Chic-chats with Alicia Martinez: the Swirl Throw journey
Embrace the warmth of the Swirl Throw and journey into the artistic realm of Alicia Martinez, widely known as Alichuree. As the creator behind the Swirl Throw's captivating design, Alicia invites you to explore the inspiration and passion woven into every curve, as well as take a peek at her joyful Reims apartment.
Your DIY projects have prominently featured those distinctive curvy lines, including the Swirl Throw. Is there a backstory or inspiration behind this particular shape that you could share?
I believe I have always been drawn to anything circular. Curved lines represent, for me, a form of freedom and gentleness. I am greatly inspired by nature in my creations, and rounded shapes are often found in nature, such as the outlines of leaves, flower petals, and seashells.
I often work with circular shapes when creating objects for my home because they allow me to establish a warm and protective atmosphere, precisely the feeling I want to have when I am at home.
For the Swirl Throw, I envisioned a pattern that I drew freehand. The lines are imperfect and not entirely symmetrical, but that's what appeals to me: it's the freedom of movement that allows me to express my emotions to the fullest.
Can you provide insights into your educational and experiential background, shedding light on the origins of Alichuree? Additionally, is there a noteworthy story associated with its creation?
I created Alichuree two years ago with the idea of sharing my illustrations. I had just bought a tablet, and after many years of working with painting, pastels, and drawing, I ventured into digital illustration as a hobby initially.
Upon moving into my first apartment, I discovered the world of DIY, and I fell completely in love with it! In October 2022, I decided to share my first video, and it immediately took off. Since that day, creating, envisioning objects, and sharing them on the internet has become my profession!
I pursued my higher education in the audiovisual field, but I learned the most by doing and exploring on my own at home. Internet is a fabulous world where one can learn a variety of things. That's largely how I learned everything I do today, by reading blog articles and watching tutorials on YouTube.
"I often work with circular shapes when creating objects for my home because they allow me to establish a warm and protective atmosphere."
– Alicia Martinez, Alichuree
What was your experience like when designing a product for the first time? Did you find it to be a smooth process or were there notable challenges along the way?
I was initially in a euphoric phase because it's a significant accomplishment for me to be able to design my own product. It's something I've always dreamed of, and I didn't think it would happen so soon, so I immediately said yes when noo.ma invited me the project!
It wasn't easy because I'm used to creating objects for myself, for my own home. However, I realized that people will likely have this throw in their hands and in their homes, adding extra pressure as I try to put myself in their shoes while creating something that also pleases me.
The process was lengthy, but it was a wonderful experience that ignited a true passion in me, whether it was in pattern exploration or finding color combinations. I loved doing it, and I would love to continue doing it for a long time, that's for sure!
While many popular home decor brands source their products from the far east, noo.ma prioritizes ethical and local production, with manufacturing taking place in Poland. This commitment, however, impacts prices. Do you believe consumers are willing to pay more for home decor items when informed about their ethical origins?
Yes, absolutely, but I think it takes time for more people to understand it. We live in a society of overconsumption where, for the most part, we've been accustomed to buying, whether it's in the textile or interior decoration realm, low-cost products produced in large quantities on the other side of the planet. I believe it takes time to adapt to a new consumption model where we would pay more for a product that has a smaller environmental impact and lasts longer.
Of course, it depends on individual budgets, but I think people are becoming more sensitive to issues such as the origin of materials, manufacturing conditions, adherence to environmental standards, and fair treatment of workers. I see a much greater interest in second-hand items around me and within my social media community than before. People prefer to thrift objects, repair items they already have, rather than buying new ones. And if they do want to buy new, they prioritize brands with local production and good-quality materials that will stand the test of time.