If you’re partial to a bit of global style and a bright pop of colour, then you’re in for a real treat with today’s post. I’ve been lucky enough to catch up with the lovely Phoebe Clapham and Sophia Leppard, wicked cool co-founders of online global interiors store YONDER.Living, to find out what floats their adventurous boats. And as an extra treat, they’re offering readers of NMC (that’s shorthand for NeedsMoreCushions by the way, I’m trying to make it a thing…) a 15% discount off purchases!
I was absolutely thrilled when I first came across YONDER.Living. For me, its an online global interiors store like no other. Choc-full of bold, bright pieces from across the world – all ethically sourced of course – it has a really funky, modern vibe and does not feel at all overly ‘boho’ or ‘ethnic’ – a label which is often attached unfairly to stores that specialise in selling global treasures.
How would you describe YONDER.Living?
Yonder is an online collection of handpicked items to fill your home and life with colour and adventure. We believe in transforming spaces into homes using uniquely beautiful items. It is our aim to source the globe to find only the most special pieces to share with you, and help bring a sense of global inspiration into your living space.
What is the inspiration behind the brand?
Our lifelong passion for travel, interior design, and creating beautiful living spaces to come home to, along with sharing our style and lifestyle with others, is always our main driving force behind Yonder.
“It is our mission to source the globe to find only the most special pieces, share our finds with you, and help bring a sense of global inspiration into your living space” – Sophia and Phoebe, founders of YONDER.Living
Who are the faces behind the brand and can you tell us a little about yourselves?
So to tell you a little bit about us, we are two sisters born & based in South-East London. We have both come from a background in Art and Design having studied at Central Saint Martins and Camberwell College, and with a strong passion for both interiors and travel, Yonder seemed to be exactly what we both wanted to do!
What are your favourite items in the shop at the moment?
I think our favourite pieces at the moment have to be our new Sahara Pots & bowls. It is always so great when we have a fresh collection on the shop as they add such a big pop of colour and pattern.
What are your biggest sellers/most popular items?
Our favourite item – the Sahara pot – also happens to be our most popular seller too! I think its because they just put a smile on your face. They are the perfect thing to add into a room or house to make a statement as each one is completely one off. We also individually name each and every one, and I think our customers feel drawn to certain ones that maybe remind them of places they may have travelled too. [I’m currently wrestling with whether to indulge in the Seacave, the San Fransico, or the Rejkavik….decisions…!]
From where around the world do you source your stock?
We currently source our items from a mixture of areas within Turkey, Morocco & Thailand. But we are hoping to expand this much further, with Guatemala next on our list!
“If you want something bad enough, then just do it.” – Sophia and Phoebe, founders of YONDER.Living
What pieces of advice would you give anyone thinking of starting their own business?
If you want something bad enough, then just do it. That is what we did! Also be prepared for a lot of hard work and sacrifices.
How do you find local suppliers overseas?
The people that we work with have definitely come from a process of finding them as we go along. With each new trip comes a new source of inspiration or an opportunity to work with someone new. We of course have a group of people that we continue to work with on our products who we have built relationships with, that have come from this process, (if you can even call it that) who are skilled in their own area.
What is going to be your next interiors purchase?
It would definitely have to be a Vintage Moroccan Beni Ourain rug as they are totally AMAZING!
How important is fair trade and ethical shopping to you and your company?
This is definitely something that is important to us and our brand. We love to support local craftsmanship and support communities and the people we work with. We have spent time to get to know the people that we work with and understand the process behind making the items that we sell.
What iconic pieces do you think show off global interiors style at home?
I think that any handmade piece shouts global style, however textiles in any form, be it a rug, cushion, blanket or other are a great way to create a sense of travel in a room. Textiles convey so much within them, through their colour, pattern and texture, they say so much about where they are from or culturally inspired by.
What are your top three tips for anyone buying home accessories overseas?
Firstly you must really be in love with the item! Sometimes you can find yourselves swept up in the moment, especially if on holiday and then you get home to find you’ve gone off it! Secondly I think it is important that the item says something about where you have been, that way it will remind you of that place when home, as if you can get the item anywhere then its not so special.
