Meet Margherita, textile designer and co-founder of La Serra MK Textile Atelier. The studio, an old green house in the historic Palazzo Pandolfini, is flooded with sunlight and overlooks the garden—an absolute dream. Margherita and La Serra’s co-founder Karl Jorns produce one-of-a-kind soft furnishings for the home. They design all of their unique products in the studio with the highest quality fabric and pigments, using a variety of techniques from screen printing, to hand painting and block printing. The use of color, material and form are key elements to each piece. Each product is thought through from concept to end to reflect their unique design personalities, their surroundings in Florence, and their experiences abroad. News coming soon about her Studio Visit on April 10.
I asked Margherita to answer a few questions about her work and the upcoming Pop Up event she’ll be hosting in May.
How did your training in art and your work experience in fashion bring you open your own textile design studio? Is this something that you’ve always wanted to do?
I trained as a sculptor but I was always interested in colour, design, fashion and I wanted to combine all these elements together. Its been a gradual step and after many years working in different creative fields, it all come together very naturally. I have always wanted to make something happen and work for myself using my creative talents but never knew it was going to be in textiles. I would like in the future to combine my textiles with fine art.
I know you work with clients both here in Florence and abroad. How do you build and maintain those contacts?
I use a lot social media and our FB page its very helpful to meet new clients, as well as LinkedIn. I met recently a very talented illustrator. We are talking about collaborating. I also meet new clients through our studio events and my travels to London. To build and maintain them it’s hard work just emailing, keeping the FB page updated and creating events such as the Pop Up Store, or our seasonal events such as the Christmas Event. We are also looking into doing an Easter one.
Your studio is incredible, the kind I know I dream about having. Can you tell us a little about the history of the space, and how you hope to use it in the future?
Thanks for the lovely compliment. Yes it’s a wonderful space and it feels like my baby. It all started in 2009 when I came to Florence, I had just met my business partner through an old job of mine working in a vintage store. He was looking into setting up a studio and I wanted to make something happen. Looking out into the garden we saw this space and it hadn’t been in use for many years and was completely abandoned so we thought, “Hey, let’s get this space cleaned up!” The few months it took us to make it up and develop it into a studio were the best months, knowing we were building a creative space to work in. It’s been changed and updated in the last few years. We keep on styling it and changing things around. We are currently renting work spaces too. At the moment we are sharing with a bag designer, an architect, and a tights designer. We are hoping in the future to produce more wonderful work and to create more exciting events to promote our work and that of others. I want to see the space as a dynamic hub for designers to work, showcase and collaborate.
Can you tell us a little more about the Pop Up event?
We would like to promote our work and give the possibility of young designers to showcase their work in our space and to create a link and dialogue between designers living and working in Florence. That’s how Pop Up Florence came about. We are working with other two designers to make this event happen. It will take place over three days, with an Opening Event and a Closing one. It’s by invitation only and we want it to be a social event for selling and work-related networking. Each designer has his or her own stand. We feel this is a great opportunity to gather a selection of young exciting designers together under one roof.
Anything else we should know about you and your work?
Our products are all personally thought through from the initial concept to the final piece. We aim to produce exclusive, unique pieces as well bespoke products. From our range of designs we create special hand made home wares.
Margherita also rents out work space in her studio. If you’re interested, get in touch with her at email@example.com.