ACHICA Living meets Margarita Lorenzo from London-based boutique homewares and accessories brand chocolate creative. Her stunning hand-made range combines traditional skills such as cross stitch and embroidery with silk-screen printing. Inspired by traditional crafts, antiques and vintage textiles, Margarita Lorenzo’s range includes cushions, prints, bone-china mugs, tea towels, tote bags and accessories, which you can’t help but covet. Think stag-head designs, Chesterfield prints and gorgeous Love-print cushions made from hemp – it’s all you need…
Did you always know you wanted to be a designer and what was your first big break? My mother told me that since an early age I loved drawing and messing around with paints and pencils, so I guess I always had in me. I did Fine Art, specialising in Graphic Design, and worked for 15 years as a graphic designer and then later retrained in print making and textiles. I guess my big confident boost came from Mint, the London interiors shop, and Loop, the knitting haven, buying almost all of my first collection. It wasn’t until 2009 that I decided to make a business out of my passion for textiles and interiors.
What advice would you give anyone wanting to set up their own business? I can only advise that if you’re lucky enough to find your passion in life, and you are sure this is the path you want to take, do not hesitate or waste your time. Get on with it, be prepared to work very hard, to have almost no social life at all or hardly any money to spare, have a lot of determination and faith for what you do, and above all do not give up!
What inspires you in your designs? My eclectic taste is constantly inspired by traditional crafts, the V&A (the cameos and silhouettes collections), antiques and vintage fabrics and images. Plus my graphics background and love for typography, vintage packaging and memorabilia.
Which fellow designers do you admire? I admire Lisa Stickley’s work and business progression. Tom Dixon’s versatile designs and Jaime Hayon’s unique and humorous pieces.
Who’s your favourite artist? Way too many, I admire the work of the French impressionists, the graphic work of Toulouse Lautrec, Goya’s drawings from his dark era etc…
Which three products can’t you live without? A cushion, because it has the quality of transforming an ordinary sofa, bed or room into something beautiful, cosy and stylish.
And finally chairs, I’m fascinated by their shapes, styles, colours, materials and eras. I tend to collect and restore them, right now I’m hunting down an Eames leather chair for my studio.
Which trends should we be coveting this season? I’m not a big believer in trends myself, for example this whole thing about being eco/sustainable, I think, we, as designers have the responsibility to create sustainable and good-quality products that will pass current trends and have longevity. It’s very difficult not to be influenced by what other designers are making or doing, as we are constantly being bombarded with information, blogs, shows, magazines etc…I try to remain true to my eclectic taste and inspiration, regardless of what’s going on around me and hope that by doing this I produce good products that people would like to have in their homes…
Don’t miss the chocolate creative promotion at ACHICA, which starts at 7am Sat 9 July 2011 to Mon 11 July 2011.
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Emily Peck, Editor
View all posts by Emily Peck, Editor