Today, we’re featuring a beautiful company that not only provides gorgeous products but has a deeper purpose of bettering the lives of the ones who make the products. We would like to introduce to you SEFTE LIVING, owned by sisters Sarah and Jennifer.
Jenn and Sarah were kind enough to take the time to answer a few questions we had for them:
Tell us about yourselves! We know you’re a pair of beautiful blonde twins that appear to be very close! Where do y’all live? What about families? What do you do on the weekends?
Jenn: We are bridged by the entire country! I am in the Bay Area (Marin County) and Sarah is in Tribeca, NYC. I have two little girls (2 and 4 years old). Sass has two boys (3 and 5 years old). We call each other’s children our ‘half-children’. I love Sarah’s boys as if they were my own!
Sass and I both try to connect with our families on the weekends. I usually try to let my girls go wild in the woods in and around beautiful Mt. Tam. They wander and explore, fall down and get dirty. Growing up in Tahoe, I thoroughly believe in the combination of dirt and children being magical. For Sass in NYC, a weekend is a far more cultural experience. When I was there a couple weeks ago, we took the boys to the Whitney Museum to see the Frank Stella exhibit. I thought it was a bit ambitious with two little guys under 5, but they loved it. There is a children’s art studio there that is spectacular. We spent an hour or so creating out own Frank Stella inspired masterpieces.
How long has Sefte Living been in existence? What inspired y’all to start this venture?
Jenn: The business was born in 2008. Sarah and I had always been wanderers (and wonderers) by nature and had been living and traveling abroad for several years. Marriage and children on separate coasts required that we reassess how we stay involved in the world and with each other. Through Sefte, we found a means to stay connected with each other and with our extended sisters in Peru and around the world. It also provided us a means to show the ancient and exquisite weaving traditions we’d found in our travels and showcase it as art.
Since we mainly sell your throws, let’s focus on those: Do you have a favorite throw in your collection, or do they all get equal love? Tell us what you love about your favorite(s).
Jenn: Indisputably, I would say that for both of us, the Paya Crocheted throw has a special place in our hearts. The Paya was the first design we completed with a cooperative of Peruvian women who literally crochet their way to financial independence. As they make each coin, they share their daily stories, gossip, laugh and cry together. This throw has true soul. There is a real human touch and a real human story in every one.
Are all of your throws produced in Peru?
Jenn: Yes, all of our knits are made in the High Andes of Peru.
What does Sefte mean?
Jenn: Sefte means ‘soft’ in old English. It was this soft lens that we use to look at everything when we design and collaborate: Soft, muted colors. Soft textures. Soft on the earth. Softness is calming and creates moments of reflection and connection. It invites people to get closer.
What sets Sefte apart from other businesses of a similar nature?
Jenn: Anyone (well, maybe not anyone!) can make a beautiful blanket, but how many blankets have a soul? A real human hand that makes them? It is the craftsmanship that sets us apart. Sefte throws, blankets and pillows are made by native Peruvian women – a place and people very close to our hearts. These remarkable women have worked with the alpaca fiber their entire lives and recognize the finest quality fibers simply by touch. They give life to our knit, crochet and weave designs, adding an element of personality and depth of experience that is irreplaceable.
And we repay them for their craftsmanship as best we can: Most of our artisan partners in Peru are single mothers from the highlands who, due to the insufficient social system, have to provide for their families all by themselves. Sefte offers them a safe, fair place to work, a path to financial independence, and a means to preserve their rich tradition.
Sarah: I think what distinguishes us from other companies is a desire to create and inspire a lifestyle and culture of “getting closer,” slowing down, connecting with those you love, making every morning a Sunday morning. Inspiration comes from a simple moment that imparts a feeling of peace and serenity. It’s the same feeling that slowly wraps around you when you take the time to relax, read, reflect and dream. It’s a purposefully idle Sunday morning in bed and a whisper in your ear from the person you love. This slower, more deliberate way of living is woven into every piece we design. It is what we want to translate to our customers.
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We love love love the Sefte throws we have on our showroom floor! They’re genuinely spectacular and knowing the story behind them makes them even more so. Come visit us to see these beauties for yourself!