Meet Debby Tenquist & Botanica Trading

Having spent 10 years dedicated to designing gardens, one in particular the renowned The Garden of St Christopher, a landmark 7 acre estate in Hyde Park, Johannesburg, Debby launched Botanica Trading. Botanic Trading represented an opportunity to share her love of the natural world and all things botanical.

She sees her Garden instagram as a platform where she can share an informative and evocative narrative that explores man’s relationship with nature. It is a curated account exploring the “who, what, where and when” of famous gardens, providing a platform to showcase the talent of garden designers, head gardeners, nursery men, floral artists, and photographers.

Finally, she is passionate about giving a voice to important topical environmental issues such as organic gardening practices and how to navigating the impact of climate change.

THE STORY BEHIND HER FABRIC DESIGNS

From her early teens she has always had a passion for textiles and was designing her own dresses with Marimekko curtain fabric in the early 1970s. Over time she has collected interesting textiles from her travels all over the world. In between working for Sotheby’s auctioneers for 12 years in South Africa and Australia she spent time studying.

Whilst studying at the Victoria & Albert Museum she spent many afternoons in their extraordinary textile collection, Later on she studied Japanese and Korean design at the University of London (School of African & Asian Studies). Her studies and her varied career culminated in her great interest in all things botanical and textile design. The principles of good design, proportion, the language of colour and a variety of styles have informed her aesthetic vocabulary which began when she was designing gardens and now for her textile designs.

She has a great love of research, exotic destinations and the vibrancy and imagination of artisanal textiles inspire her creative design process. Two years ago she started her Interiors Instagram account @botanicatading which explores the interiors she loves and the inspiration for her designs as well as a platform for her textile range.

BOTANICA TRADING TEXTILES

In August 2018 she launched her first comprehensive range of textiles “Incredible India”. This range was inspired by the exquisite beauty of Mughal 16th/17th Century botanical designs which she has reinterpreted with an edited modern sense of scale and colour sensibility. In November 2019 she launched her “Tribal” Range that was inspired by artisanal ethnic designs from the world over. It includes two Ikat inspired designs and an Indonesian inspired zig zag design in a wide range of colours.

Her latest collection is the “Suleiman” Range which was launched mid March. This range is named after Suleiman The Magnificent, who reigned in the 16th Century, the most powerful and influential Sultan of this era. Culture and the arts were well patronized during his prosperous 40 year reign and are considered to be the golden age of the Ottoman Empire. With an abounding interest in textiles many techniques flourished, some using silk, velvet and metallic thread with intricate floral and botanically inspired designs.

Fragments from these magnificent textiles have survived and sit in museums the world over. As with Botanica Trading’s previous collection these are also printed on a lovely oatmeal linen from Belgium. The designs and colour palette for this range have been reinvented for a modern eye and exhibit purposeful signs of patina and soft wear that is a nod to the faded opulence of their historical inspiration. All Botanica Trading textiles are sustainably printed on 100% Belgian linen. This is done digitally in an environmentally friendly process and employs minimal water unlike conventional printing.

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