jodie fried, bholu...contd

Yes, I was greedy. Wanting to showcase far too many people on Design*Sponge. It was so incredibly hard to leave people out. So on the last day of my stint as guest blogger I decided to give you a snippet about each of these inspiring women. Here's more about what gets their creative juices bubbling.

More from Jodie Fried at

How would you describe the Bholu style? Bholu style is fresh, textural and contemporary. The lines and the freehand swirls give it a spirit of movement that works in any interior. I love mixing all the designs together as it creates a kind of beautiful movement. One design is called "Sas Lena" which means "to breathe" I feel that's what the free lines and designs might do to a space.
Why has India played such an important role in Bholu and why India? The funny thing is, I ended up in India for an entirely different reason. Through sheer accident and wrong time, wrong place (natural disasters) I fell in love with the country and it's people. I have experienced such highs and lows of India, and seen such compassion, love and humanity through these people. Bholu only exists because of India and my time there. I have dreams to do the same thing but in South Africa using the same philosophy and template as what I have now set up in India. It is such a wonderful way to have this cultural exchange but keep a traditional craft alive in a contemporary way.
Why did you decide to give back to the local communities? The decision to give back to these people was actually the catalyst for the whole company after the earthquake. Having the children do the drawings and workshops and rebuilding their schools was a natural extension of our work and involvement in their communities. All these things lead to another - every development has been very organic. It is such an inspiration to be able to see the improvement our help is making with these communities, especially the children. Their faces light up and we see them growing and getting healthier month by month. It is wonderful.
Can you explain the role the locals take in producing the products? We have many people involved in the products. Women are employed per product to do the embroidery; we have local men doing the stitching and the final packing. We have hundreds of children involved in the workshops and art programs which we hold in the slum communities. We are rebuilding several schools which also employ local men for the construction and women for the decorating, all of which help sustain incomes and the community economy.
Where do you look to for design inspiration? I find design inspiration comes to me when I am least expecting it. It's great to keep an eye on what's happening elsewhere, but I count on my inspiration to come from places which I am exposed to from my travels and imagination. I prefer to draw on ideas and inspiration which come to me from a way that is not contrived or strained. Often I might find inspiration in something as unexpected as a bag of bright red beans in a local Indian market or something that is naturally overwhelming in pattern, texture and colour. I think I like to look at ordinary everyday scenarios and find design qualities in the unexpected.
How has your own personal interior style developed? Yes, I used to be much more eclectic and a bit of a hoarder, a real bower bird. I find that now, with such a creative space filled with colour, texture and inspiration during the day, I find that my home needs to be simple and monochromatic in order for me to feel a sense of rest and peace. I am much more selective in what I collect.
What’s next? We are about to release a range of Bholu rugs, which we are very excited about. It is Bholu on floor! The rugs are 100% New Zealand felted yarn and are handmade in India with the same philosophies. The colour and texture is divine, definitely have to feel these with your feet!

Images courtesy of Bholu.

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