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Last week my kids, husband, and I went to Puerto Rico for spring break. It was an awesome trip. One of the best parts was getting to hang out with Paola Melendez, a textile designer who lives just east of San Juan, where we were staying. Paola and I first met in 2021 on social media. At the time both of our businesses were brand new and she became a great friend and collaborator. I liked her style and was excited to become friends with her.

This was our first time meeting in person. We took a long walk on the beach by Ocean Park, where we were staying, and got to know each other the old- fashioned way. Paola told me all about her life: she grew up in Puerto Rico and came to New York to study at Parsons. She talked about how waiting tables in NYC had been inspiring because she got to work alongside other aspiring entrepreneurs, actors and artists. After working in restaurants, she sold prints for a bit and then decided to take a chance and start her own line of printed textiles.

Above is a chair I picked up at the Brimfield market and refinished using Paola’s printed textile, Painted Desert. I was drawn to the movement in the brushstrokes and loved the juxtaposition of the fresh modern look against this traditional bergere style frame. You can find this chair for sale here on my website.

The finished chair sings a song about how fresh textiles can reignite a solid foundation and start a new begining. I felt inspired to meet Paola in person and I hope to collaborate with her again soon. Hearing her story reminded me how important it is to take risks in life and in one’s work.

© / all rights reserved / 440-371-5846


© / all rights reserved / 440-371-5846