American Made Profile | April 28, 2015
Building the Nest
Caroline Colom Vásquez and José Vásquez-Corbalan are quite the wonder duo. The artsy lovebirds began designing together (literally) the day they met. Their collective backgrounds include ceramics and woodworking, product and interior design, as well as retail and studio management. With all that creative talent, the two very creative minds started a venture. I was inspired to learn about Paloma’s Nest from Caroline.
“As artists and designers, it has always been a dream for us to create and sell our products to make a living. We wanted to create products that told a story to future generations-products that became the story, became the new tradition.”
Creative, Quality Goods
Paloma's Nest offers keepsake gifts for weddings, babies, holidays, and all of life’s special occasions, as well as home furnishings, children’s furniture, and decor.
One of their particularly famous creations is the Ring Bearer Bowl, a version of the wedding ring pillow. You may have spotted it in such magazines as Martha Stewart Weddings, The Knot, and Brides. The popularity of the petite ceramic dishes has gone global, creating a new family heirloom.
The company’s extensive collection of beautifully made children’s furniture is both modern and timeless. “Furniture that today's parent doesn't mind having in the family living room.”
Caroline continues, “We are inspired by the past, and rooted in tradition- yet we adamantly reinvent and revise... putting a modern spin on all that we create so that families of today will cherish the pieces we offer in the same way we cherish things that our parents and grandparents passed on to us.”
Making American Products
“All of our products are entirely handmade, here in Connecticut, by us. We use only the finest natural materials and craftsmanship to ensure that what we offer will last for generations to come. All of our raw materials, including our ceramic clay, the wood, and varnishes for our furniture, are sourced as locally as possible and are all American-made materials.”
“We are proponents of the American Made movement, and feel strongly about always keeping our company here in the US. We believe in bringing- and keeping -manufacturing jobs in the USA and advocate for this whenever and wherever we can as business owners.”
“We are proud and excited to be an active part of the growing American Made story. We believe that consumer awareness is growing, and buyers are becoming more educated about where they spend their money.”
American Made Challenge
“In some cases, sadly, it has become nearly impossible to source the supplies we need here in the US, for example, elements of our product packaging. Oftentimes the price difference between a US-made product and its equivalent, made in China, is simply exorbitant. Sometimes we are able to accept the higher-priced option out of a commitment to support American business; but there are times when it just does not make for good business sense to do so- especially when it is something that does not translate to added value or added quality for the end customer. This is a difficult predicament for any business owner.”
Advice for Entrepreneurs
“I think we always need to remember just how fortunate we are here in the US, to have the opportunity to do the work we love, and to even be able to start a business in the first place. These seem like simple things to many of us here- but they are dreams that are far beyond reach for those living in many other parts of the world.”
“Through the growth of e-commerce and online shopping, our dream has become a reality for our family business. Selling online allows us to reach a national and international audience from our studios here on the Connecticut Shoreline.”
It is with hard work, determination, talent, and commitment to quality that Caroline and Jose have built their nest and helped to forge the path in the handmade movement.
Click here to learn more about Paloma's Nest.
Credits // Author: Wendi Wendt - Photos Provided By: Paloma's Nest