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Currently Coveting: In Casa by Paboy’s Ruffled Cushions


Currently Coveting: In Casa by Paboy’s Ruffled Cushions

February 22, 2021

During last summer’s lockdown in Naples, Italy, 28-year-old Paboy Bojang posted his venture’s first message on Instagram: “My name is Paboy, I am an asylum seeker trying to build a future in Europe. I risked my life crossing the deadly desert and the Mediterranean Sea to get here. I used to work at a prestigious majolica workshop called Stingo making tiles and vases but lost my job because the immigration bureaucracy is so bad and I am still waiting for my documents to be renewed. I’ve been waiting almost a year now. I was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement to start something myself in order to survive. I was a tailor in The Gambia when I was a teenager and I realized I could use those skills to make elegant cushions. Please help me grow my business, my first line of cushions hand sewn in Naples.”

That was on July 31, 2020, and since then Paboy’s signature pillows—exuberantly colored boudoir squares edged in frilly trim—have repeatedly sold out. After several years of living in Italian migrant camps, Paboy now has his own quarters in a British journalist friend’s place in Naples, and dubbed his business In Casa By Paboy. He and his creations have recently been spotlighted in the Financial Times’s “How to Spend It” column, British House & Garden, and the Vogue website. The FT’s take: “If joy could be sewn and stitched with ruffles, it would be an In Casa By Paboy cushion.”

Of course, there’s a lot more than happiness sewn up in these pillows. But they are undeniably uplifting and have been making their way around the world.

paboy bojang with one of his ruffled designs on a rooftop in naples. he made hi 17
Above: Paboy Bojang with one of his ruffled designs on a rooftop in Naples. He made his first cushion using vintage fabric and a sewing machine that his journalist friend had stashed under her bed. He then started gathering remnants locally and now has been giving the fabric shops in his neighborhood a lot of business. Photograph by Giuseppe Attanasio.
in casa by paboy cushions are priced at €85 for the ruffled versions, &# 18
Above: In Casa By Paboy cushions are priced at €85 for the ruffled versions, €75 for fringed, inserts not included—and yes, he ships all over. (Shipping to the States start at approximately €25.) Paboy’s online shop shows a sampling of the many color combinations and trims, all in cotton, but he’s currently sold out. Paboy tipped us off that his next drop will be on March 8; watch @in_casa_by_paboy for previews. Photograph by Giuseppe Attanasio.
paboy learned to sew at the age of \13 by working in his uncle&#8\2\17;s ta 19
Above: Paboy learned to sew at the age of 13 by working in his uncle’s tailor shop in Serrekunda, Gambia. When his uncle fled the dictatorship in the country, Paboy ran the shop and was his family’s breadwinner. In 2013, at age 20, he, too, fled, and endured a journey beyond fathoming: he was imprisoned by armed militia in Libya and spent a year sleeping in the doorways of Tripoli. Eventually, he was in a rescued rubber dingy that led him to the migrant camps of Italy—his first was so overcrowded and notorious, it got shut down.

Paboy is a nickname given to boys named after a grandfather in West African countries. He has recently been able to recruit and train fellow refugees to sew with him, and has just moved to a new work space bigger than this one. Note the red zippers in the lower right: they’re a Paboy signature on the back of every pillow. Photograph by Giuseppe Attanasio.

gingham ruffle cushions are a collaboration between in casa by paboy and uk int 20
Above: Gingham Ruffle Cushions are a collaboration between In Casa by Paboy and UK interiors shop By Alice. They’re available in three color combinations from By Alice for £110 each, feather inserts included.
interior designer mandy watkins of space like this added a paboy ruffled pillow 21
Above: Interior designer Mandy Watkins of Space Like This added a Paboy ruffled pillow to the mix in her living room in Anglesey, in North Wales. Photograph courtesy of @Spacelikethis.
paboy has been helping to support his sisters back home with the proceeds from  22
Above: Paboy has been helping to support his sisters back home with the proceeds from his cushions. He is a proud social enterprise owner, and hopes to expand his line to include tablecloths, bedsheets, and duvet covers. Photograph by Giuseppe Attanasio,

Here are some more standout small workshops:

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Frequently asked questions

What is In Casa by Paboy?

In Casa by Paboy is a social enterprise that creates handmade home decor products, including ruffled cushions and bedding, while also empowering and employing women in rural Senegal.

How did In Casa by Paboy get started?

In Casa by Paboy was started by Pauline Dreyfus and her husband, who were inspired by the vibrant fabrics and skilled artisans they encountered while living in Senegal. They wanted to create a business that would support these women and their families.

What is the mission of In Casa by Paboy?

The mission of In Casa by Paboy is to empower women, promote fair trade practices, and create beautiful, high-quality home decor products that are both functional and stylish.

What are some of the products offered by In Casa by Paboy?

In Casa by Paboy offers a range of handmade home decor products, including ruffled cushions, bedding, table linens, and more. Each product is unique and crafted with care by the skilled artisans employed by the company.

How does In Casa by Paboy support women in Senegal?

In Casa by Paboy employs women in rural Senegal, providing them with training, fair wages, and a supportive work environment. The company also supports these women and their families through education and healthcare initiatives.

Are In Casa by Paboy's products sustainable?

Yes, In Casa by Paboy is committed to sustainable practices, using organic cotton and locally-sourced materials whenever possible. The company also prioritizes ethical production methods, ensuring that each product is made with care and attention to detail.

Where can I buy In Casa by Paboy products?

In Casa by Paboy products can be purchased online through their website, as well as through select retailers. The company also offers custom orders for those looking for a truly unique and personalized home decor item.

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