GANG & THE WOOL: DESIGN AND NATURE
Perhaps Manuela never imagined that the curiosity that led her to move to Spain when she was only 20, would also bring with it her life’s project: Gang and the Wool. A personal project which has allowed Manuela to completely develop her interests in which she combines design and nature. We spoke with her so she could tell us about Gang and the Wool and show us her idyllic work space.
SO BLUE: Hi Manuela, tell me, what is Gang and the Wool?
MANUELA: Gang and the Wool began after moving through various design studios and art museums. I have a Masters degree in Art Direction and Exhibition Projects Direction, so for the last few years, before dedicating myself fully to this project, I worked at the Centro de Cultura Contemporánea in Barcelona. Before this, my career in Industrial Design allowed me to move through various design studios in Barcelona, where I had the opportunity to work with a Japanese man in a lighting company, among others.
I always felt the need to create a personal project that would let me fully develop my interests. That is how Gang and the Wool began, first as a design studio, then later lending a greater importance to the natural elements with which we carried out the projects. I think the end result is a synthesis of everything.
SB: Your business is currently located in Vallvidrera. Why did you choose this location?
M: I’m in Vallvidrera, where we’ve lived for the past 13 years. For me, living here is wonderful. We belong to Sarría (Barcelona) as per our postal code but we have all the advantages of living in a small town.
SB: By the way, your home is in the same space as your business, right?
M: Yes, I work and live in the same place, which at times seems very complicated, but I see it as a luxury.
SB: Tell me a little about what activities you carry out at Gang and the Wool.
M: We are currently dedicated full-time to decorating weddings and corporate events, but I’m also hired to decorate spaces, photo shoots, advise on Green Trends. I think I’m a very visual person and style is an essential part of my life.
SB: You make wedding bouquets. How would you define the brides who come to you?
M: I love the brides who come to Gang and the Wool, they are fresh, curious and cool individuals who understand nature from a conscious point of view. They value each flower we include in their bouquet or in their wedding décor, I don’t like to include things on a whim or because they are trendy. We work together, hand in hand, and achieve the effect of an authentic party for the five senses, the body and the soul. It’s more than just “decorating”.
SB: Everything that surrounds you and Gang and the Wool looks like it comes from Pinterest, a dream! How would you describe your style?
M: My style is the style of nature. I feel comfortable with it, it moves me and inspires me when working.
SB: Do you believe your Uruguayan origins influence your style and the work you carry out?
M: Yes, I believe the Uruguayan culture is embedded in me, although the elements that most make a mark on me are native to the Mediterranean, and the final result is quite legible here.
SB: Where does your passion for flowers come from?
M: From my mother. She taught me all the secrets of observing and loving flowers, plants, trees…
We use to dry, plant, tint and search for flowers and herbs. She was always coming up with stuff with her flowers and plants. We had a beautiful garden and plants all around the house.
SB: Where do you find inspiration for your work?
M: I’m inspired by nature. I work 100% at its tempo and with materials from each season, although I always resort to the great flower market of the world, Holland.
SB: What happens at Gang and the Wool during the cold season? What is work like during those months?
M: For the past two/three seasons, the cold hasn’t really changed things. There are foreigners who would rather come and get married in Barcelona, even in the winter.
SB: Tell me…what is that beautiful glass house we see in most of your photographs on your social media?
M: It’s a greenhouse which serves as my place of work. On special occasions, I like to open its doors and offer private dinner and lunch parties, flower workshops, photo shoots, and other activities people propose.
SB: So , tell us…what would be the perfect bouquet to adorn our house in the summer?
The variety of flowers available in the summer is greater than other seasons, the colors are so very vibrant. I would no doubt go for an XL bouquet of Ammi Majus which provide freshness to the house.
SB: Does Manuela, or rather, Gang and the Wool, have any new objectives in sight?
M: Yes, I’m very excited with a project we’ll begin to work on come January 2016 and which we’ve been preparing for some months now.
Text by Virginia Cámus
Photography Mireia Niubo, Lara López and Umami Fotografias