SARAHK create beautiful linens for dining, bedroom and nursery – including delightful prints, embroidery and monogramming. We caught up with Sarah Kostoris and found out a bit more about her crisp, high thread count world…
SM: How did the company come about?
Sarah Kostoris: My husband (boyfriend at the time) was offered a job in Mumbai, India in 2008 and I decided to take the plunge and follow him. I worked for a luxury travel company before the move, specialising in South America – but have always loved fabrics and textiles. During our two years in India I spent my time sourcing hand crafted products and built up a network of craftsmen and women, a lot of whom I still work with today. I started out designing coats and jackets which I had made in wonderful Indian fabrics in a small workshop in Mumbai. I then migrated to sourcing scarves and shawls before finding my current supplier of hand embroidered linens – a family run business in West Bengal just north of Calcutta. We moved back to London in 2010 and since then the business has developed and expanded to include hand woven and hand block printed products, most recently the printed Little Ones collection of quilts and play mats.
SM: Which are your best selling items?
Sarah Kostoris: We must have one of the largest selections of baby pillowcases in the UK, and these are extremely popular. We recently introduced a monogramming/personalising service which makes these a lovely new baby present which will last forever. Our new hand blocked printed range of children’s play mats and quilts are also among our best selling items.
SM: Which do your own family like the best?
Sarah Kostoris: My husband’s favourite is the peacock feather bedlinen, but he loves sleeping so he would choose that! My 2 year old daughter loves the yellow duck quilt, and insists on being wrapped in it when we put her to bed.
SM: What’s on your moodboard right now?
Sarah Kostoris: Some lovely pastel coloured linen for new table linen and hand towels, and a fun new sailing boat print design for quilts. I also have some new embroidery designs that I’m working up.
SM: What considerations go into items in the Little Ones collection?
Sarah Kostoris: All of the Little Ones collection has to be machine washable, and as soft as possible. The quilts are made using lovely soft cotton voile.
SM: What are the biggest challenges, running the business?
Sarah Kostoris: Working with rural craftsmen and manufacturing on a small scale in India and more recently Vietnam, is always tricky – production can sometimes be delayed due to religious festivals or the monsoon weather which can be frustrating. Whilst most of my suppliers do speak English (and I have a few words of Hindi in an emergency!), there are inevitably misunderstandings! Outside of that, I suppose the challenges are similar to most small businesses – a never ending to do list and not enough time to do it in, so prioritising it important.
SM: And your proudest moment?
Sarah Kostoris: It’s not really one moment but the step by step development of the business that I’m most proud of – from starting out with a micro budget, through to becoming a mother and balancing the demands of raising a child and running a business, an
d recently taking on my first employees.
Editor’s pick: we’re loving the pretty range of scarves, perfect for Spring cover-up…
Shop online here.
Images: Sarah K