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A Buckhead couple brings Indian textiles to a new audience.

The Khambhampatis plan on expanding their accessible luxury decor line Fairhaven Circle into table textiles and paper goods in the future.

Swathi and Kartikh Khambhampati are a lawyer and data scientist, respectively, by day. But they’re also the proud founders of Fairhaven Circle, a textile line sparked by a visit to Swathi’s grandmother’s house in Florida, where a closet full of traditional Indian saris got Swathi’s wheels turning.

Swathi kept thinking about the artisans who had made the designs. The disconnect of the beauty of the saris and how few people these days wear them stayed with her, and on a trip back to India in 2018, she met with a sari and shawl weaver. “I asked what he was going to do since people don’t wear saris anymore. He said it was difficult; he had a hard time making ends meet, and it wasn’t a craft he was passing on to his children because they wanted to go to university and get white-collar jobs,” she says.

She came back energized to help artisans in India pivot to a new market to diversify their businesses. The idea for entrepreneurship had been percolating since visiting her grandma, and the couple, who still have their day jobs, made it come true in October last year.

Working with the same manufacturer as big names like Jane Churchill and Pollack, they provide stunning pillows at accessible prices. Here, the couple, who designs the collection themselves, discuss the road to the brand’s debut.

Why did you decide to start with pillows?

SWATHI: We started with the idea of doing bedding, and we spent the first three years working on that. The pandemic slowed us down, but we also realized that India is not the place you want to go to if you want to do duvets. They don’t have looms wide enough to weave a single piece of fabric to fit a queen or king bed. A lot of companies take those techniques to Portugal. Our inspiration always was to preserve Indian textile traditions, so the idea of doing duvets and manufacturing in Portugal defeated the purpose.

KARTIKH: We wanted to do these techniques as close as we possibly could to the traditional way, and that’s more cost-effective on pillows.

What was the inspiration behind Nushka, your first collection?

SK: We wanted to innovate traditional designs and motifs. Every pillow in the collection combines two or three different techniques. Our Ami throw pillow looks like a polka dot pattern, and it’s inspired by a technique from Rajasthan and Gujarat called bandhani, historically a tie-dye technique. We did it by block and screen printing, with French knot embroidery on top to give it texture. We’ve been matching techniques from all over India that, historically, would never have been combined.

Why was it important for you to work with Indian artists?

KK: It takes a lot of skill and training built over a lifetime, and we feel strongly about rebranding the techniques from “handicrafts” to art. We’re intentional about telling our customers the history, provenance and sheer level of work that goes into it.

Where does the brand name Fairhaven Circle come from?

SK: We wanted the brand to reflect roots, and for us, our family roots started on Fairhaven Circle [in Peachtree Hills]. And we’re bringing our heritage from India to our roots here in the U.S.

You just launched, but what’s up next?

SK: We’re planning to use this collection’s designs in table linens, placemats, napkins and runners. We believe in offering accessible luxury across multiple product lines to expand for our artisans.


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