Nirali Guzman of Casa Amarosa on Infusing Spaces with a Sense of Culture and Craftsmanship
For Nirali Guzman, making the move from a career as a brand and marketing strategist to starting the ethically sourced home goods company, Casa Amarosa, was not a stretch at all. “I was born into it,“ she says. “I grew up in an entrepreneurial family in Mumbai, India”. Growing up in Asia, surrounded by gorgeous textiles and colors while also witnessing the reality of marginalized communities around her, had a great influence on Guzman’s vision to bring the rich cultural techniques and textiles of her homeland to the rest of the world.
Traveling around the globe also gave Guzman a deeper appreciation for design, which can be seen in the visual aesthetic of her home and lifestyle brand, from the earthy, rustic color palette to the tactile textures of the fabrics.
Since it was established, Casa Amarosa has been guided by the ethics of social responsibility to empower communities and celebrate Indian culture. The brand employs skilled Indian artisans to create its products in sustainable, small batches, with a focus on preserving traditional craftsmanship while adding modern touches.
The Folklore Edit spoke to Nirali Guzman about Casa Amarosa’s ethos, the growing appreciation for handmade artistry and why she’s looking forward to this week’s Connect Home & Beauty Market.
How would you describe yourself and what you do?
As the founder and CEO of Casa Amarosa, my mission is to build a cultural bridge that connects people from diverse backgrounds. I am dedicated to bringing a touch of my beloved homeland, India, to homes across the globe. Through Casa Amarosa, I strive to capture the vibrant essence of Indian culture and share it with a global audience.
What inspired you to start Casa Amarosa?
Growing up in India, I was captivated by the vibrant colors and intricate craftsmanship of my cultural heritage. When I moved to the United States, I longed to bring a piece of my beloved India to my new home. That’s when Casa Amarosa was born. It took several years and various iterations, but Casa Amarosa eventually took shape as a brand that works with small producers in India. Sustainability is at the core of Casa Amarosa’s vision, with a focus on small batches, artisan producers, and individually crafted goods.
Tell us about your transition from being a brand and marketing strategist to starting your own home goods business. When did you realize that design was something you wanted to do?
Working brand and marketing strategist, I developed a strong appreciation for aesthetics, design, and consumer preferences. I often worked closely with creative teams, collaborating on visual elements, brand identity, and product development. This exposure to the design process sparked a desire to explore design more deeply and apply my skills to creating my own brand.
Ultimately, the transition from being a brand and marketing strategist to starting a home goods business represented a personal and professional evolution for me — an opportunity to combine a passion for creativity with strategic thinking and entrepreneurial drive.
What do you think makes Casa Amarosa stand out as a brand? What is your brand’s ethos and how is that reflected in your products?
Casa Amarosa stands out in the marketplace because it reflects my personal journey and vision. Our ethos revolves around celebrating the beauty of cultural fusion, capturing the essence of my Indian heritage while infusing it with contemporary influences. What sets us apart is our commitment to preserving traditional craftsmanship and supporting local artisans. I thoughtfully curate and design each product, ensuring that they embody the vibrant colors, patterns, and textures that define Casa Amarosa. It brings me joy to curate a collection that
captures the magic of India. Casa Amarosa is more than just a brand; it’s a reflection of my passion for cultural diversity and creating a meaningful community of artisans and customers.
There has recently been a big shift towards small batch, artisanal, hand-made goods in the marketplace. What do you think is the reason behind this push? And what role, if any, do you think Casa Amarosa plays in this landscape?
The push towards these types of goods stems from a desire for authenticity, uniqueness, and a connection to the human stories behind the products we bring into our lives. Customers now appreciate the beauty of imperfections and the personal touch that comes with handmade items. This push is a reaction to the mass-produced, cookie-cutter items that have flooded the market for years In a world of mass production and uniformity, there is a growing appreciation for the craftsmanship, artistry, and attention to detail that handmade goods offer.
As the founder of Casa Amarosa, I believe that our brand has found its place in the market by aligning with the growing shift towards small batch, artisanal, hand-made goods. This movement resonates with my own values and aspirations. I have always been captivated by the artistry and craftsmanship behind handmade products, and I strongly believe in the importance of supporting local artisans and preserving traditional techniques.
