Meet the Maker behind Paola Melendez
MEET PAOLA MELENDEZ
Paola Melendez Casa is a boutique textile studio specializing in artisan-made fabrics, celebrating craftsmanship, material, and imagination.
Paola finds inspiration in her vision for modern living and the idea of using slow manufacturing and sustainable raw materials to create unique, heirloom-quality pieces that clients will want to live with for a long time. Paola’s designs themselves are informed by her encounters with art, nature, and culture, as well as her love for colour and mark-making.
“If there are any boutique vendors or artists whose work you really love, try supporting them as often as you can. It makes all the difference in our growth and success in this industry.”
METHODS OF CREATIVITY
Paola has experimented with fabric design and production for about 14 years, and launched her first collection of home fabrics three years ago. She has created fabrics using techniques ranging from dyeing and beading, to embroidery, screen printing, and even felting.
All of Paola’s fabrics start as hand paintings with designs characterized by her playful approach to pattern design and the use of painterly textures and exciting colour palettes. Once completed, the designs are digitalized, translated onto screens, and hand-printed by master artisans in USA.
“I think screen-printing is the Queen of fabric printing methods. Some of the most beautiful textiles in the world are screen-printed. Our production method makes every yard we produce a unique and long-wearing work of art.”
VISION & IMPACT
Paola’s desire for her business is to become a go-to brand for those seeking modern, bold, and playful fabric options. Paola has a love for helping designers create that ‘statement piece’ for a room such as Lucas Studio’s Peg Woodworking Bastet stool paired with the Painted Desert fabric.
While Paola’s mission is to produce sustainably and to keep historic printing techniques alive, being an example of a Latina creator that others can identify themselves with is the most meaningful part of the brand for Paola.
“Recently I have been infatuated with blind reaction videos of young brown and black girls watching. The Little Mermaid trailer featuring Halle Bailey. It is heartwarming to see that joyful spark in their eyes as they see someone who looks like them pop up on the screen.”
WE ARE A HUGE BELIEVER OF CELEBRATING THE IMPERFECTIONS. SOME PEOPLE VIEW THIS AS A FLAW FROM THE MAKER, WE WANT TO EDUCATE THEM MORE AND HELP THEM UNDERSTAND THAT THIS IS PART OF THE NATURAL BEAUTY, HOW DO YOU HELP PEOPLE OVERCOME THIS THINKING?
In the words of Oscar Wilde “Life imitates art”. Handmade fabrics are more than utilitarian yardage, they are art. Art is meant to expand our perspective and how we look at our lives. To celebrate the meeting of the human hand with the medium, imperfections and all, translates into celebrating the beauty of life and all its happenings.
WHO WOULD YOUR DREAM JOB BE FOR (DEAD OR ALIVE)?
When Alessandra Ocasio-Cortez breaks the glass ceiling and becomes our first female president, I would love to have our fabrics join her at the White House. I think it would be epic if she went for a super modern aesthetic. There are a few designs from the collection I am currently working on that I think would look fabulous in the Oval Office. I mean, can you just imagine the pictures!
Paola continues to inspire us with her passion for continuing the art of screen printing and we are so excited for all that is to come from her!
Check out her full collection here!.