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Shopper’s Diary: Soukra Tunisian Goods


Shopper’s Diary: Soukra Tunisian Goods

March 14, 2018

Just after college, art history major Pauline Eveillard moved to Tunisia on a Fulbright scholarship and found herself unceasingly inspired by the people, places, and handicrafts of her new North African home. Though she’s been back stateside for some time (in San Francisco), she has visited the country every few years since, giving her the chance to deepen relationships with the makers and artists she met while living there. After the Arab Spring—which started in Tunisia in 2010—Eveillard was inspired to build a link between the United States and Tunisia “in order to foster mutual understanding between cultures,” she says. After the uprisings, she explains, “There has been a burgeoning community of creative entrepreneurs, and I aim to shed a light on them, their stories, and their creations.” Her outlet is Soukra, an online shop offering home decor and wearables, all made in Tunisia. Here are some of our favorite pieces.

soukra blue matisse plate
Above: A Large Ceramic Bowl features a hand-painted leaf motif inspired by the work of Henri Matisse. Made of clay, the bowl is shaped and glazed by hand in Nabeul, the hub of Tunisia’s ceramics industry. It’s eight inches across and comes in blue, green, and orange; $34.
The company is named for a suburb of Tunis—La Soukra—where many of Eveillard’s Tunisian friends were raised.

soukra blue pattern throw pillow
Above: This Blue Wool Geometric Pillow is made of 100 percent wool, dyed using natural ingredients. It’s made by a group of women artisans who are exporting their work to the United States for the first time, through Soukra. The 20-inch-square pillow is $78, insert not included.
In assembling the Soukra collection, “I look for entrepreneurs who design products that are crafted using traditional techniques with an eye toward modern aesthetics,” says Eveillard.

soukra basket blue purple edge
Above: The Halfa Fruit Basket is made by the same artist collective as mentioned above, woven in women’s homes in the Kasserine region of Tunisia along the Algerian border. Made by hand of 100 percent natural fibers—mainly Tunisian halfa grass—it’s $46.
Shoppers Diary Soukra Tunisian Goods portrait 14
Above: The Blue Halfa Rug is a 70/30 blend of halfa grass and wool—with fibers dyed using natural materials. The three-by-five kilim is $84.
Shoppers Diary Soukra Tunisian Goods portrait 14
Above: This Yellow Halfa Pillow is also a halfa/wool blend, woven by hand in turmeric-dyed yellow with small blue checks. It’s available as a 16-inch or 20-inch square, starting at $64 (pillow insert not included).
soukra pink leather indoor slippers
Above: These Balgha Slippers (also known as babouches) have a body of brightly dyed pink suede with natural leather soles. They are made by hand in the Tunis medina by a fifth-generation shoemaker; $64.
soukra artist storage basket with lid
Above: The Halfa Box is 15 inches across and four inches tall—the perfect place to store votive candles and holders; $48.
soukra blue colorful patterned mat
Above: This 100 percent Wool Geometric Rug applies a contemporary motif to the ancient art of weaving wool rugs by hand. The three-by-five-foot rug is $118.
For more decorative and useful objects, see:

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