The founder of Singapore-based jewellery and home accessories brand Ashepa shares how growing up in Kenya inﬂuenced her creations.
Q: What gets you out of the bed in the mornings?
Working with people on a different continent and a five-hour time difference means I usually wake up to encouraging progress from my artisans back in Kenya; their excitement is contagious. A good Kenyan coffee blend helps too.
Q: Of these four – sky, ocean, mountains and animals – what inspires you most and why?
Animals. I feel privileged to have experienced so much nature first-hand growing up, and it has inspired a lot of my creativity. My collection incorporates elements found in nature, such as the ripple effect found on an Impala horn replicated on a bangle. I hope it encourages other people to consider the impact nature has on their lives.
Q: Describe your personal design style.
I would say that I have a definite Afro-lux vibe! I love playing with earthy tones and textures, so we have mudcloth cushions and beaded pots interspersed throughout the home, which we then pep up with brass tones. My Ankole collection sums this up best.
Q: Name an interior trend you don’t want to see again.
Far be it for me to besmirch anyone’s individual style! However, ’70s style of vinyl flooring is my personal peeve.
Q: Which room in the house do you spend the most time in?
Our living room is the core of our home. All the other rooms feed off it, so I can be seated in there and still feel connected to the rest of the household.
Q: What would you like to have as your last meal on earth?
I have a crazy sweet tooth and I couldn’t leave earth without one last taste of sugar. My great-grandmother used to make a sweet flatbread called puran poli that was from her childhood in India. She passed that recipe on to my grandmother and, now, my mother.