Brother Vellies Pivots To Artisanal Home Goods

Photo: Courtesy of Brother Vellies.
Today, Brother Vellies founder and creative director Aurora James announced the launch of a monthly artisan home goods program, called “Something Special.” For $35 a month, the brand will sell a curated selection of specialty and, of course, ethically made home goods, from her sold-out “At Home Mugs” to what she calls “Cloud Socks.”
James built her now cult-favorite accessories brand Brother Vellies around the concept of supporting South African, Kenyan, and Moroccan artisans. She says she has spent most of her time in self-quarantine thinking about what her intentions are for the brand, and how she can continue to champion her artisan community during these uncertain and trying times. “I created Brother Vellies with the intention of comforting and sharing the work of certain communities,” James says.  “Over the past five years, my communities have grown and expanded exponentially but my mission remains the same.”
Advertisement
One morning after she shared her morning coffee routine on Instagram stories, her followers began begging the designer to share where they, too, could buy her handmade ceramic mug. A light switched on in her head: Why not continue to support the work of artisans, but rather than selling fashion-forward footwear, provide a platform for selling the types of items that people need most while stuck at home, be it mugs, rugs, socks, and so on? 
Photo Courtesy of Brother Vellies.
“When I started sharing my morning routine with my beloved Mexican mug, I never dreamed that I would then be making them and selling them to a waitlist of thousands of people,” she recalls. “At present we can only make five to ten mugs a day. It’s a process filled with love and care and local sustainable sourcing. Which made me think, What is luxury if not that? Luxury can no longer be represented by a price point, it must only be represented by process.”
Basically, once you’ve signed up for Something Special on the Brother Vellies website, you’ll begin receiving special somethings from the brand’s global community of artisans, the likes of which will arrive on your doorstep every month on the 15th. According to the site, this program is already set in stone for the next six months, but James promises to keep it up for as long as it is necessary to help her community get through the trying times ahead. 
“The thing that has brought me the most joy during this time has been making special items from our artisan community to be enjoyed by our Brother Vellies community, while at home.” And once you’ve seen the selection of items — from hand-poured candles to handcrafted vases made in Oaxaca — we’re sure you’ll understand the kind of joy that Aurora James is speaking to. Join the Brother Vellies family today and receive the first Something Special delivery on May 15th. 

More from Designers

R29 Original Series