It all started as an experiment.
My wife, Aneta, and I spent several years living and working in Europe, which gave us the opportunity to travel and explore fascinating destinations all around the world.
In every city, town, or even countryside village that we visited, we always found a wealth of local art on display in galleries and street exhibits. Besides being beautiful in its own right, the artwork often served as a peak into its creator’s life, containing hints of what it was like to live and work in that particular area.
Whenever we could, we would purchase a piece to take home with us. The paintings, illustrations, and objects we collected helped to preserve our fond memories of every trip.
One summer, while travelling to Armenia, we visited the Yerevan Vernissage. Amongst the many local artisans showing off their hand-made carpets, dolls, jewelry, and silverware, we came across a young woman selling silk accessories. Not just any accessories, though, these were entirely hand-painted with the woman’s own artwork.
It was unlike anything we had seen before and, after conversing with her for the better part of an hour, we decided to purchase a few pieces.
One of her creations, intended to be a women’s wrist scarf, was small enough to use as a pocket square. It quickly became my favorite to wear to work, dinner, or a night out. And whenever someone would take notice of the distinct design and color palette, I always had an interesting backstory to tell.
That’s when an idea came to us – why not collaborate with artists from around the world, develop original designs, and transform them into exquisite wearable accessories? Not only would this give people an opportunity to experience art from all corners of the earth, we thought, but it would also give each artist a new platform to share their work.
We decided that it was worth a shot and spent the next two years learning everything we could about textile printing and production, searching for an artisanal manufacturing partner, and perfecting a series of unique designs in collaboration with a few brilliant artists.
Our first small and very limited collection of pocket squares and scarves launched in late 2015. Thanks to friends, colleagues, and word-of-mouth we quickly sold out of what we had produced.
Realizing that we could turn our experiment into a real brand and understanding that doing so would require our full attention and commitment, Aneta and I left our careers in January 2016 to pursue R. Culturi full-time.
R. Culturi has been, and continues to be, an incredible journey for us – one which we look forward to sharing with you. We hope you join us on our voyage around the world!
– Anthony Brovchenko & Aneta Vayradyan