The third piece of advice would be to try and meet whoever made the item if you can, or find to out a little bit about where the item was made, as I think the thing we love about our collection is that all the pieces are handmade which adds a little something extra to the sentimental value of the item.
“We pride ourselves on the fact that all of our products are handmade by skilled artisans” – Sophia and Phoebe, founders of YONDER.Living
To what extent does travel inspire your style?
Travel is very important to our style. We pride ourselves on the fact that all of our products are handmade by skilled artisans. We source all our items from around the globe, and therefore the brand has a theme of travel at its core.
What’s your favourite travel destination and why?
Morocco certainly has a special place in both of our hearts, especially Phoebe who knows the souks like the back of her hand! But one place that really has stayed with Sophia is Iceland: I am secretly a bit of a nature nerd and the landscape there is totally awe inspiring, especially in the depths of winter when I was out there. I will never forget the almost otherworldly surrounding of the Blue Lagoon, watching the sky turn black over the endless snow covered mountains. I also love the way that folklore and traditions are so commonplace within day-to-day life; one morning I found myself caught up in a totally legitimate and serious protest against road works taking place because the area was known to be inhabited by Elves.[You can check out my own take on shopping in the souks of Marrakesh here, and the beauty of Iceland’s rugged landscapes here]
How would you describe your own sense of interior style?
Our dream interior would have to be a white blank canvas room filled with splashes of colour and neon brights from our very own Sahara Pots, Pompom baskets and vintage Kilim cushions, of course!
From which countries/cultures would you say you get your style inspiration and why?
I don’t think we could actually put a stamp on that, as so much of what we do comes from a mix of ideas and inspirations from all over the world. Yonder is so much about travelling, and this means to not be in one place but to be exploring and finding new things.
What items from around the world are you currently on the look out for?
We have both got our eye on a lot of beautiful soft furnishings that come from Guatemala involving lots of bright colours and textures, that we hope we can add to the Yonder collection soon!
“At YONDER.living we invite you to join us in the adventure and bring pieces of faraway places into your home. After all there is nothing better than returning from an adventure to a home that continues to fill you with inspiration” – Sophia and Phoebe, founders of YONDER.Living
I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing from the ladies behind this super brand and I for one cannot wait to see what they pick up from Guatemala – maybe the girls will agree to a NMC exclusive launch?! I really do have big love for the products on offer at YONDER.Living and intend to fully make use of my 15% discount code. To whet your appetite, here are my top picks:
For the ultimate colour pop
Got to be the San Francisco Sahara pot as shown in the photo below. These colourful Sahara storage pots are handwoven by Berber tribes in the Sahara Desert and I love that each one is completely unique. They would have originally been created to store Khobz bread and are made from natural raffia stalks and dyed wool. They’re plenty big enough to store a variety of things, measuring H20 x W18 x D15 cm and only cost £38. Such a fantastic colour pop style statement though! Whoop!
To liven up your dining table in time for Spring
I love, love, love these Oahu bamboo placemats with turquoise tassels! And for only £9.50 for a set of two, I may well indulge in more than one colour (there’s grey, black, white and orange available – I do love a mix and match).
Because I can’t write a post without featuring a cushion
I know its sad. But why suppress the urge the write about something that I love? It just wouldn’t be right or sustainable…And look how beautiful the Nile Island Kilim Cushion is! Made from vintage 1970s kilim rugs, and handwoven in Turkey, these cushions are real showstoppers. I like that many of the designs are geometric in style so remain bang on trend, even if they have been around since the seventies!
And finally because no sane human being can resist a breton-stripe
Especially not one with added pom poms like this Breton Stripe blanket has. Seriously. I REALLY want this (and this is coming from a girl who already owns two pom pom blankets from Morocco). Like mine, this one is handwoven in Morocco on traditional looms in the Atlas Mountains and is made from 100% cotton. It’s not the cheapest at £105.00, but it’s super pretty and will go with ANYTHING.
So there you have it! YONDER.Living. Love the brights and the colour pops. If you’d like to get 15% off your next order with YONDER.Living, then add the code YONDERxNMC15 at the checkout. I’ll see you over there…..
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Happy travels, and shopping