We love Bora products. It’s official. They’re bright, colourful, and sometimes a wee bit cheeky. What’s more, all of the fabric is organic (hurrah!)
We’ve been lucky enough to catch up with Deborah who is the creator of all the Bora products, and she’s kindly agreed to be interviewed by us mere mortals here at Funky Kitsch.
So what’s the story behind Bora? How did it all start?
I’ve always loved to draw and paint. And when I had to choose a direction to go it was very clear: art school!
At the Willem de Kooning academy in Rotterdam I studied ‘illustration’. I got my degree in 2002 and became a freelance illustrator for children books for education publishers.
When I was pregnant of my second child I though it would be nice to design my own wallpaper and curtains. So found Spoonflower.com. It motivated me to learn how to make patterns. And that gave me so much joy that I haven’s stopped making patterns since then. Fabric brands and clothing brands saw them and ask me to design for them.
Besides designing I have a little webshop that sells the products I designed. And sometimes I do a illustrations for books, cards, etc. But most of my time is spent on the fabric design.
Scandinavian style is all the rage just now and Bora fits right in! Was that a deliberate choice, or a natural extension of your own taste?
I’ve always loved to use happy bright colors. And from the beginning of artschool the themes I loved most to draw where whimsical happy animals and children.
Because of the process how the fabrics are made I was forced to simplify my style. I’m limited to using only a few colors and not too many shades/ structure/ etc.
I must admit that I was not aware that my style fitted in the ‘Scandinavian style’. It was just how my style developed during years of drawing and designing.
What inspires you when you design your products?
Children give me the most inspiration. Most patterns I make are based on my interest, my life or just what I would like to have, wear, see, enjoy, etc.
Little and big moments can give great ideas! If it’s a cloudy sky, a day in the park, sorting out tools, baking a cake; it can all turn into a lovely image or pattern.
Do you strive to provide ethical and sustainable products to your costumers? If so, what drives your ethos, and how difficult (or easy!) is it to stay true to your beliefs?
That’s very important to me. The fabrics I design for Lillestoff are all organic and produced fairly. It gives me a great feeling selling it my own shop knowing that it’s a good product. When there is a choice I will always choose the most sustainable and environmently friendly version.
If products will harm people or the environment that will go against my philosophy of making children and adults happy with my designs.
What’s in store for Bora in the future? What are your plans?
As before I just love to draw and design; I’ll keep doing that with no special plans in mind. I’ll see what comes on my path But I can tell you that i’m working on new cards, posters and a new website. But I’m not in a hurry, because I’m pregnant of my 3rd child
What’s your favourite Bora product?
That’s a difficult one, I design so much that I have no idea what I like most haha!
But the things I like most are the designs that lay close to my life, because it’s about my interest or the interest of my own children. Those designs that come to me and just made for fun. Like the camping fabric design for example. Inspired by a weekend spent with my children camping .
What’s your favourite non-Bora product?
I love a lot of non-Bora products! You can see on my pinterest
For fabrics I’m fond of merino wool! It keeps the children warm on cold winter days. I also love old stuff; all thing enamel, teapots, blankets, kitchenware, lamps.
If you were on a desert island, which 3 items could you not live without?
First it would be my family of course But as you ask for items i would choose:
My computer to draw, my sewing machine to sew and my little 2 row accordion to make some music at a campfire
(I hope there will be electricity on that desert island
Thank you Deborah for taking the time to answer a few questions for us. We’re really grateful.
If you would like to see more of Bora’s products you can see them on our website.
Looking outside at the rain and putting an extra layer on whilst I do so, you would be mistaken thinking it was autumn. It’s officially British Summer Time and we’re just waiting for it to kick in.
We’re quietly confident here at FKHQ that the sun is just around the corner and when it does finally put in an appearance, we’ll be here with lots of summer goodies. Kicking off with some fab tshirts from the Netherlands. Logoshirt makes licensed tees for men, women and children with characters such as The Hulk, Captain America, Assorted Marvel Comic peeps, Che, Star Wars, Batman et al. There’s definitely something for everyone. We have some very cute Heidi tees for children along with the revolutionary himself, Che Guevara (which also comes in ladies sizes).
Gnomeville and Dala horse from Michael Miller have also been restocked and I’ve got some made up into A-line pinafores waiting to be photographed. Again, these will be available early next week.
As a an official Mancunian I suppose I should be doing a tribute to Manchester United and in particular, Sir Alex Ferguson. Wracking brain for what but I do have some lovely red jersey that I can conjure into something. It’ll definitely be a TA-DA! moment when it’s done (whatever ‘it’ is). Suggestions gratefully received!
And finally, to all your mothers, moms, mums, mams etc. I wish you all a happy mother’s day (not in the UK though as we had our mother’s day some 2 months ago). Hope you’re being spoilt rotten.