She spent her youth watching her father’s commitment to his art. Her father was Rafael Marquina, spanish architect and designer, well-known for his Marquina oil cruet. His passion for his work and his engagement in the creative process has been crucial in defining her ambitions and her career. Surrounded by beauty, culture and constant inspiration Nani Marquina, designer and entrepreneur, discovered her talent for designing textiles. An art she completely invested in Nanimarquina her rug design company. Founded in 1987 her dream was to travel around the world to learn from India, Pakistan, Peru and Turkey how to combine traditional carpet’s manufacturing technique with a more contemporary aesthetics needs. Today Nanimarquina’s rugs are renowned and awarded for their designs, quality and philanthropy message. The entrepreneur took time to reply to our questions about her career, her travels and, of course, rugs.
D: How did everything start?
N: My father Rafael Marquina played a huge part in where I am today. He was one of the first industrial designers in Spain, he was a pioneer. Every day when he came back home with new designs he had created, I was totally captivated. He passed on to me his great passion for designing. I embarked on this career after studying industrial design at the Escuela Massana of Barcelona where I produced my first made to order textile designs. It was a big success.
D: What made you decide to pursue a career in designing rugs?
N: Designing carpets wasn’t a decision that was made overnight. I started out by designing prints for interior décor after studying product design. When I started in the 80s, I realized that there were no rugs in accordance with the new aesthetics of design. I invested special attention and effort in finding the right raw materials and manufacturing processes from the very beginning. All factors that enrich the aesthetics of my designs, the main reason for the brand’s commercial success.
D: What is a rug for you?
N: Rug= Emotion! A Nanimarquina's rug embodies the desire to connect with people through a carpet, to surprise and excite them.
D: How many rugs do you have at home?
N: In my house, I would say at least one in each room, including the kitchen! I use my home to test prototypes so I’m always changing.
D: Do you have any favorite?
N: Each collection has a special value for me, so it’s impossible to choose just one.
D: In your opinion which is the country that makes the best rug?
N: Rugs are symbolic of history and origins of countries such as India, Pakistan, Turkey, Peru, Spain. Each place has its own tradition. They all use different techniques and fibers to create various types of rugs. I would say in Pakistan, you could find the best Kilim, Spain the best Jarapa.
D: When you search for raw materials what are you looking for?
N: The intrinsic beauty of the natural fibers connects us with the natural world. These fibers, of organic origins such as nettle and jute or of animal origin such as silk and wool, have been specially selected to create this collection of carpets and to reflect the plurality that nature has to offer.
D: How do you select your designers?
N: They usually contact us directly with an idea of design. Then we work together. We start a creative process to look for the perfect design and the best way (technique, fiber) to produce it. When different creative minds work together, so many new ideas grow, which is so enriching. The new prospective that designers can have on a rug is very useful: they don’t know how difficult it is to make a rug. They come out of this process more creative and more innovative.
D: Are you working on a new collection right now?
N: Of course! We have always on going projects! Right now we’re focused on three different collections that we’ll present at Salone del Mobile in Milano on April 16th 2016.
D: Can you explain to us the concept of design rug?
N: Every rug is a result of a team work. From the first idea to the last rug’s knot we are all involved in the process of designing something unique. Moreover I spend a lot of time drawing and sketching with my pencils.
D: As a woman was your journey more difficult than a man?
D: If you weren't Nanimarquina founder, what would you be doing?
N: My secret vocation would be hiking!