Meet the Makers: Efe Serio from Mizar & Alcor

by | 27 04 2021 | Interviews

Introducing Efe Serio, founder of the brand Mizar & Alcor – carried at the Intentional Shop.

As part of the new Intentional Shop, we love to tell you more about the background of the brands we carry as well as the makers themselves. Every single brand and artist is carefully chosen based on their values, processes and intentions.

One of those brands is Mizar & Alcor, a family-run business that has been weaving textiles for five generations. Mizar & Alcor was founded by Efe Serio in 2016 on Turkey’s Turquoise Coast to represent the union of East and West as well as the integration of tradition into modern life.

Their vision is to embrace forgotten skills from artisanal tradition, combining them with a contemporary design inspired by the Mediterranean and African cultures. Mizar & Alcor works hand in hand with local artisans who remain faithful to a time-honored process. The collection combines elegance and functionality with ethical production to support local economies as a welcome change to mass production. It praises the beauty of the unique and the long story of handmade items.

As a family-run business, Efe has had the biggest support from his mom, Emel Serio, who is now co-owner of the brand, from the very beginning. Last year, Efe’s best friend and long-term friend of the family Daniel Shavit joined the brand and became a trusted advisor in all matters of poetry and finance.

Their master weaver has dedicated his life to the craft. Just like the generations before him, he grew up playing with the looms as a child. The whole process of weaving, washing, ironing, sewing and folding is distributed among the family members to maintain the household. Over the years, they have accepted the Mizar & Alcor teams as part of their family.

mizar & alcor
Seddy The Kip
How did you start Mizar & Alcor?

Studying in Milan, a city at the heart of design and fashion, I was fortunate to be able to do what I enjoy the most: travel around those ancestral villages, find and befriend the best artisans. I have discussed with them around many tea glasses how the hand-weaving tradition, which is part of Turkey’s heritage is being erased by the uniformizing effects of modernity and fast fashion. Finally, in 2016, I decided to start Mizar & Alcor to promote what I think is one of the forgotten skills of my culture.

What was and still is the Intention behind the brand?
Our intention has always been to give back to where we come from and what we take from; our culture and mother earth. 

How did this change your own life and outlook on the future?
Establishing a sustainable brand, one learns a lot about our environment and the impact we make. Mizar & Alcor helped me understand better what I choose to eat, what I choose to wear, or give my energy to. I definitely believe that I have become a more conscious human being with the impact of the brand. I have seen that the small steps we take as individuals have a huge impact on our future. 
What does Intentional living mean to you?
Intentional living to us is another rich tradition we draw from and try to live by. We take inspiration from the first modern originators of this idea that set up an intentional community in Monte Verita: Anais Nin, Kindainsky, Else Lasker-Schuler, Steiner, Tolstoy etc.
What we have learned from them is that changing the world for the better is not about imposing rules on people with guns, it starts first by knowing ourselves and what deep down our own values are. From there on acting in conscious ways both as individuals and as a community. By spreading those ideas and ways of life around and by living intentionally society is changed organically from the bottom up.
How do you support and give back to local artisans, ensuring an ethical production?
We are not only retailers of our artisans like other brands, we are business partners. We hunt the materials together, make the decisions about production together and set up the prices together. We make sure everyone who is involved in the process gets back fairly what they have contributed. The share of our revenue going towards artisanal production is higher than marketing, logistics, our own pay or any other expense, such that our artisans are fairly compensated and what our customers pay for is first of all for the quality of craft and materials.
Why do you think handmade, tradition, and authenticity are so important, especially now?
Trying to maximize profits, so many brands have turned to mass production and have erased millennia old traditions and taken jobs away from people with unique skills. Handmade also means it is ok to have differences, to accept and embrace the uniqueness of each piece of fabric, each weaver and tailor’s hands. And this relates to the importance of authenticity, as social media creates incredible pressures to conform and be all the same. We work to bring to life unique pieces for unique people uniting with traditional techniques. These include the weaving technique of our artisans that date from Phoenician times and the use of local cotton and linens blend that was at the heart of the silk road trade.
What are future plans and dreams for Mizar & Alcor?
Our future plans and dreams are to scout for additional unique and traditional pieces that can suit many uses both outdoors as well as interiors.
What we dream of is to become a compendium of world wonders, all the while intentionally acting to always improve our sustainability.

 

Probably hard to choose, but any favorites from the collection?
The toughest question! Our favorite is Lamu: simple, soft, and stands out on the merit of its quality!
Curious? Find the full collection in our shop!
the kip

What else?

10 life-changing books that will alter you worldview

What the African philosophy of Ubuntu teaches us about genuine relationships

Feeling down? 5 easy tips to implement right now!