TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR BACK STORY. WHERE ARE YOU FROM?
I was born and raised in Colombia but grew up multicultural. My mom is from California, my dad is Colombian, and my grandparents are very German. Since I was a little girl, I have been obsessed with the arts. Anything to do with objects and aesthetics has always drawn my eye.
I moved to San Francisco in 2012, where I majored in Textile Design with a minor in Fashion Merchandising. In between this, I had the opportunity to study abroad in London at Central Saint Martins for a year. I think growing up experiencing so many cultures gave me the perspective I have today.
WHEN DID YOU START YOUR COMPANY AND WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO DO SO?
I decided to start Ōmbia Studio around one year ago. Handbuilt objects have always attracted me, especially ceramics. My dad used to collect pre-Colombian clay sculptures, and I found them so fascinating. Slowly I started discovering and collecting pieces by different artists until I decided to give it a try. I immediately fell in love with the design process and the medium. It was the first time I was able to create with my hands in a very long time. The process of hand-building with clay is so meditative, and the possibilities are endless. After doing it for 6 months or so, I decided to take a leap of faith, leave my full-time job, and start Ōmbia Studio. Clay is only the beginning of the studio. There are so many exciting projects to come and materials to explore.
WHAT DO YOU VALUE MOST ABOUT THE COMMUNITY YOU HAVE BUILT WITH ŌMBIA STUDIO?
Going to the studio every day and seeing my clay community is what gets me out of bed every morning. I love being at a studio where people are working around me. We always help each other and push our ideas. It is so motivating seeing the hard work of everyone around me.
I have always loved the sense of community I have found living in San Francisco these last years. I love supporting small independent brands and artists, and always felt a strong connection and hoped one day I could be a part of this. Now it is happening. It has been so rewarding seeing the support of all the creative women around me. From photographers to lawyers to designers. All coming together to support in one way or another. I look forward to collaborating with more artists and brands as the studio keeps growing.
WHAT DOES WOMEN SUPPORTING WOMEN MEAN TO YOU?
Empowerment. When we support each other, we slowly start creating a community. A community that always has our backs, that challenges us to be better, and gives us a purpose to keep going.
CAN YOU SHARE ONE OTHER FEMALE-FOUNDED BUSINESS WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT?
There are so many I love! But right now, I’ve been obsessing over the Worn Store. It’s an Australian brand based out of Byron Bay. I have been following them for a long time, and they are incredible. Their attention to detail, quality, and their focus on sustainability were what first drew me in. They are always empowering the community around them, collaborating, and helping others in need.