Hi. Our names are... Claire Russo & Liza Serratore
Our company is... LuRu Home
We're the... Claire: I’m the New York half; Liza: I’m the Shanghai half
We make/design/create... LuRu Home crafts traditionally-dyed textiles that are relevant to a contemporary way of living. For the past three years, we’ve worked with indigo hand-dyed cottons printed outside of Shanghai, China. Nankeen soy-paste resist dyeing is a 3,000 year-old technique which remains, today, sustainably produced by hand. It’s our mission to support the artisans who print our fabrics by bringing patronage back to their craft through our line of textiles and accessories for the home. A fondness for Chinese motifs underpins our work as our collection evolves.
Something you need to know about us is... Claire: I collect miniature things (tiny lucky-cricket cages, petite cooking utensils, baby porcelain bowls....); Liza: I love insects and oriental carpets
Here’s how this company came to be... Old friends who ended up in Asia, we convened in Shanghai in the fall of 2010. Shanghai truly is the Paris of the East, a city of 22 million where traditional culture, art-deco internationalism and modern commerce collide. Nankeen indigo fabric was a diamond in that rough, and we found our niche updating traditional Chinese design.
Our absolute favorite thing we sell right now is... Claire: Our Dot Dot Dot yardage, where East really meets West. The dots were extracted from a more elaborate, traditional Chinese pattern, and reconfigured in the most playful of all Western motifs; Liza: Flower dinner napkins; growing up with a chef-dad, this is where my worlds collide. The juxtaposition between our graphic, bohemian Flower print and the formality of a cloth napkin is a bold treat.
Here’s a sneak peek of something we’re working on now... And that is launching TODAY! Several years, and many cups of green tea later, we’re launching a color yardage line to bring our Nankeen fabric and Chinese design aesthetic to a wider audience. We’ll be screen-printing our yardage by hand using water-based dyes here in the US.
We’re most proud of... Learning first-hand how East meets West. Whether speaking (choppy) Mandarin with our artisans, or presenting our products to interior designers in New York City, we’ve created cross-cultural links for LuRu Home’s friends the globe over.
We really detest... The the assumption that Made in China is bad. Our authentic Nankeen textiles are Proudly Made in China by hands which have printed it for generations. Our new yardage line will be Proudly Made in America. Who said you can’t have your mooncake and eat it too?
We could never have done it without this person... Liza: Our team on the ground in China. They’re my family here, picking me up at the airport when I arrive, inviting me to their own family celebrations, and cooking Dragon Boat Festival treats for me.
We consistently read these for inspiration... Claire: House Beautiful, National Geographic, Popular Mechanics, Architectural Digest, Tokyo Jinja; Liza: Here in Wild Wild East, most of my reading is digital due to distance; snail mail takes six weeks and hard copy subscriptions cost a fortune. I can't get enough of Of a Kind's 10 Things weekly email, which is full of quirky and helpful links that remind me of home. I really enjoy Stanford's Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders podcast. There's no end to inspiration in Shanghai itself. Between its Art Deco abundance, markets galore, and street food on most corners, I'm a happy camper. Sometimes it is good to be a bit isolated from design trends, as you have space to let your own ideas brew.
We would like to share the limelight with... Amanda Pickens. She was our first pal in Shanghai, a creative force who supported LuRu's dreams, and an incredible graphic designer and photographer in her own right.