The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.’ (Picasso)
For Istanbul born and now London based, Aysem Ober, the art of gift giving does indeed have a higher meaning; ‘Along with writing I can wholeheartedly express myself through stories and gifting; to my family, my friends and now, even my own children.’
And so the idea for Onacara London was born; a niche platform that brings together the best in art, design, nature and language via curated storytelling gift sets that incorporate flowers too. The motto: ‘All the while, we tell a story.’ And, importantly, Ober has dedicated the site to working simultaneously as a platform for emerging artists, globally, whom are both elevating and juxtaposing shapes and materials across multi-disciplines (see images of Tanti Ceramics wolf earrings).
Onacara is an amalgamation of Aysem’s experiences: Born and living for many years in Istanbul, the old-new synthesis of cultures, the influences of Byzantine and Ottoman periods in costumes, jewelleries, the east meets west inspirations in objects, art and architecture lie at the core of her vision
(see for example the ‘Teatime Moments’ set made by a Turkish ceramic artist, whom hand paints the cups in the free spirit of the ‘Chintemani’ style). She also developed marketing and production acumen and creative vision growing up working in a family business, whereby she was responsible for fashion/design supply and immersed in manufacturing, materials, sourcing from the roots up. Whilst Ober firmly believes design can be everywhere and appeal to everyone, living in London with all its multiculturalism and creative talent, has enabled Onacara to come to fruition.
So the consumer gets to choose from different packages, including ‘Jungle Escape,’ ‘Charming Allure,’ ‘Natural touches’ – within these are carefully curated gift boxes in tantalising names such as ‘Exploring Beauty,’ ‘Floral Espresso, and ‘Exotic Paradise’ – the latter started with a ‘Bird of Paradise’ flower, which is how it took its name before coming together with other pieces reflecting exotic wildlife – from an artisanal wooden necklace decorated with ceramic animal charms, the vibrant pop colour textured ceramic vase and beautiful artist story cards to finish the set. The starting point for each box set differs – starting with fashion/art trends of the year, devising a mood board around it – sometimes taking root from the flowers (individually designed), sometimes the object, whilst all the time scouring globally for emerging artist talent whom can bring the boxes to life through unexpected use of materials and objet d’art.
Artist collaborations so far include Tanti ceramics, (see Wolf earrings pictured), Ayse Habibe Kucuk (she specialises in lace patterns in tableware since her family go back generations in handcrafted lace making) and Birnil (she handcrafts vases using clay moulds and works with handpainted illustrations etc).
The forthcoming collection soon launching is based around geometric shapes and patterns; ‘Shapes are all around us. Think back to your childhood home, the rectangular shapes that made up the doors, windows, shapes and the structures they create make up a significant part of our human experience, from memories to creativity itself,’ muses Aysem. Expect geometric shapes, abstract designs, and harmonious colours – vases, mugs, plates, kids collections and more as well as new artists. Look out for new artists working in innovative ways with materials such as clay and brass.
Onacara is a unique gift giving experience all of its own – after all, ‘all the while, we tell a story.’