Meet Jennifer Paganelli: artist, author, and magician of color. And those are only a few of the inspiring gifts she shares with the world.
Jennifer’s body of work is saturated with vivid colors and hues of happiness. Her career spans decades and is filled with books, fabric lines, fashion design, paintings, and more. She has done it all and is still doing it. Fabulously.
Jennifer is a master of color and pattern. On top of all that, she has a deep kindness and compassion for others that makes you want to be a better human too.
I am honored and thrilled to share my interview with Jennifer today. You will be inspired by her story, her artistry, and her gusto!
“Happy Camper,” her latest fabric collection in partnership with RB Studios, is due out this fall, but she also graciously gives Bloom readers a beautiful preview below.
Welcome, Jennifer! Thanks for joining us!
Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I spent my formative years on the island of St. Croix, part of the US Virgin Islands. After school, I worked at several shops designing their windows and I also worked for a sweet shop called the Mahoney Place.
My aesthetics were being strongly rooted in the Key West sensibility of Lily Pullitzer and Marimako who had a shop on St. Croix as well. It was a little burgeoning island at the time and had a strong indigenous sensibility from Spain and Denmark.
It became the West Indies European aggregate by the culmination of so many influences. I was very fortunate to have had the childhood I had because it’s an integral part of the lens through which I create and design.
Jennifer’s Artistic Career
How did you happen down the career path of art and fabric design?
I was a lover of textiles from my adolescence until today. I was intrigued by pattern and design. I began collecting JAVA Wraps Indonesian screen printed and waxed sarongs for beachgoers. They came from Bali.
I was all over it … and I’m sure the seeds were being planted for a career in textiles.
How has this career stretched you and what have you learned about yourself?
Oh, I’ve learned so much about the creative process, my place in the design world; I’ve learned so much.
Out of high school, I worked for Knoll Textiles, so received on-the-job training. Having started on a lightbox to now directly on the computer; my life and the ease of creating is just cataclysmic.
You have evolved and reinvented yourself over the years with great success. Has it been easy for you?
To be honest I think I could have done more to stretch and adapt to changing industry tides. But I loved what I was doing and even though it was a smaller portion of the overall fabric pie.
I was content to deliver to a smaller segment of diehard devotees because they were so robust about my designs!
Art, Design, and Creativity
What is your favorite part of the design process?
Choosing which designs make the cut.
What do you love most about your work and business?
The interactions with people who use the fabrics is the best part.
Where do you like to create and work?
I have a wonderful desk that serves me and I hope to have a studio in the near future.
What are your favorite tools or equipment to create your designs?
I love Procreate on the iPad, Photoshop, and inspiration from older vintage fabrics.
Where do you find inspiration?
Everywhere!!! It’s a love affair with the visual world.
How have you used your creativity in other ways throughout your life?
My home in Connecticut was an amazingly inspirational experience.
Advice, Tips, or Encouragement
What are the biggest things you learned overall through the process of building these businesses?
Emotional and Spiritual self-care.
What advice would you give other artists and makers who want to start a creative business?
Go for it and never give up.
How did your latest Fabric Collection come about?
Tina Givens, creative director of RB Studios reached out to me and I was so intrigued. I’ve admired her since I met her years ago.
We spoke, and I got busy and Happy Camper was born!
COVID had created this beautiful community of people quarantined and grateful for their creative abilities during a time of difficulty for many. I am a happy camper and found everyone else was happy, thus it was a no-brainer.
The colors and the patterns always make me feel better and take me to a better place. With bright colors and some exotic playfulness, I plan to just change outlooks one day at a time.
Where can readers learn more, follow, or connect with you?
Sis Boom Fabrics
Check out RB studios for stores to shop.
Thanks, Jennifer for sharing your creative journey. It is such an inspiration!
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