On the Inside: Millworks

Before ikat, before the “sketchy” look, my first textile design love has and will always be: BOLD LINES. I love a brushstroke with some meat on it and these designs from LA based, Millworks are totally speaking to me! Andrea Bernstein is the creative eye and design hand( as you can see in the photo) behind these textiles. After years in the industry, doing everything from knitwear design to becoming the head of design for a large textile mill, Andrea decided to branch out on her own and to design her own textiles. So, so glad that she did!

Andrea, what was the reaction when you branched out on your own?

I took our first collection to the Gift Show in NY and we were mobbed. It was great! I couldn’t believe that I had waited so long to follow my dreams.

What is the inspiration for your designs?

All the colors come from nature, but I electrify them. I start with collecting images of flowers, plants, leaves, really anything that interests me in nature. I take photographs to refer back to later and then return to my studio to paint. I tend to work at a very large scale so they can be difficult to scan.

I really love unusual flowers and combinations of flowers, leaves, and rocks, that may usually be overlooked. I love weeds and wild flowers.

Where can people buy your pillows?

We have a huge following in New England, particularly in Maine, New Hampshire, and Connecticut. So people can find us in stores around that area. We are also branching into California and will be showing at the California Gift Show.

Any suggestions for up and coming designers?

Yes. Follow your own style and do not work for a studio, it will ruin your identity as an artist.

Thanks Andrea!!! I am sure Andrea would be happy to help you find a store that carries her collection so just check out the Millworks site or call 213.629.1077 for more information. Enjoy!

  1. “…do not work for a studio, it will ruin your identity as an artist.”

    I am curious; how does it ruin your identity as an artist?

  2. large working surface design studios that focus on custom designing for specific accounts require their artists to volume produce art in the style requested by the client, and by the studio’s direction.
    over time- i have heard numerous comments from other textiles artists i know -who have become dismayed over the loss of their own unique style ,after doing “studio work” for a long time.

    with that said- there are many studios around the world that promote each artist’s work as a selling feature.these are where i would aim.

    1. Thanks for the response Andrea! I struggled with finding my inner “design voice” after leaving my corporate design job. For years I designed with a specific customer in mind and when those guard rails (this is an expression that they used at this company) were gone I felt totally lost! Has anyone else experienced this?

  3. thanks so much !! keep working. i think the world needs more color, more original points of view, and more happy design

    and less :

    serious
    over priced
    over-edited
    over merchandised
    diluted down
    over thought
    knocked off

    i could keep going..

  4. @mfifis: Your welcome 🙂 I thought that comment was interesting.I’m just trying to find out more information about the surface design industry; I might dabble in it in the future and I like reading designers’ opinions and experiences working in the industry.

  5. Andrea, your work is beautiful!
    Thanks for your advice, I’m branching out on my own at the moment and constantly have miss givings about working for myself. This has given me the little confidence boost I need at the moment!

  6. HELP HELP

    i cannot locate a resource for andrea bernstein’s pillows.

    please reply any information that would be helpful.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

At Pattern Observer we strive to help you grow your textile design business through our informative articles, interviews, tutorials, workshops and our private design community, The Textile Design Lab.

Featured Course

More Stories
Featured Designer: Jiah Harrison of Elephant & Rose