GET SNUG WITH MAYBELLINE TE
It seems that along with our economy, society is in a state of flux. That also includes our personal style, aesthetics, and what excites us. We’re all trying to reinvent ourselves anew after our pockets were ever so emptied by the stock market. So as we commence “redecorating” our financial lives, so too are we redecorating our actual homes and personal fashion with a hybrid sensibility of the tried and true, and an overall streamlined sophistication. Luckily, Maybelline Te´ of the newly launched Snug Furniture, is of a new breed of entrepreneurial designers helping pave the way into what appears to be a transitional period of post-urban modernism, where eco-friendly craftsmanship is finally embraced but equally respectful of the sleek lines, color palettes and clever intricacies that are signature to urban-modernistic interiors.
Interior designer, co-founder and furniture designer of the Charlotte, North Carolina based, eco-friendly Snug Furniture, Maybelline Te´ is probably the first person you should ask on how to reinvent your home and personal style in this new transition and economy. Being born and raised in the Philippines, Maybelline has a wealth of knowledge and perspective that most designers will probably never come to know quite like she does. She is the daughter of a furniture builder out of Cebu Island in the Philippines, where as a child she worked alongside her father building furniture, getting to know textiles, and how to run a business from the ground up. Her father imbued a discipline and an appreciation for the materials, hard work and the craftsmanship that goes into each piece created. She also became fully aware of what it is to live in essentially a third world country and all of its inconveniences and destitution. Maybelline truly takes nothing for granted as she now lives in the states saying, “It becomes apart of you, your value system…how you approach certain challenges.”
After obtaining a Bachelors in Business Management from the University of the Philippines, Maybelline continued to work for her father’s company for several more years, taking on new duties helpful to the success of the family business, such as selling and marketing for the company. A few years ago she made a big decision to explore her passion in the arts and design, and chose the Art Institute of Charlotte to follow that passion, receiving her Bachelors in Interior Design. Although she graduated right as the economy was hitting rock bottom, she forged ahead co-founding, with fellow designer Alex Hendricks, Snug Furniture. They stumbled upon the name organically out of the discussion of what feeling they wanted the furniture to exude: relaxing, comfort, warmth. Snug. Te´ and Hendricks keep it snug by involving five other close designing friends, Joe Greene, Debbie Palao, Daniel and Dyan Lowery, and Clayton Tugonon, to help artistically expand the urban-modern Snug Furniture and keep it somewhat of a “family” affair.
When you get to the actual artist who is Maybelline Te´ you will find someone with quite an intuitive and eclectic sensibility. She is one who draws lovingly from her Filipino/Eastern roots, from her travels, the great artists, and the basic day-to-day life that surrounds her. She considers herself to be a “material girl,” being innately drawn to exotic materials and textures and the “unexpectedness” of combining the two. Her work has been described as “Precision Eclecticism,” however I think that phrase doesn’t quite describe a type of subtle harmony and intricate design-within-design that she creates. There is indeed a precision of skill and eye for beauty, but there is almost an anti-establishment to her designs, an underground bohemian quality, finished with a delicate touch. Her interior designing also represents this kind of subtlety and she is indeed intuitive. She is one to first pick up on the energy in a given room before deciding what needs to be done. She then
incorporates who her client is, their needs and limitations, the new energy she wants to create for the client, and of course their budget. You may call her somewhat of a design therapist so to speak. And the beauty to Maybelline is how her strong business sense comes into play, the values her father taught her, as well as life in the Philippines. She knows how to be resourceful and make things work. She assuredly says, “Being on a budget allows me to be creative.” She is strong in her work ethic and always remembers things her father would repeat to her: “Life doesn’t forgive weaknesses.” With that in the back of her mind, she really does try to make everyday count and live with passion.
Voted one of the 10 most stylish women in Mega Magazine, the Philippines’ premier fashion bible in 2003, people do want to know what Maybelline Te´ has up her sleeve.
However, what’s more intriguing about Maybelline are the little things she does behind the scenes of furniture and designing. Besides being creative director extraordinaire for Snug, she is adamant about staying grounded and connected with her family and friends. She loves to give little handwritten notes to those close to her, and centers herself by blogging. Her blog, Frou La La, came about as a way to ground herself and connect to the present. It is somewhat of an existential release for this practicing Yogi--though she has been known to throw in a design tip here and there. She truly feels blessed and loves all that she does. With her designs coming up strong in this transitional time that has befallen all of us, it is comforting to know someone like Maybelline is here to guide us with her intuitive, bohemian-chic style and energy.
Originally published in DStripped Magazine
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