During last summer’s lockdown in Naples, Italy, 28-year-old Paboy Bojang posted his venture’s first message on Instagram: “My name is Paboy, I am an asylum seeker trying to build a future in Europe. I risked my life crossing the deadly desert and the Mediterranean Sea to get here. I used to work at a prestigious majolica workshop called Stingo making tiles and vases but lost my job because the immigration bureaucracy is so bad and I am still waiting for my documents to be renewed. I’ve been waiting almost a year now. I was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement to start something myself in order to survive. I was a tailor in The Gambia when I was a teenager and I realized I could use those skills to make elegant cushions. Please help me grow my business, my first line of cushions hand sewn in Naples.”

That was on July 31, 2020, and since then Paboy’s signature pillows—exuberantly colored boudoir squares edged in frilly trim—have repeatedly sold out. After several years of living in Italian migrant camps, Paboy now has his own quarters in a British journalist friend’s place in Naples, and dubbed his business In Casa By Paboy. He and his creations have recently been spotlighted in the Financial Times’s “How to Spend It” column, British House & Garden, and the Vogue website. The FT’s take: “If joy could be sewn and stitched with ruffles, it would be an In Casa By Paboy cushion.”

Of course, there’s a lot more than happiness sewn up in these pillows. But they are undeniably uplifting and have been making their way around the world.

Paboy Bojang with one of his ruffled designs on a rooftop in Naples. He made his first cushion using vintage fabric and sewing machine that his journalist friend had stashed under her bed. He then started gathering remnants locally and now has been giving the fabric shops in his neighborhood a lot of business. Photograph by Giuseppe Attanasio.
Above: Paboy Bojang with one of his ruffled designs on a rooftop in Naples. He made his first cushion using vintage fabric and sewing machine that his journalist friend had stashed under her bed. He then started gathering remnants locally and now has been giving the fabric shops in his neighborhood a lot of business. Photograph by Giuseppe Attanasio.
In Casa By Paboy cushions are priced at €85 for the ruffled versions, €75 for fringed, inserts not included—and yes, he ships all over. (Shipping to the States start at approximately €.) Paboy&#8
Above: In Casa By Paboy cushions are priced at €85 for the ruffled versions, €75 for fringed, inserts not included—and yes, he ships all over. (Shipping to the States start at approximately €25.) Paboy’s online shop shows a sampling of the many color combinations and trims available, all in cotton, but he’s currently sold out. Paboy tipped us off that his next drop will be on March 8; watch @in_casa_by_paboy for previews. Photograph by Giuseppe Attanasio.

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