In Conversation With Sarah Chu
Get to know Sarah Chu of Sei Shop Designs and POOPU Market. Sarah lives and works in Seattle, Washington where she hand dyes and prints clothing and accessories. In addition, Sarah also runs POOPU Market (A Properly Organized and Orderly Pop Up).
Where do you draw inspiration from?
My five-year-old sister, phenomenons in nature, ancient art and textiles, and the unexplored corners of Etsy (specifically the world of custom items). My all time favorite artist is Agnes Denes, mostly for her writings. My current designs are partly inspired by my experience in Chinese school when I was little. I took a classical ink painting class and I remember being fascinated with the way the ink spread on the paper. The process of dyeing in this way feels similarly satisfying. And my friends are always inspiring me!
What inspired you to start POOPU Market?
POOPU (Properly Organized and Orderly Pop-up) was started as a "during work hours" chat convo with my two friends Shaana Hatamian and Julia Kernerman. We all make and design things and had a lot of friends in the Seattle sphere (and beyond) whose work we loved and wanted to support, so we decided to organize our own pop-up. We like to think of the objects we include as both humorous and beautiful. Since we all have full time jobs, it’s been about a twice yearly event, although we try to entertain our followers with funny but aesthetically pleasing things in the meantime!
Do you have any future projects that you're excited about?
We’re hoping to do a pop up in the spring in Seattle but otherwise I would love to coordinate some more collaborations! I’ve really enjoyed working with Erin Halligan (@bad_ratio) and Julia Kernerman (@schmoulia) on creating printed or dyed apparel - so I'd love to continue working with other artists and designers.
What do you like to do when you're not running Sei Shop and POOPU Market?
My "day job" is print design, which is what I went to school for. But most recently a few things I've been delving into are recreating some of my dad's Shanghainese dishes, rockhounding anywhere there is ocean, taking care of my betta fish Mortimer, and trying to follow the guidance of my garden guru Monty Don.
2021 has been an interesting year. What is your biggest takeaway?
That taking yourself outside can be a necessity, that nothing is ever certain, and that community is important.
Sei Shop's "Garden Variety" sock collection is now available!