As the pandemic dragged on, Brook Perdigon longed for her native Tampa from nearly 3,000 miles away. Her mother, sister and other relatives were still there. She reminisced about happy summer days at her grandparents’ house in Belleair Beach.
Perdigon, a textile designer who lives in Los Angeles, turned her nostalgia into a new fabric collection called Impressions. Inspired by her years in Florida, some patterns evoke flowers in her mother’s garden, others the ‘70s decor of the beloved beach house.
“I was super homesick during COVID,” Perdigon said, “so I did this.”
Perdigon grew up in South Tampa, went to college in St. Louis and then moved to California. She taught kindergarten, took classes in weaving and silkscreen printing and started a T-shirt line. One shirt, in a nod to home, had a Gasparilla motif. That helped her realize that she enjoyed putting “patterns on things,” she said. “You create these beautiful patterns but you have to understand the manufacturing process to generate them. It’s a two-part thing, (the pattern) has a direct end use after being just an artwork.”
Perdigon got a degree in textile and design and honed her skills in a variety of jobs. Among them: a high-end custom carpet company where she worked on projects for architect Frank Gehry and movie director Steven Spielberg. “It was very top-of-the-line, just gorgeous stuff,” she said of carpets starting in the high five figures. “I was only going to do this a year and I was there eight years.”
In 2015, Perdigon launched her own company. Every two years she does a fabric line like Impressions; in between, she releases wallpaper designs. “It costs about $80,000 to bring a fabric line to market so it is quite an investment,” she said. “Wallpaper is much more economical.” All of her products are made in the United States.
Brook Perdigon Textiles has been featured in numerous publications, including Architectural Digest, House & Garden and the New York Times. It works mostly with interior designers, though retail customers can buy fabrics and ready-made pillows that are available through the website brookperdigontextiles.com. The company has a showroom in Charleston, South Carolina, but Perdigon plans to represent herself in this part of Florida.
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Earlier this year, Perdigon and her husband, who have two young children, bought a small condo on Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa. They plan to be there this summer for about three weeks, then return for the holidays.
“This way,” she said, “I can get home more easily” — and likely find even more inspiration.