Natural Patterns on the Beach Inspire Affina Brand Designs

Sep 20, 2013

A simple walk on the beach led accomplished designer and New Jersey native Mary Ellen Putignano to create Affina, a nature-inspired, eco-friendly home brand based on a philosophy of wellness and living in harmony with Mother Nature.

A past designer at visionary home décor companies such as Crate and Barrel and Conrans, and current owner of the New Jersey-based design firm Surface, Putignano is also a long-time beach-goer of Long Beach Island.

Having vacationed here since childhood, Putignano often finds inspiration along LBI shorelines. An avid shell collector, she became intrigued by shell patterns while walking along the beach, imagining they would make beautiful textiles. Thus, the Affina brand was born. 

“Most of my ideas have come to me during a walk on the beach. Walking on the beach or out in nature clears our minds and allows creative ideas to flow. I wanted to make the connection between man and nature with the brand,” says Putignano.

Affina launched in 2012 with its premier collection, Seaweaves, a tribute to our oceans. The collection features patterns from the sea, woven into 100 percent certified organic cotton bath and beach towels, spa mitts, coverlets and shams in a variety of vibrant colors and soft white hues, bringing nature’s beauty into the home.

“Affina is about celebrating Nature’s beauty and energy …  her patterns, colors, textures and forms. It is Nature’s story,” Putignano explained.

Long Beach Island is a sacred spot for Putignano, whose family owns a place on Pearl Street in Beach Haven.

“The gazebo on Pearl Street that was washed away during Hurricane Sandy holds so many dear memories for myself and my family. We celebrated birthdays there, ate ice cream on the benches, and loved watching the weddings that took place there. Affina’s sand ripple pattern was captured from a sand formation pattern I found right next to the gazebo. We are so excited to see the Pearl Street gazebo re-built and look forward to creating more memories there.”

Affina is available at affinashop.com and exclusively on LBI at Between the Sheets in Ship Bottom. The company is based in Park Ridge, NJ.

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