Prints and Provenance With Devonne Niam


Devonne Niam, DIGITAL marketing Manager for MATTER PRINTS, talks about the importance of understanding the story that weaves throughout each matter fabric.


Devonne Niam

Occupations, affiliations, and projects.

Digital Marketing Manager at MATTER, Side Project: @soloscosmetics


To create and connect!

What is MATTER and why is its mission important to you?

Working with a curative philosophy inspired by tradition, MATTER sources heritage prints and styles while reinterpreting them in a modern manner. Our purpose is to impact change beyond textiles—to make rural artisan production sustainable, shift designers’ approach to their process, and inspire customers to value provenance. The heart of the mission is something I feel drawn towards because of the value placed on provenance, the pull to tell stories of where and why they are made.

You don’t have to go fast. You just have to go.

Why is exploring cultural heritage important to MATTER?

The way we see it, the cultural history of many nations lies in their textile heritage. All prints hail from an existing heritage motif tied to a place and time, with a cultural story of its own, and every reinterpreted motif is our continuation of the existing narrative.

To date, what accomplishments are you most proud of?

Hands down, being at MATTER. Working with the team and being a part of this journey makes me really proud to do what I do.

#1 motivating mantra to get through tough moments.

“You don't have to go fast. You just have to go.” - Lydia Sweatt


What’s your favorite lesson you’ve ever learned?

“There's something to learn from everyone and every experience.” -Renyung Ho, Co-Founder of MATTER

What’s your favorite thing you’ve learned so far this year?

The team made a trip to India to visit our artisan partners in each city and get a closer look at the process. Our third stop was in Ahmedabad, where we learned more about natural dye. One of the things that really left me in awe was learning about the process behind the natural black shade. It comes from fermented iron and it takes 15 days for the iron to breakdown into a paste ready for dyeing. The wait is all a part of its beauty.

What's your go-to song to put you in a better mood?

Anything with enough of a beat that it makes me want to get up and move.

Favorite method for logging any kind of inspiration.

Trello, for sure. I use it for work, personal life, and everything in between.


Top 5 people you would invite to a dinner party.

The MATTER team! As if we don’t already see enough of each other at work...ha! But any excuse to cook and share a meal with people I love is reason enough to get together.

What’s the best piece of advice that you can give someone right now?

Anything worth doing is not easy.

3 words that you want to be remembered by.

Ambitious, driven, and compassionate.

By "do-ing", you create your own unique legacy. How do you want your legacy to look?

I’d like to be remembered as someone who lived their life to the fullest and encouraged others to do the same.


What’s the next goal?

Working with generational textile artisans in China—fingers crossed. We’ve been saying for a while now that we’d like to explore partnership across Asia and there’s a lot of exciting partnerships that we’re still in the process of figuring out logistics and details (embroidery in Vietnam and kohluang in Thailand), but I’m really looking forward to working with artisan partners in a place that holds so much of my own heritage.


Learn more about Matter prints here

Sara HaileComment