September 28, 2017

Interview with Caroline Hurley

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 Caroline Hurley loves cozy! If you’ve have a chance to look at her designs or bask in the luxury of her blankets, throws or pillows, you’ll understand. Founder, creative director and designer of Caroline Z Hurley, we love her ability to incorporate place into her textiles. Since attending Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Caroline began experimenting outside of the realm of painting, playing with shapes she encountered on travel and using them to create fabric. She now works alongside local artisans to design and make textiles for the home using the hands-on processes of block-printing, quilting and weaving.

Thank you Caroline for taking the time to answer some questions about your brand. We hope you enjoy learning more about her process and be sure to check out our new collection of her cozy textiles here!

 

1. What initially got you into textiles for the home; was that your focus at RISD or did it naturally evolve? 

I studied Fine Art at RISD and never intended to start a textile business! I started by making a throw in my painting studio. I stopped into one of my favorite stores in the city and they asked to carry my products and it developed from there. Everything about the way I’ve grown my business has been organic and intentional. 

2. Your collections are based on places…are they all limited edition based on recent travels or do you continue to build upon each collection? Why is place so important to you? 
   
Each seasonal collection is based on a different adventure but we also add pieces throughout the year. Place is important to me because I’m most inspired to create when I travel.
3. Can you tell us more about the collaboration and production process with your artisans?
    
We find our artisans by doing research and also by traveling to each country where we want to produce. All our artisan partnerships have been forged over time – we specifically choose artisans that we’ll be able to grow and develop with instead of just working with them for a single season. The collaboration between myself and our artisans is one of my favorite parts of the process. I send a spec sheet/drawing and they interpret that sketch. Because they are experts in their craft, sometimes they have ideas for weaving or quilting that far surpass my original image. So needless to say, receiving samples is always super fun.
 
4. It seems like your textiles have so many uses – do you have intended uses in mind for each piece? Have you ever seen one of your products creatively used for something you didn’t initially envision? 
    
Yes all of my products can be used in a multitude of ways especially our throws. My original purpose was a beach throw but now I see them as wrap dresses, curtains, bath towels, bed/couch throws…the list goes on. My favorite recently is a couch cover for your pups when they want to hop up on the couch with you. Linen doesn’t retain odor and gets better with every wash so it’s perfect for that.
   
5. We recently rebranded to Take Care – for self and sanctuary. What does for self and sanctuary mean to you and how do you seen CZH fitting into that practice?
   
A big part of my brand is about grounding yourself so that you can have true adventures. I love the idea of home being a place of peace and grounding – even if it’s just a corner in your home where you go to just be quiet and kind to yourself.
6. What’s next for CZH?
  
We are building out our block-printed production in New Bedford in a real way so that we can produce more efficiently. Also we have several exciting collaborations that are launching in 2018.
Thanks again, Caroline! 
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