Walking the Talk

Sometimes you just have to take that leap and DO SOMETHING rather than keep talking about it! So, when I saw an invitation on the Dwell On Design Conference for up-and-coming textile designers to submit original designs for the new Cloth & Company furniture line of customizable digitally printed fabrics, I swallowed hard and decided to take the leap and put myself out there.

I have been working diligently to define what it is I want to do with my L I S A Lounge company. It started as an outlet for my love of product development and pattern design. I first designed the site to sell pillow covers with my own original illustrations digitally printed (from Spoonflower) on fabric. Well… after I sewed about 50 pillows, I quickly realized that I am NOT a manufacturer. I DO like creating the patterns, figuring out how they can be applied and then making the prototypes. Which is why pillows led me to the idea of wall hangings. The wall hangings filled a need for myself of wanting large scale wall art that was easy to hang and easy to change out and store without having to deal with heavy and expensive framing. But again, I don’t want to have to sew and finish and warehouse a stockpile of wall hangings. I am a designer and illustrator first and foremost with a passion for interior design, not that I want to be an interior designer, but a resource FOR interior designers.

Coming to that realization and clarity took a LONG TIME. And now that I know that, my goal for this next year is picking the brains of professional interior designers to figure out the best way I can fill a need for them and their clients. I am envisioning the process of supplying designs that are customized by color and placement for specific products such as wall art, cushions, upholstery or whatever applications a designer can imagine. With online companies that supply digital printing, I can get the manufacturing off my shoulders.

Cloth & Company is the perfect example of this design-to-manufacturing process, which is why I took the chance and entered this contest. Even if my designs were not chosen, I felt the process of actually taking some of my pattern collections and applying them in a unique way to a typical slipper chair would tell me if this is what I really want to do and it would visually explain my process to interior designers, showing them what they would get if they hired me. I even chose specific materials for the legs of the chair that coordinated with the fabric pattern. These chair designs were for a popular box store, so I used colors that are very in trend. If I was working with a designer, I would offer color options that worked within their supplied palette.

It turns out, my designs did not get chosen, but that’s OK, because I got really excited seeing my vision coming to life. Here are my 3 design presentation pages. Maybe there is an interior designer out there with a room design just waiting for one of these!

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