We are so proud to feature this piece by one of our favorite style contributors, Amelia Gray of A Gifted Baby/Little & Good, on the dynamic story behind Galileo Linens. You’ll not only be awed, but also inspired as you take a step into the studio and lives of the people behind such beautiful work.
Galileo Linens, a line of super-soft, linen nursing covers that are hand-finished and painted, or printed. Baby wraps are coming soon.
Ahreum Ko, the Vinegar Hill designer behind the dream that grew into a family business.
Strengthening the bonds between parent and child; woman as “sexy, lover, mother”; Galileo Galilei, free-thinker and watcher of the stars.
From the first time I met Ahreum Ko and was introduced to her gorgeous linen nursing covers, her warm, creative vibe made me want to know more about her. When the opportunity to interview a local Brooklyn designer came up, I jumped at the chance to feature Galileo Linens. I reached out to Ko, and she suggested we meet at her Vinegar Hill studio for a sneak peek at her fall designs, and then take a trip to meet her secret handcrafting weapon: her parents.
My studio tour started in Ko’s open plan living-and-design space, filled with diffused light, art, and nursing cover prototypes on bright custom copper racks. We sipped mimosas from delicate Japanese glasses, and talked about what inspires some of Galileo Linen’s fan-favorite looks, which range from daring to minimalist. Ko’s bright, Pop Art-ish screen-printed editions feature showers of candy-colored kisses for the lover of color and print. For the less-is-more mama, her subtly gradient hand-painted special editions recall calligraphy. Some of her designs include a motif of the word “lover” in a bold size and elegant typeface. When I asked her what the word means to her, Ko explained that she always wants to support women in ways that make them feel confident-like “sexy, lover, mothers.” There is something so feminist and revolutionary about this idea of the woman as mother embracing her whole, sexy self, it really seems to turn this utilitarian object into a work of art and a statement of female power. On the practical side, like the strong women Ko designs for, a Galileo nursing cover also does many jobs at once: it’s a stroller sunshade, highly absorbent spill- and spit-banisher, and park play mat. It’s a diaper-bag Swiss Army knife.
The next stop on our studio tour was Ko’s childhood home on Long Island, where her parents still live. On our drive out of the city into the shady, breezy and blessedly cool suburbs, I asked what it’s been like to work with family. Ko replied without qualification or reservation that it’s been a “really cool” experience and that she enjoys collaborating with her parents very much. She described how they work together in the back yard to create a new nursing cover design, out now for fall, using the gorgeous traditional Japanese multi-process tie-dying technique of Shibori. The fabric is tied, dipped in natural indigo, re-tied and dipped again, then dried in the sunshine and fresh air. This sounds like an activity that if attempted by my family would end in tears and lots of spilled indelible dye (love you mom and dad!) but as soon as I was introduced to Ko’s parents I understood why it works for them. The whole family is so kind, positive and harmonious, it just makes sense that they enjoy working together, and that they create objects that exude beauty. We watched as Mr. Ko demonstrated his brush-painting technique, and Mrs. Ko showed us where she sews the covers. Outside in the yard a row of nursing covers dried in the dappled shade. We took a few photos, and all too soon our visit was over, but not before Mrs. Ko gifted me a huge and glorious bundle of greens from her ample garden.
Amelia Gray lives in Crown Heights with her daughter Freya, French Bulldog Magog and patient husband Yan. She owns the online baby and children’s fashion boutique A Gifted Baby/Little & Good. She loves Hawks with Babies at the Nitehawk Cinema, Xtend Barre Babies on Board classes with Susan in Brooklyn Heights, and being at the epicenter of the artisanal ice cream revolution.