Since her days as a child in rural Louisiana, Aimee Lacalle has been fascinated by the world, spending her days pouring over National Geographic magazines and listening to stories her father, a pilot, would tell about his time in South America and the Middle East. That love has continued, and has inspired her to make her home all over the world. Aimee says, “One of my favorite travel quotes is from Mark Twain: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.” I feel this is just as relevant today as when Mark Twain wrote these words.”
So, when Aimee decided to create family homes in places that were particularly meaningful for her, it was hard to narrow down the options. She says, “There were certain criteria we were looking for in these locations: a strong cultural identity with historical preservation measures in place to protect the area; architecture designed for the local environment, constructed with local resources, and displaying local craft; and access to nature, art, craft, and organic food. We wanted to find a space where the communities were connected to their environment and their roots. We also were looking for areas that would not only expand our own knowledge of and appreciation for other cultures, but for all future visitors to our homes, including our children’s future families.”
Aimee worked with local craftspeople to restore homes in Santa Fe, San Miguel de Allende, and the Dordogne Valley. She then carefully furnished the homes to be respectful of their locations. “The one area that was challenging was sourcing textiles,” she recalls. “I could often find regional handcrafted textiles to use as art or as an accessory. But I felt there was an opportunity to expand the use of representative or meaningful textiles in the home, with regard to bedding, tableware, draperies, upholstery, etc. The introduction of digital textile printing allowed for the opportunity of custom or limited run quantities, reduction in waste, environmentally friendly practices, and the possibility of designs limited solely by the creativity of your designers.”
Luckily, it was around that time that a mutual friend introduced Aimee to New-Orleans based graphic designer Courtney Marse. Aimee says, “We met in Santa Fe in early 2016 to discuss opportunities, and within six months, we had rented a studio and began installing the necessary equipment to get the business started.” By the start of 2017, they launched the San Miguel collection. Now the textile company has three lines, each inspired by one of Aimee’s most cherished places.
See our favorites from each collection in the slideshow!