South Bay couple Tamara and JP Cajuste combine aesthetic aspirations to form Indian Pink Pillows.
Your pillows have such a radiant energy. Where does that inspiration come from?
Tamara was born and raised here in Manhattan Beach. She studied for two years in Paris at Parsons Art & Design, where she began collecting vintage textiles and fabrics from the legendary Marches aux Puces flea market along and around the Rue de Bretagne on her weekend jaunts. After graduation she decided to see the world and took a job with American Airlines as a flight attendant. She began to fly to India, where she fell in love with their culture and their colorful textiles.
I was born in NYC and raised in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, until junior high school and was always inspired by the vibrant colors of the Caribbean.
When did you and Tamara decide to launch the business?
Indian Pink Pillows was created out of our love and passion for vintage textiles. In 2005 Tamara was sewing her own pillows for our home, and when friends visited they left with a handful. We started creating and selling our one-of-kind pillows at the Santa Monica flea market, where we met talented interior decorators and design shop owners. We quickly became a flea market favorite. In 2011 we opened a small pop-up retail shop/showroom in the old John Post Gallery building in Manhattan Beach. We create one-of-kind vintage textiles, chairs, ottomans, print fabric for outdoor pillows and furniture and are launching a new bedding line this spring.
Since closing the store outlet in Manhattan Beach, where can locals find your products?
We are currently operating in Manhattan Beach in a small studio. We’re in the process of finding the right larger space for our production and showroom here in the South Bay. The majority of our clients are interior decorators, stylists and home design shop owners. We do have a few direct-to-consumers customers who find us through social media, design magazine editorials and referrals. We are fine-tuning our new website, which should be up and running by March or April.
Where do most of the textiles originate?
Our vintage textiles are from around the world but mostly from Asia, Africa and India. We absolutely love the different tribal colorful fabrics. We travel quite a bit to the flea markets in China, the incredible marketplaces of India, the bazaars of Morocco and Africa. Our small, talented team of sewers help us design, cut and create our pillows right here in Los Angeles.
What do you say to people who are apprehensive about color?
We both love color—pink, red, especially indigo. We find it brings life and soul into a home. Much of the coastal beach town architecture, especially in the South Bay, has changed with more Cape Cod and Caribbean plantation-style homes. Blue is a great classic, timeless color, but we do always try to add or encourage a touch of pink, hence the name. For the most part even the husbands love it.
Real men love pink.