The beauty of modern home design is that it is not just minimal lines and white open spaces. The modern age has also brought about the practice of sustainable business in large part to the truths we all know in our slowly shrinking world. The new global community has consequently created a new era of design, and those cross-cultural expressions come to life at California textile company,Block Shop. A passion project turned career, this company proves how the old can be made new again in a rather exciting fashion. Sustainable and updated artisan practices fit seamlessly into the aesthetic of modernity through owners Hopie and Lily Stockman.
These sisters blended their educations to bring Block Shop to life. Lily, a New York University-trained painter, traveled to Jaipur, India where she had the serendipitous meeting of a family of small block printers. Her creative nature took hold, and it was there her first scarf was made! It was not much longer before Hopie, a Harvard Business School graduate, traversed to India where she met the same printers for herself. The rest is now history, but that personal connection remains in every fiber of the fabrics and papers crafted for the company.
From table linens to notecards to spa-like robes, timeless patterns with saturated hues are noticeable on every product sold by the Stockman sisters. The bold geometric prints create a high-contrast design with a subtle nuance that remains rooted in the historic handmade craftsmanship. Done in small batches, these materials are produced by families of masters within their respective trade. Block Shop is constantly inspired by the centuries-long practices thanks to their dedication to research and travel through India with their own team based in Jaipur.
The cloth napkins particularly make us want to throw dinner parties just to enjoy the beautiful fabric with friends! The warmth of these textiles is reminiscent of the cozy vibes seen in vintage pieces, but the colors and patterns provide a fresh perspective on a long-standing tradition of Indian printing. Afterward, we will just relax and unwind in our organic cotton robes that make us feel like we are Indian royalty living in luxury. Closing our eyes, the touch of the cloth from the robes and even the scarves transports us to the sun-filled country of South Asia.
Still, the quality of material and design is not the only factor that gives Block Shop its devoted cult following. In hopes to flourish a progressive small business community in Jaipur, India, Hopie and Lily designate five percent of their annual profits to go back into the region that makes their textile company possible. Those proceeds benefit female empowerment projects in the region and allow the local community to grow in positive ways. Knowing that supporting Block Shop supports the Bagru female education programs, every item instantly seems more valuable. It goes beyond the quality and unique style of the materials. Instead, it makes every customer part of a something bigger than each of us in this fragile island planet we know as Earth.
With one visit to one of their California stores or browsing Block Shop’s products online, it is easy to fall in love with this new age textile company. If you come for the philanthropic aspects and stay for the perfectly intricate craftsmanship, Block Shop will never disappoint the modernist in all of us. The artistry and care will be sure to last the test of time, always celebrating the majesty of the Indian craftsmanship brought directly to the American West Coast.