When Aleeza Khan Bradner had her son, the London-born, Vancouver-based mother began seeking out little moments of peace amid the chaotic early stages of parenthood. The simple act of showering became one of her only chances to get time to herself, but she realized she needed some new towels. So she searched the market for something ethical and well-made; when she couldn’t find what she wanted, she took matters into her own hands.
Droplet Home Goods, an organic cotton line of Turkish towels, bath towels, and blankets, is the result. The quality collection comes in soft, muted colours that could easily fit into any home aesthetic; they are sustainably made at a family-run factory in Turkey and come in recyclable and compostable packaging. Over coffee at Bel Cafe in Vancouver, the first-time entrepreneur—whose background is in journalism and tech writing, with former jobs at Facebook Canada and Hootsuite—dishes on how she made the move into luxury home goods.
What made you want to make this career change? It’s a pivot!
It’s a bit of a pivot! But it’s always something I wanted to do. I always wanted to work for myself, and I knew it would have something to do with home things, I just wasn’t sure what. Then I had my son, and the newborn phase is really hard, don’t let anyone tell you anything else—it’s really hard, I was really tired. And I remember talking to my husband and we were just like, “You know what? We really need some new stuff, we need new towels, we need new blankets, stuff for our son. Where the hell do you get it from?” You get stuff from registries and people are very generous, but when you look where it’s made and where it’s from, it’s made in a factory and you don’t know what goes on there, there’s no real thought that’s going into it, it’s all mass-produced. Towels are something that you use every day, and no one ever really thinks about them.
How did you go about finding the factory in Turkey that you work with?
That was the thing that took the longest. It took me about six months to find them. It started with simply Googling things, figuring out what makes a good manufacturer, what regions there are.
But you knew you wanted it to be in Turkey?
I knew I wanted Turkey because when you think of luxury towels, historically that’s where they come from.
Did you go visit your factory once you found it?
Yes, it was really nice: the family invited us over for dinner. It’s their custom, but every day when we arrived [at the factory], on an hourly basis, they would be filling up our coffees and bringing in fresh pastries.
Had you ever designed products before?
Never, it was completely new to me. But I was looking into it and researching it and developing it for a year and a half, and the more you look into it and do your research and look at what other people are doing and not doing and what’s missing, it becomes like a second nature.
I’m learning something new every day. And I love it. I’m terrified, but I feel like if you’re not mildly terrified on a daily basis, what are you really doing? I’ve gotta feel a little bit uncomfortable in what I’m doing because then I feel like I’m actually growing and contributing.
This interview has been edited and condensed.