Hunters & Nomads
Interview Sarah Garcia
A brand founded upon a love for cultures and craftsmanship, Hunters and Nomads is a collection of one-of-a-kind, handmade and ethically-sourced goods. Their aesthetic is based on the idea that “less is more” with simplistic designs seamlessly weaving through collections from beautiful ceramics and embroidered textiles to jewelry and shoes.
The creative minds behind the magic, Shirin Ehya and Hedi Nikbakht, have cultivated a platform that aims to inspire consumers to support global artisans and conscious-consumerism.
Globetrotters themselves, Hedi and Shirin wander the world in search of unique artisan communities to work with as well as keeping an eye on vintage treasures that provide a window into the heart and soul of culture. At Hunters and Nomads they believe every piece has a unique story waiting to be told, so we caught up with the founders to hear their story.
What drew you initially to the maker movement and its growing global community?
We live in a consumer-oriented society with nearly everything made with machines and lacking quality, durability, and craftsmanship. Our vision is to stimulate awareness in our audiences, and with the help of our makers community, promote conscious living. Every act that we commit as a consumer has a thousand ramifications. We strive to nurture harmony and respect in our consumer habits. Everything we own and buy is a reflection of us as human beings, and when we buy inherently meaningful products, we instill a sense of well-being in our daily lives.
Can you tell us a bit about your backgrounds? How did the idea for Hunters and Nomads come about?
We’re two friends with two different professional backgrounds, but with common interests at heart. Hunters and Nomads was born out of these common intentions. Hedi’s years of experience working with a number of different indigenous communities, as well as Shirin’s background working in the design world for many years, inform our goals for this project and have made us cherish simple design, meticulous craftsmanship, and genuine quality. We both started traveling as young children tagging along with our parents. That early experience taught us a sense of comfort out of our “comfort zone” and moved us to travel more as adults, which we’ve been stimulating that sense of awe and inspiration ever since. We’ve been extremely blessed to have been invited and accepted in a great many different communities as a friend and a visiting ally and celebrating their ceremonies and cultural traditions.
How you go about choosing the various makers and communities you work with?
We work with various communities from all over the globe. Our mission underscores the belief in sustainable and conscious sourcing from our makers, ranging from North American small-scale artisans and designers to indigenous global communities. This extends great respect for their crafts, and a genuine interest in the stories behind their works. Our business model is based on the heart, and our heart always longs for a modern talisman. We curate what truly resonates with us; what we love.
What does sustainability mean to you?
A while back, after reading the modern classic Cradle to Cradle our perspective completely changed about the word ‘sustainable.’ This quote sums up the meaning of sustainability for us:
“We begin to make human systems and industries fitting when we recognize that all sustainability (just like all politics) is local. We connect them to local material and energy flows, and to local customs, needs, and tastes, from the level of the molecule to the level of the region itself. We consider how the chemicals we use affect local water and soil – rather than contaminate, how might they nourish? What the product is made from, the surroundings in which it is made, how our processes interact with what is happening upstream and downstream, how we can create meaningful occupations, enhance the region’s economic and physical health, accrue biological and technical wealth for the future.” -William McDonough
Hunters and Nomads have some of the most gorgeous pieces one can find in the world of local, handmade designs and vintage goods. How would you describe your aesthetic?
We believe in simplicity, less is more. Each season we come up with a different mood board, mostly based on textures and colors and we go from there. Believe it or not, most of the time it feels like the pieces choose Hunters and Nomads. We love what we do, and I believe we attract pieces that are made with love.
You’re constantly wandering through markets while on your travels and even have a Hunted section dedicated to your findings. What are some of the special pieces and treasures you’ve discovered?
Besides our unique pieces that are handmade by different communities and artisans, we also love to wander around and look for one of a kind pieces. It absolutely feels like hunting — hunting for beauty, a story and history. We believe each object carries a story with itself, where its coming from, places its been, and where it ends up finding its home. It is a pleasure to be a part of each object’s life journey! After all, each hunted piece is a priceless treasure in its own right.
Hunters and Nomads x majestic disorder