and garments made by re-using vintage kimono fabric which are all available from out Etsy shop and regular markets around London.

Join us at The Beehive Pub on 4 May 2019 for our exciting May Makers Market – eek!!!

Makers Corner: Tamika Johnston of Afro-Puff Ltd

Screenshot_20171108-012638_1Who is Afro-Puff Ltd?

Afro-puff Ltd is a UK based African inspired children’s clothing line which captures the beauty of African printed fabrics. My handmade range brings together the vibrancy of African textiles with unique playful elements and meticulous craftsmanship.

What inspired you to become a maker?

I have always loved to sew and have very early memories of having great fun making clothes for my dolls when I was little. I studied pattern-cutting for a while and then gave up the course to do a more professional degree. Whilst I don’t believe you should have regrets because everything in life happens for a reason, I can acknowledge that I always missed having a creative element in my life.

I can’t really pinpoint the exact moment I decided make children’s clothing because I feel as if the idea had been in my mind for a long time without me even being conscious of it. I wouldn’t say I’m a procrastinator, but I do have it in me to put things off until all the conditions are perfect! The decision to use African fabric was inevitable, I had always been in awe of wax print, the colours, the textures the significance of it, was a pull I couldn’t resist.

About a year ago, we had a death in the family and at the funeral, I learned about all the things this person had achieved and experienced by the time they were my age and it was just like a switch for me; stop pussy-footing around and just get on with it Tamika!
Within a few weeks, I had registered my company, made some clothes and put them on Etsy! From then on, I have just continued to make clothes and I’ve been enjoying every moment of it.

I find the making process relaxing. I put some music on and I’m in my element.

How is it owning your own business and juggling life?

Owning my own business is exhilarating, scary and fun. I have a full-time job and two children so at times it’s a bit manic. Let’s just say there’s always frozen pizza in the fridge so the family won’t starve when the muse takes me!

Thanks you very and do you have any parting word?

My favourite words of wisdom are by Susan Jeffers, “Feel the fear and do it anyway”

Sometimes we are our own worst critic and when we put ourselves out there and succeed, the rewards are amazing.

Afro-Puff Ltd