Introducing FRĒDA Woman: Paloma Tenorio
Can you start by telling us a little about yourself? Your background, what you do and what has led you to what you are doing now?
My name is Paloma, I'm twenty-four years old, and I source, repair, upcycle and curate vintage clothing. I ran a boutique in Sausalito for four and a half years before transitioning to my current studio in Berkeley a few months back. In my design and upcycling work, I use a mix of sewing, hand-embroidery, and illustration to re-imagine older pieces and materials. I'm mostly a self-taught artist and maker, but have taken some pattern-making and art classes in the past, and had a side gig doing custom embroidery in the early days of running Baba Yaga.
What inspired you to start Baba Yaga?
My mom and I launched Baba Yaga in 2017 after years of dreaming about starting a vintage boutique together. Our motivation has always been to provide well made, highly curated, statement pieces that blend seamlessly into a modern wardrobe. I think at the heart of it, our inspiration for starting Baba Yaga came from a place of wanting to celebrate unique prints, textures, and styles with self-expression being the driving force of our business model.
What does 'vintage' mean to you?
In a literal sense, vintage refers to pieces that are twenty years or older, but the significance the word carries for me goes deeper. Vintage encompasses a spectrum of niche styles from decades past, and has taught me so much about history, fashion and restoration over the years. It’s also introduced me to an equally vast community of people and changed how I relate to work, consumption and my own personal style.
What has been the proudest moment for you with Baba Yaga?
I’m proud of opening our first brick and mortar, meeting wonderful people, selling pieces that I feel passionate about, and taking the shop through its next phase of development this year. Overall, I’m just really proud of how much Baba Yaga has evolved and am grateful for the lessons I’ve been able to learn along the way.
I’m also proud to have the opportunity to partner with great brands like, Frēda Salvador!
Can you tell us about your recent collaboration with FRĒDA?
This month, I had the honor of adding some of my hand-drawn designs to the EDA canvas sneakers! I also handmade a special batch of upcycled balloon sleeved and original doodle pieces to include alongside our shoe collaboration.
What was the inspiration behind the shoe art and upcycled clothes?
The designs for the EDA sneakers were inspired by traditional tattoos, tarot, and folktales. For me, the fish is both a messenger and a positive reminder that endings are opportunities for new beginnings. Similarly, the upcycled clothing is inspired by a blend of imagery from tarot, fairy tales, tattoo designs, and graphic novels.
How have woman inspired you in life or your career?
My mom is a huge inspiration for me, and has been a tremendous support and mentor throughout my life and career. I respect and value her resilience, insight, creativity, and intelligence. Growing up, she taught me to approach things with integrity, to be open about my feelings, set boundaries, and look at life as an opportunity to never stop learning. I feel very lucky to be her kid.
Tell us something you’re learning about yourself now?
I think right now, I’m learning how to let go of limiting beliefs and ways of doing things that I've been holding on to unconsciously. I’m in the process of learning how to refocus my energy and move forward more effectively.
What’s your mantra?
I tend to reassure myself with the idea that things happen the way they happen, as a reminder to let go when I need to accept a situation and not dwell on the outcome.
The designer Artsi Ifrach of MAISONARTC, for his embroidery work, editorials and styling.
When you’re not working, how do you like to spend your time?
I usually spend whatever time off I have resting, hanging out with my partner or seeing close friends. Besides that, I like to spend my alone time journaling and reading tarot.
What’s your favorite word?
I like the word, “No.” It’s not necessarily my favorite, but it’s useful and has a lot of impact.
Favorite fashion moment?
The androgynous and iconic style of Grace Jones!
Creative versatility, and my openness to learn and experiment.
Must-have purse item?
I don’t carry a purse - but I tend to keep a measuring tape on hand, if that counts?
I just finished reading a collection of short stories by Haruki Murakami. The next book I plan on cracking into is Heaven No Hell by one of my favorite graphic novelists, Micheal Deforge.
Right now, I’m watching the second season of Tuca and Bertie! I appreciate the way the show addresses mental health, friendship and SA. Lisa Hanawalt has such a distinct style and sense of humor, it's been awesome to watch her work take off.