Stories + Objects Offers The World’s Rarest Treasures
A lovingly curated collection of unusual goods culled from the globe's most fascinating, far-flung destinations.
Turkey’s Damask roses, frankincense from Salalah’s famed souk in Oman, the hand-painted maiwai hanten jackets of Japan. These are just a few items that inspire Stories + Objects, a hybrid media company and shop-able magazine curating the world’s rarest treasures, and highlighting the exquisite craftsmanship behind them. Founded in 2015 by Jamie Leilani Pelayo, a veteran marketing executive and branded content producer for retailers like Violet Grey and Sephora, and media outlets such as Los Angeles Times and Vogue Magazine, S+O offers unique items, packaged as luxury goods and released with short films that rival National Geographic.
“S+O was born from a deep interest in how cultures specialize, cultivate, or craft high-quality objects,” explained Pelayo, who derived inspiration from her experiences producing editorials on fashion designers and their ateliers; in particular, a 2007 trip to the Marche region of Italy for a segment on Tod’s shoes, and the traditional cobblers who create them.
S+ O’s goods also reflect market trends. For example, they offered a Colombian Wayuu mochila bag last summer when look-alike styles were all the rage. Similarly, their rose products, cultivated in Iran and Turkey, fit perfectly with our current rose-centric beauty craze.
To create the stories, Pelayo will often go to astounding lengths. For a short on the black pearl divers of French Polynesia, she hired a drone operator to capture the remote area’s beauty and the lives of those who inhabit it—including the requin dormeur sharks that dart alongside divers. “It was bit odd, swimming out towards the pearl cages with their fins out and around us” she joked. Ultimately, however, “to really understand both the unique geography and pearling culture on a coral atoll, aerials were necessary.”
Since many of these artisans have little to no internet or social media access, she’s often used unique recruiting means. For example, the team once hiked into the Northern Colombia jungle with offerings of smoked fish to exchange with local artisans.
So far, featured objects fall into two categories: HARVEST SEASON (“the highest quality cultivated from Earth”) or MASTER OF CRAFT (hand-crafted objects). Ultimately, S+O wants to become a platform for artisans to express their own culture and creations, and for clients to feel transported and inspired to visit (Pelayo also hopes to launch an experiential travel agency).
“To me, true luxury is the time commitment to bring something to life,” she explained. “Something that cannot be easily replicated or replaced by a fast-fashion version.”