Editor’s Note: Komodo’s “10 Questions” series features kids brands and their founders. They reveal how they came up with the idea, what’s unique about their brand and what makes them carry on.
We are continuing our series of brands founders’ interviews. Our interview today is about Lorena Canals. Have visited Lorena Canals office in Barcelona, Spain last week to find out more about the brand and how it all started. We would like to thank Lorena and her team for the opportunity.
Lorena Canals is a brand present in our portfolio since last year. Lorena started her company when she realised the difficulty of washing carpets at home. This is why she created handmade rugs which CAN be washed in our homes. And so, ladies and gents, without any further ado, here is what makes her brand unique and what makes her tick.
K. Could you tell us more about how you came up with the idea?
Lorena: We started the washable rugs company 15 years ago. I was a young mother, busy taking care of two little ones but always thinking three steps ahead. I watched them play on a rug one day and thought: “Wouldn’t life be easier if I could wash rugs at home?” So I started searching for some washable rugs and I couldn’t find anything suitable. I then did what I always do: I acted and decided to create a washable rug myself. That was 25 years ago.
K. Why rugs and not clothes for example?
Lorena: I’ve always felt a passion for the design and decor industries. I am also interested in fashion. The idea was to create something unique, something different. I have always been an entrepreneur, but there are a lot of brands in the clothing business. And by the way, I started by creating bear lamps from a doll bear.
K. What’s special/unique about your products?
Lorena: 25 years ago I started designing and producing rugs and textile accessories. Made from 100% cotton, the rugs are machine-washable as a result of a craftsmanship process. The soul of the brand is our machine-washable rugs. They are completely safe for kids and you can keep them always clean. They are 100% cotton, we use natural dyes in the dying process and they are non-toxic and eco-friendly. Our products are unique art pieces, so there are no two alike. We work side by side with 120 artisans who take care of every detail in the handmade elaboration process.
K. What’s your design thinking process? Where do you get your inspiration?
Lorena: I see rugs everywhere I look. Magazines, museums, restaurants. But if I had to choose the most inspiring places for me, I would say India and nature. As our own two factories are in India. Every time I travel to India to visit my factory and all children we are taking care of, I learn more and more things. The Indian colours feed my soul. I also love nature. I can spend long hours contemplating several colour gradients and shapes. I can assure you that I will continue to surprise you. Myself I am surprised to see how many products we plan to launch.
K. Please describe a day at work. How do you start/end your day?
: I call our factory in India to get updates on the manufacturing process. We also have a social project there. I go to the office where I create new models in my studio. In fact, the inspiration comes at any time of the day. My preferred part at work? Without a doubt, what I like most is to create a product from scratch and see its final result. Also, I like to study new materials and techniques.
K. What are your future plans?
Lorena: As a designer, the challenge is to create new attractive products that don’t exist in the market. I’m always in search of new ideas to surprise! I’ve tried to create different approaches for kids and home lifestyle. After 15 years of designing machine-washable rugs for kids, we are introducing a collection of rugs and textile accessories for the whole house house. Washable cushions, cotton blankets, storage baskets and a wide variety of décor wall hanging. They will fit in any corner of the home: living rooms, halls, corridors, porches or kitchens. Right now, we are preparing the launch of a wonderful collection for KIDS: Back to School. We hope it will be an icon for the brand. So stay tuned 🙂
K. What’s a trip that changed you?
Lorena: First time we visited India. When we saw the distress, we knew we had to do something. In 2008, we started the Sakûla project by building a nursery in Haryana for homeless children. They were living on the streets without protection and security. We are now offering them daily meals and schooling. With every purchase our rugs or accessories, you are helping a child get an education. You are also giving them opportunity to live a better life. I would like to help more and more children in India. Helping them to get a better future is our main purpose. This is were I get my daily energy.
K. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Lorena: Creator and artisan. I’ve always wanted to create new things. Different things. I have always been fascinated by decoration, discovering new places, traveling or design. When I was young colour, fabrics and crafts intrigued me. Everything I could do with my hands. In the end, I did not do something very different 🙂
K. A message to our readers
Lorena: As I already mentioned, in 2008 we started the Sakûla project by building a nursery in Haryana for homeless children. With every purchase our rugs or accessories, you are helping a child get an education. And a better life. Let’s continue to do!
We will continue our series of brands founders’ interviews. As it’s essential to know everything about the products we buy, especially those for our kids. As there is more to the product than its basic description. More than the materials used, its colour, size or the country where it’s produced.