We feel privileged to have an array of talented, wonderful and interesting clients who visit The Massage Centre. This month we meet Raakhee Tailor who has created a luxury brand called Wild Saint. If you’re searching for a bespoke Christmas gift for a loved one this year check out her website www.wildsaint.co.uk All items are gift wrapped, and there is an option for a hand note to be written for personal messages.
So we’re approaching Christmas, does this time of the year feel special to you or your family?
Christmas is all about being together. I come from a large wider family and we all get together, along with stray friends (London is full of friends who cannot always go back to be with their families and are at a loose end at this time of year). We have a late lunch that turns into a party. One year I was away in Val D‘Isere for a snow season and my friends were at my family Christmas gathering without me!
How did you come up with the name wild saint for your luxury scarf range?
It’s the combination of disorder and goodness. The brand is one part rebellion, with our ethical, environmental, social, animal welfare credentials; and one part indulgence in the fabrics and craftmanship that we source.
Why did you decide to start your own luxury brand? It’s a big leap – has anyone in your life inspired you to take such a big business leap?
I spent many years working for others, but always felt a live spark when I spoke to people who had their own business. I felt admiration and a little bit of envy at the courage they had in embracing their journey. I researched into what I love and what matters to me, and then took a leap of faith!
When did you first fall in love with cashmere?
I have always gravitated towards natural fabrics, how they feel against the skin, how they drape, how comfortable they are, how luxurious and indulgent they feel. They leave me feeling both delighted and invincible. This led me study fabrics at the London College of Fashion and I instantly knew I wanted to pursue this further.
Sustainability and ethically sourced seem to be high on your value system, what makes this important to you?
I grew up in the days of naive enthusiastic consumption for everything that caught my attention, but as someone who loves to travel, I really saw the impact of this on my journeys. I became more aware that we need to live in harmony with our planet and its inhabitants, so we can create a sustainable world for future generations.
Where is your favourite part of London and why?
West is BEST!!! This is where I was born and raised. It has some of the best places to drink, party, dance, go to live music and then regenerate in outdoor green spaces. It has all the things that make me feel most alive. West London even has its own signature wild green parrots! What doesn’t West London have…
As Wild Saint grows what other products do you see yourself adding to the line?
In spring/summer 2019 there will be a silk and cotton range offering extending beyond scarves and socks. I am currently working on these designs. There will be an elegant timeless range and then a more whimsical creation.
Have you met the people who produce the cashmere scarfs?
Definitely. I research and visit the factories and was in Italy earlier this year to source the scarf manufacturer. I have refused to work with factories that I feel are just telling me what I want to hear instead of being able to prove it. I am currently just researching the factories for the silk and cotton ranges, because our commitment to ethical trading is fully integrated into our sourcing process. It’s the toughest part of the job.
Where do your goods come from?
The scarves are made in Italy and the socks are made in the UK. We have real craftmanship in the UK industries and I think its important to support them and look at factors beyond ‘lowest prices’ when sourcing. I am a believer that if you are buying something cheap, then somewhere along the line someone else more vulnerable has usually paid the price.
Where do you do your Christmas shopping?
I love to feel and hold things before I buy, I am very tactile. Creative markets like Spitalfields (opse… that’s not West London!) is always a favourite place to shop, as they also have delicious authentic fresh food stalls to keep you energised.
The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese