Johnelle Mancha is the lead designer and owner of Mignonne Decor, where she makes furniture that has been revamped and reupholstered. Johnelle offers a unique service where her customers can either buy the reupholstered products in her store or have their own furniture revitalised. She is heavily influenced by her time studying in France, in particular Paris and her time in Florence too. She constantly draws upon this experience to influence her work. So we are proud to bring you the Designer Insights of Johnelle Mancha.
Image Credit: 1) Anthropologie 2) Mignonne Decor 3) Crate and Barrel 4) Knoll 5) DWR
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1) In your own words describe your unique style and creative aesthetic?
My creative style is an extension of my early years of painting. I tend to look at every piece or space I work on redesigning as my blank canvas. Like a painting, I want my designs to capture a certain presence to a room & often times to act as a statement piece.
2) When starting a new project, what is your creative process?
My creative process is to think outside the box. I always incorporate vintage elements such as furniture with a new lease on life, or vintage textiles I incorporate into my new upholstered pieces. It’s important to me that my creations are timeless.
3) Out of the creative people you have worked with, who is it that you respect and admire the most?
The ones I admire and respect the most are my fellow artisans / upholsterers who help assist me in bringing my designs to fruition. I have no problem getting my hands dirty, with much of my own refinishing & painting. When it comes to upholstering an antique couch circa early 1900’s, that’s a different ball game. I have so much admiration for my lead upholsterers on my team, who bring my designs to life with their trade skills as master upholsterers.
4) When looking for inspiration is there a particular thing you do to get inspired?
When I am looking to start a new project & gain inspiration, I love to search for one element that can spearhead a new project or curated corner in my store. I will go to the Alameda Antique Fair, a monthly flea market, and literally walk every aisle by myself looking for that one thing to spark a new project or shop look.
5) What has brought you to this point in your career? And what is your advice for people looking to follow in your footsteps?
Don’t be afraid of change, but embrace it. My design style, and shop changes as my interests do over the years. Staying true to myself, and being passionate about what I do keeps me motivated and inspired. For those just starting out in this industry, I would say don’t try to be something you’re not. You will only gain a following if you are believable.