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When corporate media and advertising veteran Jamie Solveson signed up for a Thursday-night upholstery class, she wasn’t looking for a new profession. “I was approaching 40 and my kids were really young,” says the Boulder-based designer, “and I just wanted to do something for myself at night.” But working with her hands—“taking things apart and rebuilding something new and modern”—inspired her to ditch the nine-to-five.
So began Jamie Lauren Designs, Solveson’s eponymous line of pillows, handbags, and upholstered ottomans handcrafted from the bright, boldly patterned textiles she sources from tiny villages across the globe—mainly in Peru, Africa, and Thailand. Handwoven Peruvian frazadas (blankets), one-of-a-kind African indigo and mudcloth, and delicately embroidered Thai hmong (“flower cloth”) find new life at her hand.
Solveson admits you can find wannabe mudcloth and other globally inspired knockoffs from big-box brands like Target, but what makes her textiles so incredible are the stories she brings home with them. Solveson travels yearly to Peru to choose fabric and meet the makers, and this winter, she’ll make her first trek to Guatemala to do the same. Pillows made from Peruvian polleras (traditional skirts adorned with festive ornamentation) are new to her collection this season, just in time to warm your home in the face of autumn’s chill.