By Aisha Hassan on May 4th, 2021
Mother’s Day is just around the corner but there’s still time to up your gift game with something beyond the regular flowers and cards. Whether the mother in your life is looking to revamp her living space or elevate her accessories collection, here are five handmade gifts from Southeast Asian designers that we think she’ll love.
For the woman on the go
Tote bags are indispensable because they carry so much, so easily. This version is embroidered with a pair of serene cranes, which symbolizes longevity and good luck. Notably, this bag was handmade by a working mother herself, Shirley Ong, who carefully sources vintage obi and kimono silks from Japan in order to craft her bags. The wooden handle on this tote is an added elegant touch.
For the organized superstar
There is something strangely satisfying about 1) having all your possessions in place and 2) having a matching set of anything. This trio of handwoven rattan baskets from Cambodian brand MANAVA was made by women in Krobey Riel village, just outside of Siem Reap. It takes 10 working days for one female artisan to craft these baskets. They’re perfect for storing small belongings or even as table-top decor.
For the bold type
There’s nothing quite like a leather fan in the likeness of a watermelon to add flair — and comfort — on a hot summer’s day. This exquisite accessory from Pubumésu was fully handcrafted and hand-painted by shadow puppet artisans in Central Java. This gift not only pays homage to fruit sellers in Southeast Asia, but is a symbol of how heritage craftsmanship can be both contemporary and tongue-in-cheek.
For the interior decor junkie
We like our cushions to hit the three Cs: comfy, colorful, and consciously made. Our selection of bright lumbar cushion covers are made of handwoven silk ikat and come in a variety of patterns. From a multi-colored leaf motif to a classic pattern of undulating grey waves, you can mix and match these cushion covers to create the perfect combination.
For the style lover
These handmade earrings are an unusual shape but their color palette — white and blue, reminiscent of tranquil skies — are neutral enough to match most outfits. They’re well suited to any mother who likes to experiment with style while keeping it classic. The earrings are also named after the word “heart” (“hati”) in Malay, and are inspired by the love we have for home. It feels apt to give something made with and out of love, to someone that you love.
Every Dia order comes with a custom postcard, which we can write a gift message on. Message us on Instagram (@diaguild) or Facebook (@DiaGuildSEA) and we can also advise on gifts, plus offer an additional $10 gift code. These codes are valid until May 6.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Aisha Hassan is a writer, journalist, and co-founder of Dia. Previously, Aisha worked for Quartz in New York and Harper’s Bazaar in Malaysia. Her fiction has been published in international literary magazines. She has a bachelor’s degree in English Language & Literature from the University of Oxford, and a master’s degree from Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism.