Design Matters: Maison Mano

“A pillow for a pillow” is the mission of Los Angeles pillow company Maison Mano. They use remnants of fashion and interior fabrics to make luxurious pillows available for purchase through their website. When a pillow is purchased, another pillow is then donated to a local homeless shelter. Founders Zehava Harel of Zehava Harel Designs and Davide Casaroli of Davide Casaroli Design share why they wanted their designs to matter. 

What inspired you to start the program? Having spoken to many designers and being designers ourselves, we realized that we all want to make custom pillows for clients. We decided to find remnants and limited runs of fabric and offer them in various shapes and sizes. The charity aspect came while we were sourcing materials in downtown LA. While visiting Skid Row, we noticed so many homeless people in need of a pillow to sleep on. We thought, why not combine our passion for design with helping our community? So “A pillow for a pillow” became the mission. 

How do you believe a pillow can enhance the life of the recipients? Although it may seem like a small gesture, when we give a pillow to someone in need, it unites us as people, regardless of our social or financial status. We all need a place to lay our heads. We believe it shows the recipient that they matter and hopefully serves as a source of inspiration to change their lives. Small efforts always make a big impact. 

What cities do you wish to launch the program in next? It’s obvious there are needy people in other states and countries but our prime focus is California, though we do hope to collaborate with other charities in different locations. We also want to explore programs where we handle custom orders for clients, but only when we have the ability to get a pillow to almost anyone who needs it, anywhere. 

Can designers work with you to create custom prints and pillows available for sale? We hope to partner with other designers in the future on customization but don’t want to limit the charitable impact. For now, we are focused on creating a cohesive collection each season that will enable us to sell enough to make a difference when giving back. 

How do you feel art and design can be more strategically utilized to create social change? With our program we are simply adding a charitable element to a luxury item our clients would have bought anyway. Our goal is to create a beautiful accessory that has an inspirational purpose for many. Clients who buy our pillows have the added bonus of knowing they have helped someone sleep better at night. 

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