While living in Amsterdam, I stumbled on a beautiful shop on the Haarlemmerstraat. The white-framed window was filled with a swinging hammock, draping paper garlands and a Dutch poem was painted on the windows. I immediately felt at home in this shop and found endless inspiration. The shopkeepers were sweet and welcoming and each product was so unique and like nothing I had seen before. This special shop is called Atelier Sukha. Sukha means ‘joy of life’ in Sanskrit and that is exactly how you feel when you walk in the door. It is a place that you must visit if you find yourself in Amsterdam.
I visited many many times during our four years in Amsterdam and developed a relationship with the owners and shopkeepers - all lovely women. I learned that not only is Atelier Sukha a shop filled with beautiful clothing and home wares, but they also design and manufacture most of the items in their collection. They believe in sustainable production and take great care in creating unique items that are handmade from natural materials. All of their products are handmade by women's fair-trade empowerment groups in Nepal and India. Sam and Irene, the owners of Atelier Sukha, have been working with these female artisans for many years and continuously develop new products. They have created a happy, healthy working environment and empower them, their families and communities.
Not only is their collection beautiful but every piece that is purchased supports a community. The clothes, furniture and accessories that they produce under the Atelier Sukha label are made of pure, natural materials like wood, wool, linen, cotton, lokta and cashmere. The collection includes a variety of ceramics, wooden wares, textiles, pillows, clothing and paper goods.
When we moved back to Colorado and opened our store, some of the first products we brought from Europe was the Atelier Sukha collection. I felt compelled to share this beautiful collection. The woven pillows and rugs give our shop a sense of coziness and warmth and the stacks of handmade ceramics give the table life. We love sharing the Atelier Sukha collection and most of all their beautiful story.
The simply beautiful ceramics, including plates, bowls of all sizes, cups, teapots and jugs are made by a Fair-trade Empowerment group in Nepal. These artisans have always been ceramicists and pass on their craft from generation to generation. The ceramics are made from clay and minerals and built to withstand a lot - from dishwashers to some clumsiness. The collection is available in a matte finish they call Pebble and a shiny finish called River.
The wooden plates and bowls are made with Neem wood by a Fair-trade empowerment group in India. They give a natural touch to the table and your food.
The textiles, including pillows, rugs, hammocks, blankets and bedspreads are hand-braided and woven by a Fair-trade women's group in Nepal. The soft textures, thoughtful details and handmade quality of these home wares give a sense of warmth and comfort.
In addition to housewares, the Atelier Sukha collection includes clothing - like these soft handwoven wool sweaters made by women in Nepal.
Their festive paper garlands in all shapes and sizes are made to make everyday moments a bit more special or add to a celebration. The paper garlands are made from Lokta paper originating from trees in the Himalayas and made by a Fair-trade women's group in Nepal.
We are truly inspired by Atelier Sukha and find so much joy in sharing their beautiful collection and their story. We hope you are inspired too and will find yourself in their cozy Amsterdam shop someday.
All images by Atelier Sukha.