ESPANYOLET: Two New Yorkers are creating one-of-a-kind linen and ceramic items in Mallorca
I do my job as a hair stylist and colorist with much love, passion and dedication and I appreciate meeting people who are vibrating that same spirit. Artisans, who work consciously respecting the materials and traditions. When I first met Melissa Rosenbauer and Thomas Bossert, I felt an instant connection to this creative and inspiring couple behind “espanyolet”, an independent maker of superb handcrafted Mediterranean artisan items for the home, like hand painted vintage linen and hand formed ceramics, all made in Mallorca.
It’s with great enthusiasm that I share with you a bit of their extraordinary journey, how they landed in Mallorca and started to work and sell their amazing cloth & clay collection of espanyolet.
ONCE UPON A TIME IN NEW YORK CITY
It was in New York, where two creatives met working in the same advertising agency. Melissa Rosenbauer, from New Jersey and Thomas Bossert from Germany, were both succeeding in their career in communication and graphic design, living the fast and furious New York lifestyle, when they both decided to quit their jobs and sell their apartment to travel the world for a year.
Like Melissa said: “The idea was to explore our spirituality, learn a new language, get closer to nature and to do something with our hands.”
THE ADVENTURE BEGINS
No sooner said than done! Melissa and Thomas left Brooklyn, NYC to embark on new adventures, traveling to Thailand, Indonesia, New Zealand and Africa to disconnect from their busy life, exploring new countries and remote cultures.
ON A MISSION
While traveling, the idea of using their hands to create something unique was gradually shaping up. They both felt great passion for textures and colors, so they took advantage of learning from local artisan’s old traditional handcraft work with textile and ceramics in which they took inspiration, experiences and ideas to create something of their own.
BERLIN – BARCELONA – PALMA DE MALLORCA
After a year traveling the world, Melissa and Thomas arrived in Berlin. With the idea that they would settle there, Thomas continued to tell me: “somehow it didn’t feel right, I was born in Germany, I had lived in New York, and Berlin felt a bit of the same, not the big change of life we were looking for”.
A good friend suggested that they should try Barcelona, so they packed again and moved to the Catalan capital. Although they enjoyed Barcelona and much of its Mediterranean lifestyle, it was still too much of a city to their liking.
“We stayed one month in Barcelona and then another friend told us about Mallorca, which was just a short hop from there. It sounded so exotic to my American family and friends who haven’t a clue where this island is, like most of the Americans” said Melissa laughing.
So, they went to see how it would feel – and it felt great! “Mallorca is the place we wanted to be”, said Thomas.
It was in 2015 when the lovely couple decided to build a studio on the island, beginning a new chapter in their life, and starting a new business launching a craft manufacturing brand.
A DREAM COMES TRUE
The Mediterranean culture and lifestyle in Mallorca, with its beautiful light, rich colors and textures seems to be a never ending resource for their inspiration. All that, combined the inspirations and handcrafted skills they brought with them from traveling around the world, everything suddenly made sense to them.
espanyolet was born!
The name is a beautiful homage to their new home in Son Espanyolet, a typical Spanish quarter in Palma de Mallorca.
First, espanyolet launched a wonderful and exclusive vintage linen collection with rare linen fabrics from Mallorca and beyond. Melissa and Thomas sew and hand paint the rustic fabric beautifully with vibrant colors inspired by the Mediterranean. After a while, they added ceramics, since their idea had always been with both, cloth and clay. The ceramics are a fantastic transposition of the vintage linen color and texture and have turned out to be a big success.
They design and sketch together; they explore every single day to come up with new amazing colors and designs for espanyolet. It’s a real process “developing colors for our linen and ceramics collection, as much art as it is science, and discovery is yet another key part of our slow batch, artisan process.” they say. Every piece they create is unique! The wear pattern, the thicknesses of the weave, the mix of linen & hemp, or even the original patches are all unique to that one piece of fabric.
“IT’S NOT WHAT YOU DO, IT’S HOW YOU DO IT”
It’s been such a pleasure to watch and listen to Melissa and Thomas talking with passion and love about espanyolet and their craftsmanship. In little time, they have built a great brand which really stands out from the crowd.
They are still trying to figure out what will come next though. Whatever it is, it will be beautiful and unique, I have no doubt! But if they keep on growing, they will do without sacrificing their creativity and craftsmanship – this is very important to both of them.
WHERE TO FIND ITEMS FROM ESPANYOLET?
You can order all unique items from their online shop.
Ceramics from espanyolet you can buy at “Bazaar”, Costa d’en Brossa 17A in the old town of Palma de Mallorca and at “Mimo” in the St Regis Mardavall Hotel in Calviá. By the way, they have a beautiful website – absolutely worth to visit!
espanyolet – handcrafted Mediterranean artisan items
FOLLOW ESPANYOLET ON INSTAGRAM
And I also recommend you to follow their inspiring Instagram account, which is a feast for the eyes.
Hope I have been able to convey my enthusiasm for espanyolet. It was a honor to share this fabulous project with you!
Silke von Rolbiezki
This article is a cooperation between Silke von Rolbiezki and Nadia Bousselma.
Silke von Rolbiezki is a hairdresser, hair stylist, and owner of ‘Silke von Rolbiezki Coiffure’ in Palma de Mallorca. She has been involved and connected for more than 20 years in the high-end hairdressing industry. She has perfected her skills over time with top hair stylists in Germany and Spain. In addition to cutting and styling, Silke is very well known for her extensive expertise in hair coloring.
Text: © Silke von Rolbiezki Coiffure, 2017
Photography: All pictures © Silke von Rolbiezki Coiffure, 2017, except the second picture © Teresa Marenzi..
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