Naranjji Home: Interview with founder, Serwat Ibraaz
1. Given your background in visual design, what inspired you to open your own business selling interiors?
As a visual designer, I have always enjoyed my freedom to experiment and explore the endless possibilities of design; envisage, digitise, perfect, repeat! Given my interest in interior and product design along with the creative urge to make something unconventional (for the public), something I can call mine, has translated into Naranjji!
2. Tell us a little about your journey from when you started to today?
We launched in 2020 right before the lockdown happened which meant that even though Naranjji was meant to be mostly online but any possibility of a physical display was taken off the table. However, the sudden shift towards online shopping during covid really helped Naranjji take off. I’d say we have been able to establish our identity in the sense that at our first exhibition (Daachi) this year, most of the visitors were not only ecstatic to finally see and feel the products but were easily able to identify the brand by just looking at the collection. So that felt like a win!
3. What is the process behind your furniture pieces? Does each piece require a different method? How do you approach it?
I like spontaneity and therefore each one of the pieces is about bringing a method to the madness. I generally start with sketching out raw ideas inspired by history and present-day, which I then translate into digital renders to see if they comply with my design thinking.
4. What do you think your customer wants from your product, and how will it help them achieve them? What sort of lifestyle do you think they can settle into with the help of your products?
Naranjji is for the open minded, creative, and bold who wish to experience nostalgia and are also receptive to new concepts and approaches. I believe people are drawn to the form in equal parts, as they are to the functional aspects of design and therefore I aim to make the two intersect in my products, not letting one take precedence over the other.
5. Your customer’s opinions are crucial in business. What’s the best feedback and criticism you’ve received? Which do you value more?
It’s interesting how this one time a client asked to translate on of my product into something entirely different and it eventually turned into a bestseller. Be it feedback or criticism, they have always helped me grow.
6. What are your inspirations or muses, if any, behind the design of each piece?
For me the inspiration comes from the good, the bad and the mundane of architecture and design. I love vintage and I realised this when I started designing for my own brand. I always thought I was mostly a modernist, who enjoyed straight lines, muted colours and oversimplified forms but now when I think of home, it has to evoke a sense of warmth which I find in the intersection of modern and vintage patterns and motifs.
7. Would you want to expand?
Given the response, I don’t see why I shouldn’t?
8. If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be?
If I were to collaborate with someone, it would be Alessandro Michele for his eccentric maximalist taste and surreal vision of fashion. (Hoping its not too far-fetched!)