Casa Amarosa plays a meaningful role in this landscape by curating a collection that embodies these values. For me, it represents more than just a business; it is a platform to showcase the exceptional skills of artisans and their cultural heritage. It is a way to foster a deeper connection between customers and the products they bring into their homes, knowing that each piece has been crafted with care and carries a story. Being a part of this movement towards small batch, artisanal goods brings me immense joy and satisfaction, knowing that Casa Amarosa plays a role in elevating the value and appreciation for handmade artistry in the marketplace.
How do you source and select the fabrics and textiles for your designs?
Casa Amarosa, our sourcing and selection process for fabrics and textiles is a meticulous and thoughtful journey. Our sourcing begins with a deep appreciation for the cultural heritage and craftsmanship of textiles. We explore various regions in India known for textile traditions or craftsmanship. We establish relationships with local artisans, cooperatives, and ethical suppliers who share our values.
When selecting textiles we seek out handwoven fabrics, block prints, intricate embroideries, and other artisanal methods that showcase the artistry and skill of the craftspeople. We value the imperfections and human touch that come with handcrafted textiles, as they add character and charm to our designs.
What is your creative process?
Our creative process is a harmonious blend of inspiration, research, and design exploration. We draw inspiration from a myriad of sources, including cultural motifs, natural landscapes, historical references, and contemporary trends. We immerse ourselves in the vibrant colors, patterns, and textures that define our vision, and we continuously seek ways to reinterpret them in fresh and exciting ways.
Through sketching, prototyping, and collaborating with talented designers, we bring our ideas to life. We experiment with different fabric combinations, play with color palettes, and refine our designs to achieve the perfect balance between tradition and modernity. Throughout this process, we ensure that each product selected not only reflects our brand’s aesthetic but also aligns with our commitment to ethical sourcing and sustainability.
Ultimately, our goal is to create designs that evoke a sense of joy, cultural richness, and warmth. We want our customers to feel a connection to the stories behind our textiles and to experience the beauty and craftsmanship that goes into every piece. By carefully sourcing and thoughtfully selecting fabrics and textiles, we aim to offer a collection that showcases the artistic traditions of various cultures while adding a touch of Casa Amarosa’s distinctive style.
What are your bestselling products at Casa Amarosa, and why are they so popular?
The Geo Shapes Lumbar Pillow and Accent Pillow, the Velvet Round Cushions and the U Candle Holder are some of our bestsellers. The popularity of these products can be attributed to their ability to infuse spaces with a sense of culture, craftsmanship, and colors. We spend a lot of time researching trends and color palettes, and these designs have achieved the perfect balance between tradition and trend-forward designs.
You already work with national US brands as well as independent retailers worldwide. What do you think is the biggest challenge that diverse-led brands face when looking for a new client or retail partner?
One of the significant challenges diverse-led brands often face is gaining visibility and breaking through the competitive marketplace. Established retail partners and clients may have longstanding relationships with established brands, making it harder for diverse-led brands like ours is to secure partnerships or shelf space. Another obstacle is the perception of niche appeal. Diverse-led brands might be perceived as catering only to a specific demographic or market segment, which can limit our opportunities for broader distribution.
You’re one of the new home and lifestyle brands on our platform The Folklore Connect. What would you say is the main reason for signing up to join the platform? How does The Folklore Connect meet the needs of your brand’s wholesale business?
We hope to reach retailers who prioritize ethically sourced and culturally diverse products through The Folklore Connect. It offers opportunity for our brand to gain
exposure to a wider audience of retailers and potential customers. By joining the platform, brands like ours reach retailers who may be specifically interested in unique, diverse-led home and lifestyle brands.
You’re also participating in the upcoming Connect Home & Beauty Market. What are you looking forward to most, or hoping to achieve at the event?
We are thrilled to be a part of this exciting event. Our participation provides us with a valuable opportunity to connect with retailers and foster potential distribution partnerships. We are optimistic about expanding our retail presence, aiming to align with like-minded stores and marketplaces that share our values and vision. Through this event, we hope to forge meaningful collaborations that will enable us to reach a broader audience and bring our unique products to even more homes, spreading the essence of our brand to those who appreciate our offerings.