We had the good fortune of connecting with Sara Dunne and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Sara, what makes you happy? Why?
Beautiful handmade textiles and connecting with people are two things that bring me a lot of joy. I love seeing the human hand in the rugs, noticing all their variants in color, texture, fiber, and thinking about the women who make them. They are handmade and they look like it in the best way. These rugs are works of art, they are full of beauty and creativity and interest. I love when all of a sudden there’s an unexpected shape or color that makes me think that the weaver was exploring, having fun, trying something new. It makes me happy that I get to work with these textiles and share them with others. I love talking to people about them, seeing their reactions and connecting through a shared love and appreciation for the work. Seeing how they transform a space and bring warmth to it and is very exciting for me. The rug dealer I work with in Morocco is a kind, funny, creative person and so I am very happy to work with him. 

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’m a fashion designer with fifteen years of experience designing for brands such as Gap and Armani Exchange. I am also a weaver, knitter and am very interested in crafts and textile art. I use my understanding and love of color, fibers, weaving and art as well as my intuition to guide my rug curation. Sometimes I choose a rug because it reminds me of a particular artist. Many European and American artists have spent time in Morocco and have been inspired by Moroccan rugs through the years. I’m so proud to be able to sell these rugs and have them pass through my hands.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
This is a tough question to answer right now as we are living in a global pandemic and I rarely leave the house anymore. But I will imagine for a moment that we are living in a post pandemic era. The Arts District/Downtown LA has some great art galleries. I like to visit Hauser & Wirth which has locations all over the world and also independent galleries like These Days who showcase lesser known, independent artists and also have a great shop. From there I would go to Badmaash for an incredible Indian meal. The owners are Indian Canadian so they have both traditional Indian dishes and unconventional ones like their Chana Masala Poutine which is out of this world. I think I’ll probably order takeout from them tonight because now I’m craving it. I really miss seeing live music. The Echo and Zebulon have really great shows and dance parties. One of the most memorable shows for me at The Echo was Serpent with Feet. His performance was incredibly vulnerable and ended with the whole room singing along with him. I left that show feeling floaty and tender. Also, the Hollywood Bowl is a really fun place to take someone from out of town. I went to my first show there about five years ago during my first few weeks in LA. We saw Grace Jones and it was one of their shows where you could bring your own wine and food. I remember tearing up because her performance was so incredible and I was getting to see a true iconic talent in such a beautiful outdoor venue.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I feel very fortunate to have a group of encouraging and supportive friends who are always cheering me on. I wish I could shoutout everyone but here are a few. One of my dearest friends, Carol Miltimore, is the designer and founder of Seek Collective, a beautiful, artisan made clothing line. She’s been a small business owner for over ten years and has generously shared with me the knowledge she has gained through that experience. She also takes every opportunity she has to promote me and my rugs. Also, my husband has been working the Santa Monica Antique Market with me which means getting up around 4:30 am two Sundays a month, packing up the car, setting up, breaking down and spending the day at the market. He also gets me lunch which is a big deal because it can be hard for me to leave our booth once I get caught up chatting about the rugs and it’s nice to not have to think about it. He’s also always available to talk through things with me and is all around very supportive and encouraging.

Website: https://shopdesertsands.shop/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shop_desertsands/

Image Credits
Kevin Haulihan

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.