Meet Nasia Burnet, co-founder of Sukhi and provider of quality rugs with a social impact
Today I would like to introduce you to Nasia Burnet, a woman with a vision and a drive. With Sukhi, she offers beautiful and colourful handcrafted rugs following fair-trade and eco-friendly practices. Her mission is to empower artisans from developing countries and help them create a better life. Sukhi imports rugs directly from India, Morocco, Turkey and Nepal, so they can cut costs and, thus prices.
Don’t you agree that a great rug can dress up a room, make a statement and/or tie a look together? At Sukhi, you can select from many colours, patterns, shapes, and styles; Beni Ourain, patchwork, with wool and felt balls, etc. I personally own two of their rugs (this one and a custom design), and I’m super pleased with these two pieces.
With such great products and mission behind the brand, I wanted to know more about Nasia and her story.
Q: Who are you, and what do you do?
A: “I am Nasia Burnet the CEO at Sukhi and textile designer from Amsterdam. I founded Sukhi together with Wouter Durville. Sukhi is an online shopping destination for high-quality hand-made customizable rugs. We promote conscious living at affordable prices. It all comes down to partnering directly with artisans. That means cutting out overhead costs on warehouses and physical stores.
Q: What is your business’ mission and/or philosophy?
A: We want to tell a story with our products: no mass production, but unique, hand-made rugs that are made with love from natural materials. If you would like to know more about the social impact behind our rugs then I would definitely recommend watching our video that we made in Nepal. The video introduces three of our lady artisans living and working in Nepal; it provides customers with a glimpse into the lives and community they are helping support with their purchase of a felt ball carpet!
Q: What inspired you to start this business?
A: My interest in handicraft developed during my studies. I love the way each technique is taught from mother to daughter: it is part of their life. The countries where our rugs are made are famous for their handicraft which I absolutely love!
We want to give our artisans a voice: our company enables artisans in Nepal, India, Turkey and Morocco to earn about 2-3 times the average regional pay. Makers can keep their children in school. They work from the comfort of their home. Sukhi ensures that artisans are treated fairly. At the same time, quality is never compromised. The artisans which make our rugs are my inspiration.
Q: What sets your Sukhi aside from its competitors?
A: Each Sukhi rug is unique. Sukhi allows homemakers as well as design professionals to choose their preferred size, shape, design and colors. The result is an authentic rug. One that fits their home and personal style which is pretty unique. You have the ability to create your own handmade rug all the way from Morocco, Nepal, Turkey or India…direct from the maker! Furthermore, we add a label with the name of the maker to the rug so that when you receive your rug you can even send back a thank you message or pictures!
Q: How do you find the pieces/products for Sukhi?
A: During our travel and together with our partners in Nepal, Morocco, India and Turkey.
Q: What are the biggest challenges you face with running the company?
A: As we are working from a distance with our Artisans, communication goes via our partners and that is sometimes challenging. We always want the best for our customers so we need to communicate often with the Artisans, but at the same time communicating with artisans can be difficult since majority can’t read. However, we always make it work and are always amazed by the beautiful results! We create videos to show our customers the hard work that goes into each rug and therefore it takes time to create your carpet, or better said your piece of Art.
Q: What are you proud of?
A: I am proud that our artisans have a better life because of Sukhi. Plus, we love it that we can share these beautiful handmade products with the rest of the world, with free shipping. During our trips to these countries we were amazed by the beautiful materials and we want our customers to share that same feeling when they buy Sukhi.
Q: Do you have any special projects in the pipeline or exciting future plans?
A: Certainly, we often make unique designs upon request for architects: this has inspired us to create new designs. There’s so much possible with our carpets! The new collection will shortly be available via our site, keep following us on social media or on Instagram @Sukhirugs not to miss the update on this.
Q: What is your favorite rug at the moment?
A: I love the custom felt ball rugs; they have endless color choices and you can even customize your rug with a unique pattern, we have 9 to choose from! We are also open for pattern designs from our customers up on request.
My second favourite are the Beni Ourain rugs: we just came back from the Atlas Mountains where our rugs are made and we will have our video ready soon where you can see the production and the social impact behind our rugs. It is impressive to see all the dedication and love that go in each rug. I love the softness and it fits with any interior as it is very clean and the patterns are more like Scandinavian style – which makes them clean ansd modern. Beni Ourain carpets are timeless.
Make sure to visit Sukhi for design that makes a difference, and don’t forget to bookmark this lovely shop!
For more online shopping destinations we recommend, check out the directory.
Tags: Design, Entrepreneur, Ethnic décor, Home textile, interview, Nasia Burnet, Online shop, Rugs, Social impact, Sukhi
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