Guildery, the upstart that seeks to link exclusive fabric patterns directly to consumers, is celebrating its one-year anniversary with some major features and exciting designer collaborations. CEO Shane Reilly chats with EAL about the designers she’s working with (spoiler alert: Paloma Contreras and Lindsey Coral Harper are among them) and the fun functions that now let designers design, re-color and print their own fabrics.
Reilly and designer Espinet
The site has premiered some significant tech updates recently, including one that lets users create and re-color patterns themselves. Walk us through the new features.
S.R.: We have launched two major technical advancements that have greatly expanded Guildery’s capabilities and grounded us as a modern production platform. The first, “Customize” is the ability for users to re-color our patterns via Guildery.com. You simply click on a customizable pattern, click on the colors you want to change and then select new ones. The edited design automatically appears and can be printed on demand on any of our fabrics, products or wallpaper. With this feature, Guildery offers designs in a limitless color palette with no extra lead times or costs associated with customization.
The second advancement, “Create,” is the ability to upload your own artwork and print your own fabric (print-your-own pillows and wallpaper are coming soon). This tool enables designers to create their own custom designs for clients. We recently had a designer upload an image of the client’s children’s artwork and print it as fabric for bedspreads.
Espinet's designs for Guildery
How has the site evolved since your founding?
S.R.: We have evolved into a launchpad for new collections. We have a straightforward process for reviewing submissions from designers who, like Sandy [Sandra Espinet], are capable of producing original artwork (or providing art direction to their graphic designers). We select designers who have the capacity to promote their lines in showhouses and other sales channels, as well as use it in their own projects, get published or self-publish on social media.
For years, the large fabric companies have demonstrated that people will buy designers’ collections because they get inspired by the designers themselves. We leverage technology and on-demand production to make this model accessible to more designers.
How has the company grown in the last year?
S.R. We have grown our business to support a modern approach to producing decorative items on demand. Our technology ingests original art files, makes them customizable and viewable on a variety of fabrics and finished goods and ships to customers with the click of a mouse.
No prototyping, no photography, no quote requests, and no inventory are required to create and purchase unique decorative items. We now print many materials, including high-end Belgian Linen™, various cottons, silk, polyesters, velveteen and wallpaper. We have expanded our team in order to dedicate considerable resources to overseeing our U.S.A.-based network of printers and fabricators so our members receive consistent quality when ordering from Guildery.
Sandra Espinet recently premiered her Cabo collection with Guildery. How did you two first get connected?
S.R. A mutual friend in the industry. I was immediately impressed—not only by her extensive design portfolio but also by how she was committed to building her brand. Sandy takes an omni-media approach to business with her design office, storefront, brand collaborations, book, social media, events, and now, of course, her own branded product with Guildery. Sandy is exactly the type of designer we want to work with because she understands what it takes to build a cohesive and distinctive brand across channels. Her business savvy and broad appeal will make it easier for her fabric collections to get noticed.
Sandy flew up to meet with us and share her original paintings. I was astounded by her raw talent as an artist and knew right away her painterly aesthetic would translate especially well on Belgian Linen™, our premium fabric. We scanned Sandy’s paintings and then our production team transformed her art into repeats suitable for fabric printing.
What’s next on the horizon?
S.R. We are thrilled to be working with interior designers such as Sandy Espinet, Hillary Thomas, Bridgid Coulter and Lindsey Coral Harper. Stay tuned for collections from Seema Krish, Paloma Contreras and more coming soon.