Join us! In conjunction with our textile debut at SF showroom De Sousa Hughes, we are throwing a Champagne Soirée with local boutique Mignonne Decor. We hope you'll stop by to enjoy a glass of champagne and view the full Caroline Cecil Textiles debut assortment of hand screen printed fabrics. Mingle and collaborate with furniture designer and showroom owner, Johnelle Mancha, who will be consulting at our design-your-own chair station. In preparation for the event, we sat down with both designers. Scroll down and read on!
Q & A With Johnelle & Caroline:
When we first met Johnelle Mancha of Mignonne Decor, we were struck by her fiery spirit, business savvy, and eye for fabulous flea market finds. Since the first day we walked into her shop in Oakland five years ago, we’ve been chomping at the bit to team up on a project. Next month Caroline Cecil Textiles and Mignonne will launch their first collaboration, a black and white themed champagne soirée with a make-your-own chair station. Come drink champagne, meet the designers, and design your own chair from our assortment of CCT textiles and Mignonne chair frames. The event will also mark the local launch of CCT’s hand printed textile line for the luxury interiors market, coinciding with its debut at renowned San Francisco interior design showroom, De Sousa Hughes.
How did you meet each other?
J: I met Caroline years ago when she wandered into my store. We have always wanted to collaborate in some fashion and are so excited to finally get this party started!
C: I met Johnelle when she had a single shop (she’s since opened a second storefront) and was immediately impressed by her curatorial eye and creative nature. Since Mignonne has a strong focus on custom revamped upholstery, and I am a textile designer, it was a really natural idea to collaborate. We’ve kept in touch over the past five years, and finally the stars are aligning!
Tell us about your design process.
J: My process starts with inspiration. Colors I am drawn to, of-the-moment music, places I have traveled. We pull swatches, hunt for vintage frames to revamp, gather materials. From there I come up with ways to transform a piece to make it new again.
C: It begins with sketching, painting, mood boards, colors, fabric swatches! I try to keep the process as free and playful as possible. Collage and journaling help me work through concepts, themes, and isolate trends. From there the painting begins. For me painting is like meditation, it's critical to be in the moment and let the medium guide your brushstrokes. If you try to force the paint to go exactly where you want it to, you could miss out on a gorgeous and unexpected line or curve. "Mistakes" that come out of the process are something I celebrate. Once the painted motifs are in a good place the designs are brought into the computer and from there we add color and edit, edit, edit.
What are you excited to showcase at the event?
J: I am so excited about the make-your-own chair station. Caroline and I came up with this idea during one of our very first meetings and it just stuck. The station will hi-light the whole process of reupholstering a piece of furniture, from pulling fabric swatches to matching it to a frame to the finished piece. I can't wait to see how people respond and I hope it will inspire people to checkout the event!
C: My debut line! The full assortment will be on display and we'll have select fabrics to chose from at the make-your-own chair station. Most of our customers are introduced to the collection online, so I'm really looking forward to in person introductions where people can touch the fabric and see how it drapes! Also, I'll share a secret with you ... we may have a secondary station that involves custom CCT pillows!
Soirée...La Vie Imprimée...Brocante Moderne. Why all the French?
J: I am fluent in French and grew up speaking it at the bilingual school I attended. My mother has lived full time in France for close to 10 years now, so that's been a huge influence as well. Many trips abroad growing up sparked an inner desire to create my own 'Atelier', which by definition is a workspace that specializes in a specific trade. During many trips to France as a young girl, I would stumble upon shops that specialize in a trade, and often use their storefront as their workshop. This had a big influence on me and why I opened my store Mignonne, which like an atelier is part showroom and part workshop.
C: Like Johnelle, I grew up taking trips to Paris with my family. My father had a business in Europe, so we had an excuse to go there often. My mother lived in France as a young adult and spoke of the culture, food, music often so for me it's a place wrapped in nostalgia. I also still have some ties to Paris and I'm lucky enough to visit regularly. Despite my best efforts, I still don't speak French, but the culture has been a big influence on me as an artist. In addition to my family ties, I've had a lifelong obsession with french couture textile techniques: painting, appliqué, lace-making, etc. In homage to this love, I've incorporated a few French words / sayings into CarolineCecilTextiles.com to reflect this inspiration. Our lifestyle blog where we talk about things that made an impression on us is titled "La Vie Imprimée" which roughly translates to "a printed life". Recently we started a new blog series that outlines current and emerging textile trends called "La Mode Textile", which translates to "fashion textiles". It's a coincidence that Johnelle and I share such a strong connection to France, one that we will be celebrating the night of the event. Get ready to hear some crazy fun 1960's french pop music.
Tell us about your collaboration.
J: Our collaboration highlights both of our strengths. Working together has allowed me to focus on the 'hunt' (as in furniture hunt) and redesigning of furniture, and Caroline to focus on the surface or exterior that makes the piece pop.
C: In preparation for the event Johnelle has created a set of upholstered pieces that will be for sale. It's been so fun to pass fabric off to her and watch her creative process unfold. We got together for a photo shoot a few weeks ago and seeing the finished pieces in person was so exciting for me! As female business owners and design entrepreneurs it's been really natural ping ponging tasks and ideas back and forth. I'm sure this will be the first of many collaborations.