MADE x HANDS, a luxury home décor brand that makes naturally-dyed, handmade objets d’art inspired by the Asian and African diasporas, has raised USD $200,000 from international private investors in a pre-seed round of financing.

Birthed in Bangalore in early 2020, MADE x HANDS is a contemporary celebration of heritage, culture and ancient traditions that have been passed down through the generations. In a series of signature silhouettes, colors and patterns, the brand seeks to rethink and reshape the interior industry’s perception of diversity in design.

“Home décor is a $600B global market, of which the US and Europe are the majority. When we first researched this category, we noticed a disconnect in how décor from Asia and Africa was being presented to Western audiences – it’s essentially whitewashed,” says Bryan Turpin, CEO and co-founder of MADE x HANDS.

“We reflexively refute the colonization of decor and interior design by Eurocentric gate-keepers,” he adds. In such a world, Bryan notes, contemporary design is synonymous with muted textures, colors, and patterns. By contrast, décor with cultural influences is – consciously or unconsciously – classified as “ethnic” or “traditional,” marginalizing what should otherwise have been authentic heritage.

Instead, MADE x HANDS puts this untold history front and center with its bold and unapologetic vision. The brand’s design choices take inspiration from the ancient Silk Routes, when African and Asian cultures were the global epicenter of ingenuity and influence.

The company’s international investors, based in the United States, Hong Kong, Japan and India, share a firm belief in the same vision.

“Traditional home decor is destined for disruption, particularly in this era of inclusivity and cultural consciousness,” says Angela McCareins, an experienced private investor who backed the brand. “MADE x HANDS was founded by two business executives who are highly attuned to these significant trends and can uniquely capitalize on them. Bryan and Samita are building a diverse, design-driven company that will challenge the status quo.”

The founders are e-commerce and operations veterans Bryan Turpin and Samita Malik, drawing on both their professional and personal experiences to launch the start-up. The duo are certified culture connoisseurs, having lived in five countries and traveled to more than fifty others. The brand is infused with their shared passions and beliefs.

“A major driving force behind the brand is the desire to cultivate conscious consumerism. We want to do our part to combat the growing inequality exacerbated by an over-reliance on machine-made products, and also minimize our impact on the environment. We believe these are values shared by a growing cohort of consumers in the US, Europe and Asia. And home-décor is a segment where much of this wrong can be addressed without requiring a massive change in consumer behavior,” says Samita, co-founder of MADE x HANDS.

The company will use the $200,000 in funding to bring its debut, luxury textile collection to market and expand its artist clusters beyond the Indian subcontinent in tandem with new product and category launches in 2022.