Kneeland Co. Textile Studio + Mercado

Kneeland Co. Textile Studio + Mercado

Monica Wang
Jan 29, 2014
(Image credit: Monica Wang)

Name: Joanna Williams, Owner of Kneeland Co. Textile Studio and Kneeland Co. Mercado
Atwater Village, Los Angeles, California
1,000 square feet
Years lived in: 6 months

It's hard to imagine that Joanna moved into this space just 6 months ago. She has quickly created a beautiful workspace filled with bright colors, fun textures, and bohemian pieces from Mexico, Morocco, and all over the world. It already looks as if she's been here for years.

(Image credit: Monica Wang)

The suite is divided into two unique spaces. One space is a physical shop where you can browse all of her curated artwork, jewelry, home decor, and objects by appointment. The other is her textile studio, where she invites clients from luxury brands in fashion and home and sources vintage textiles for product development inspiration. I highly recommend following her on Pinterest and Instagram to get a peek into her creative mind.

Walking through the space, you can see Joanna's unique point of view. Her style is refreshing, vibrant, and layered with colors and patterns. The white walls, cabinets, and shelves are the perfect background for the array of wall hangings, artwork, and quirky sculptures. Joanna's workspace is a place to come, create, and get inspired every single day.

(Image credit: Monica Wang)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: My style is a mix of bohemian and classic, with lots of color and prints. I think that translates to my studio space as well. I love finding things on my travels and combining them with vintage pieces and then throwing in some beautiful art and luxurious candles or incense. Fresh flowers are also a must to add color and happiness to my space.

Inspiration: When I started my business 3 years ago I wasn't focused on finding a studio space right away. Then, about a year later, some friends moved into a gorgeous space in Atwater Village and asked me if I wanted to share it with them. I was hesitant at first, mostly because I was still a new business, but I went for it and it completely changed my business for the better. About six months ago I moved into my own space in the same industrial complex and I'm so happy. It is two separate spaces; one is where I work and keep my collection of textiles to show clients, and the other is a showroom and by-appointment store for customers to shop from my online store, Kneeland Mercado. I love the natural light that comes in and the sound of the train that whizzes by during the day. When I was putting the studio together, it was important for me to have a large table in the center for laying out textiles, and a large inspiration board. I wanted it to feel like my job, filled with travels and treasures.

There is a book by the designer Paul Smith titled You Can Find Inspiration in Everything, and I think that's very true. I find inspiration in books, magazines, traveling, food, fashion, interiors, movies, friends and family. There's always something to discover and something to learn.

Favorite Element: My favorite element is the shop and showroom. It's small, but it's filled with really special objects, accessories and home goods that I'm drawn to.

Biggest Challenge: My biggest challenge is drawing foot traffic to the studio since I'm not a brick-and-mortar on a busy street in a bustling neighborhood. I do like taking appointments and meeting new people, but I look forward to the day when I can have a free-standing location in Silver Lake or Echo Park.

What Friends Say: One of the things that makes me really happy is having friends or clients come in and say how inspiring and magical the space feels. That makes me truly happy, because I think it's important to inspire one another and encourage creativity.

Biggest Embarrassment: I travel to the east coast often, and my iCal refuses to update my appointments to E.S.T. On one occasion I showed up to an appointment 3 hours early with my suitcase of textiles, and that was kind of embarrassing. Luckily everyone laughed.

Proudest DIY: I love the sliding doors that lead into the shop and showroom. I bought white doors from Home Depot and had the moldings painted gold and used some beautiful green and gold knobs my friend bought me in India to create a very French feel. It's like a little salon.

Biggest Indulgence: My friend Steve Nasker of Pacific Wonderland is a master builder, and I commissioned him to make a big square table for the center of my studio. It really draws people into the space and makes it feel cozy. For the shop, I brought back a long piece of weathered copper from my in-laws in San Luis Obispo. It came from a really old bar in San Luis Obispo that closed down. My friend Robert built a steel base for it and turned it into a really cool display table. It has a great industrial feel to it.

Best Advice: Stay focused and follow your own path. Listen to what others have to say, but don't feel as if you have to follow all advice. Just because people are doing things one way doesn't mean it's the right way for you. Be curious, work hard, follow your dreams.

Dream Sources: If I could shop straight from the studios of Charlotte Perriand, Luis Barragan, Pablo Picasso, and Adolfo Riestra, I would be a happy girl.

(Image credit: Monica Wang)

Resources of Note:

Resources are noted in the slideshow captions.

(Image credit: Monica Wang)

Thanks, Joanna!

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