Tanya Kann, co-founder of lifestyle store Pilgrimage Spaces, has always been drawn to the unconventional – seeking out creativity, authenticity and finding great joy in the splendour of nature in its untouched and raw form. She started out as a graphic designer, later moving on to work in production and traffic in the advertising industry, but after some time in the industry, felt a strong urge to be solely creative. This desire gave birth to Pilgrimage Spaces.

Pilgrimage Spaces is a lifestyle store, a representation of life returning to what is authentic and meaningful. It’s a store for people who are looking for unique handmade, exotic pieces, rich in craftsmanship and telling stories of the people, traditions and cultures of the places from which they come. We feel that a lot of what is on offer these days is mass-produced and lacking in soul, and we aim to bring life and soul back into the items that fill our homes.

We started Pilgrimage Spaces as my husband and I have always loved travelling to exotic locations. Two of the places that really captured my heart were India and Indonesia. I was completely inspired by the rawness, richness, connectedness of people to nature and spirituality, along with the culture, colours and craftsmanship. When arriving home, we felt like something was missing, and constantly yearned to go back. From this desire the idea was born to share these exotic and interesting places with others through their treasures. The beauty of these products is that they are all made by hand, each unique and using skills of their artisans, often passed down from generation to generation to keep the craft alive. This is the artisan’s livelihood and creative passion, and something I wholeheartedly appreciate, support and wish to share with others. I can feel a shift happening all around, people yearning to return to the core of what is authentic in life, away from the disconnection of mass-production.

I draw inspiration from travelling and exploring, growing, learning, as well as the conversations with interesting people we meet along the way. It is intriguing to hear about each person’s unique background and cultures, and I have absolute admiration for the pieces which come out of these places.

The artisans we employ take quite some time to find. It is a long and sometimes difficult process to find good and ethical artisans, because many of the genuine and traditional artisans are found only in the rural areas, spread out across different regions. For example, mother-of-pearl inlay has deep roots and history in Udaipur, block-printing and indigo dye in Jaipur, and hand-carved traditional furniture in Jodhpur. Through our journeys and our partners, we try to select the artisans who deliver the best quality and consistent product. Many of the artisans we work with use skills which are centuries old. Our artisans are passionate about the work they do, as it provides them with livelihood, purpose and passion. They are very proud to know that their art forms and pieces are shared and appreciated in homes outside of India and Indonesia.

Our most popular pieces are the Ubud hand-carved wall panel, Neela floral hand-painted almirah (cupboard), and the hand-painted enamel suitcases and tiffin cans.

My favourite piece is hard to choose, as each one has been passionately hand-selected. I do, however, love the exotic colours of the Neela floral hand-painted almirah. The piece reminds me so much of Jodhpur, Rajasthan – known as the blue city – the place from which it originates. I love the traditional motifs on the inside and outside surfaces, hand-painted by our talented artisans, making it so unique and interesting. The panelling on the front gives it a real old Indian almirah look, which adds to the charm.

My top interior trends are…

1. Global style. People are looking towards and drawing inspiration from exotic places and cultures across the globe. This includes treasure-hunting for unique pieces, from gorgeous textiles to reclaimed hand-carved wooden furniture.
2. Bringing the tropics into our homes. Tropical decor seems to be popping up everywhere.

Our furniture is handcrafted. Many of our products are traditional pieces with deep roots to places we source them from, sometimes adding our own tweaks. On our website you can find out about each artisan and often their traditional techniques, and for our customers this adds a deeper level of intimacy and sense of origin for each piece.

In addition to products, we offer a personalised customer service experience, as well as a design advisor to assist with adding exotic flavour to your space.

The best way to create a unique home interior is by blending a contemporary base with hand-selected, unique pieces to add pops of colour, character, soul, stories and texture. The clean shell provides a perfect base to really showcase these pieces, allowing them to stand out and create impact. With a strong base, you are able to add singular elements which represent your life and travels, instead of trying to pull off one look.

Future plans include continuing to share our passion and our love for the artisanal products with others.

See our products at https://pilgrimagespaces.co.za