LIFESTYLE - CULTURE

Keeping it personal: threads that bind



Zenia Dutta Roy, founder of Les Sûtras Photos: Patricia Pitsch/Maison Moderne

Zenia Dutta Roy, founder of Les Sûtras Photos: Patricia Pitsch/Maison Moderne

With the start of the bustling holiday season upon us, it can be easy to lose focus of what really matters. In the first of a three-part series, Delano caught up with Zenia Dutta Roy, founder of Les Sûtras, to learn more about how she helps customers customise a memorable gift. 

Les Sûtras has garnered a strong word-of-mouth reputation when it comes to high-quality linens, scarves and embroidery. The company offers ready-made products, the bold colour combinations of which founder Zenia Dutta Roy designs and then collaborates with artists--some based locally, some in India.

But Dutta Roy equally enjoys helping customers personalise gifts. “We spend a lot of time understanding the person, who’s giving the gift, the intention and feeling behind it.”

Some of Les Sûtras products and tools of the trade 

She has learned some customers prefer a lot of thread work, others a more minimalist design, but details are hammered out through a collaborative approach (a 4- to 6-week lead time is ideal). Les Sûtras has provided customised hand embroidery for weddings, births, anniversaries --any milestone people may want to cherish--but “it could also be a gift for yourself,” says Dutta Roy. “Everybody has their own style, and a home should also speak about you.”

One of the most memorable fabrics she designed was for an individual living in Luxembourg who wanted to create a family tree for their mother living abroad, then turning 70. “They told me the budget and about their mother, and we figured out a circle family tree with the names of children and spouses. It was touching, even for me, that they were thinking about their mother so far away.”

Favourite personalised gift

We turned the question around on Dutta Roy to find out more about her own favourite personalised gift she has ever received. 

“My sister gave me a simple bag, but it had my name and colours I like. [There was also] a t-shirt with my name and the words ‘spread cheer’. I valued that a lot because every time I wore it, it reminded me to be happy and spread cheer. I’m at a stage in my life where I want to add value with whomsoever I interact. I want to give back to this country…it’s an important part of me.”

Read part 2 of our personalised gift guide here.

This article first appeared in the November/December 2019 issue of Delano