Everything completely crocheted, from coat to vase. Designer Asmira Salkanovic develops it and has it all made fair trade by talented women in her native Bosnia.
Who is behind Mumami?
“I have been surrounded by women who could do anything by hand since birth. I have always learned how to do everything myself as well and I always remained hungry for new techniques, combined with forgotten ones. After high school I lived in Zagreb and I graduated from the Technological University at the Institute of Textile and Clothing Design. I started as a stylist and made avant-garde costumes. I was the youngest person ever to be admitted to the Association of Croatian Designers. Then the war came and I had to leave my divided country. I took my sowing machine and my designs and left for Amsterdam. I graduated from the Rietveld Art Academy in ’99.
How did you start Mumami?
“My daughter Una’s birth awoke something ‘soft’ in me. I swapped my synthetic materials for only natural materials that carry an earthy magic, living, soulful materials such as linen, silk, wool, and cotton. I started Mumami when I was pregnant with my second daughter Lena by making a woolly hat collection. It developed into a brand for happy kids with happy parents. Partly thanks to my husband Sasha and my sweet mum who doesn’t mind even my weirdest ideas!”
The women from your country of birth do a lot of handiwork for Mumami. You say it also helps them emotionally.
“Women who work for Mumami are the women of Zenica, Kakanj,Han BIla, Milici and Srebrenica. They receive materials and make us things in their own pace. They are of different ages and nationalities, often traumatized by the loss of close family, property, money and the helplessness and stress from the hard life they lead in Bosnia. For many of them, working for us is a way to forget, to let go, by having regular contact with other women and because they get paid well for the beautiful things they create that also brings something positive to their lives.”