Founded by entrepreneur Adah Chan, sustainable homeware company Baea looks to the natural world for both design inspiration and materials.
The brand is based on the steadfast belief that tranquillity can be achieved by bringing elements of nature indoors. Since part of being sustainable is making things that last, Baea prioritises the outstanding quality that comes with the skill and tradition of excellent artisanship. To do so, they partner with expert communities in Italy, Portugal, Mexico and the Philippines. The subtle details in Baea’s bed linen reflect the grace and simplicity of the environment, with the hand-drawn quality of the embroidery resembling rocks worn by the elements and the erratic array of seed heads on stalks of grass.
Before setting out to build the homeware line, Adah, who is the third generation of homeware entrepreneurs in her family, has sourced linens for influential global brands including Ralph Lauren Home and established boutiques in Shanghai for leading interior marques, Designers Guild and Christian Fischbacher.
Baea (pronounced bay-a) refers to a natural bay and symbolises the meeting of home and nature. When I was looking for the right name for the brand I started thinking about what home means to me and realised everywhere I’ve lived has provided a sense of shelter, and — in its own way — influenced who I am. I was lucky enough to grow up in a house situated between two beautiful bays in Hong Kong, which informed this idea of nurturing, comfort and sanctuary.
The bed is perhaps the most important piece of furniture in a home, and it also happens to be a great canvas for designers. Our idea was to create contemporary bedding infused with a pure aesthetic that would bring a strong sense of design and meaning to the bedroom. The bedroom should be a place where we allow ourselves to feel calm and soothed, somewhere we can unwind, reflect and dream in comfort. To achieve this, all our bedding is made of incredibly soft, organic cotton. Our Essentials range has subtle, modern touches, and our Nature Collection is inspired by natural forms found in the wild. To complement these, we have combined luxurious silk and merino or alpaca wool in a series of hand-felted cushions and throws with a unique, natural texture.
I spent my childhood watching my mother build her retail business, Bed & Bath, into what it is today. I worked alongside her, attending global trade shows, selecting new products and serving in the boutique. Everywhere we travelled, we’d be looking out for exceptional products, and having fun doing it! I remember going to Morocco with her on a family holiday in the mid-‘90s and coming back with four incredible handmade rugs for the shop. Her passion for seeking out quality craftsmanship has definitely been handed down to me. I knew early on that I wanted to start a business like hers, but I didn’t imagine it would be quite so close to home! My mother gave me complete freedom growing up and never steered me in a fixed direction, nonetheless, some values are deeply ingrained. For as long as I can remember, I have known that I want to make quality products that tell a story. I have always wanted to turn unique designs into reality.
Inspiration from the natural world is central to Baea’s design ethos of ‘Let Nature In’. This goes hand-in-hand with our spirit of sustainability. We believe that bringing nature into the home through design creates both a sense of calm and a reminder of the importance of caring for our environment.Traditional bedding tends to be quite symmetrical, but the natural world suggested something different, so we took a chance and created details that move organically — asymmetrically — across the bedding. When we looked at rocks, for example, we were inspired by the way they occur in the landscape. In the designs inspired by grasses, it was the minutia — the infinite subtle differences — that informed the variations in the embroidery on the finished product.
As well as connecting with our customers, we’ve had great feedback from interior designers in Hong Kong and worldwide whom we’re starting to collaborate with. We love working with designers and customers looking for sustainable wares and it’s great seeing how different spaces incorporate Baea into their aesthetic, and bring inspiration from nature into contemporary settings. Seeing our products in people's homes is a very strong motivation as we continue to take the brand forward.