Open House

Be­yond the lux­ury prod­ucts it churns out, the workspace of Valdes sib­lings Bea and Marga re­flects the keen de­sign sen­si­bil­ity of the women run­ning it


When Bea Valdes set up a work­shop in 2004 to craft belts, bags, and jew­elry, her workspace then was lit­tle more than her mother’s kitchen where she was joined by three of her craftswomen. But as her busi­ness grew, so did the work­force, and she would move op­er­a­tions to big­ger spa­ces that would fit the amount of peo­ple she works with as well as the prod­uct in­ven­tory. Even­tu­ally, the busi­ness reached a point where build­ing a new space big enough to con­tain it was bet­ter than con­stantly mov­ing from one lo­ca­tion to an­other. Joined by her sis­ter Marga, Bea fi­nally set­tled into a new space in April of 2015.

The place used to be a two-storey juice fac­tory that sported green and red walls. With the help of their mother, the sis­ters were able to trans­form the build­ing into a three-floor man­u­fac­tur­ing space that is per­fect for their de­sign process. They were also able to add a cou­ple of gar­dens with­out hav­ing to tear down the old struc­ture. The sis­ters wanted enough light and air to cir­cu­late through­out the space, thus the open lay­out, the win­dows, the high ceil­ings, and the white walls. Out­side, the build­ing is sur­rounded by a tall wall cov­ered with vines.

The sign BEAVALDES, done in gold, wel­comes vis­i­tors to the show­room where clients can look at the lat­est col­lec­tions. To make the space more com­fort­able and re­lax­ing, a gar­den was set up next to the can­teen. On the sec­ond floor is the main work area where all the brand’s pieces are made by hand. The work tables placed in the mid­dle of the floor ac­com­mo­date a group of 35 ar­ti­sans, while set against a wall are sewing ma­chines. In an­other cor­ner, rows and rows of cus­tom acrylic cases hold pieces from past col­lec­tions. The Valdes sis­ters’ of­fice is also on this floor. The third floor mean­while is a workspace for big­ger projects, where a photo stu­dio and an­other gar­den had also been set up. The third floor gar­den is where the sis­ters’ kids can play when­ever they bring them along to work.

Be­cause Bea and Marga spend eight hours a day here, they wanted to make the whole place as com­fort­able as pos­si­ble. On top of that, they also want to show a dif­fer­ent side to man­u­fac­tur­ing: that it doesn’t have to be housed some­where that’s dark and cramped—that light and air are un­of­fi­cial but nec­es­sary in­gre­di­ents to any well-made prod­uct. •

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