WELD Artist of the Week: Cristina Lynch
Website: COMING SOON! | MiGolondrina.com
Mantra: Turn things you've always wanted to do into things you've done.
Interview by: Kristin Read
Growing up, I visited Mexico five or more times a year and found the intricate embroideries and decorations there fascinated me. But it wasn’t until I graduated college that I got excited about making a business out of these beautiful textiles. At the time I was working for Oscar de la Renta, and noticed a lot of his embroidered designs were from India and made by hand versus machine, which I loved. That exposure inspired me to start a line with a Mexican focus—something that showcases the Mexican culture, expanding and adapting new designs that keep the traditional feel. And that’s how the Mi Golondrina brand came about.
What does Mi Golondrina stand for/mean to you?
Mi Golondrina literally translates to My Swallow (the bird), but the swallow in Mexico is referred to in a lot of romantic songs and poems because it is constantly migrating and going to new places. And I want this brand to take me to new places—all over Mexico.
What’s been your coolest experience thus far with Mi Golondrina?
When my mom and I ventured into a remote village outside of Oaxaca, I discovered the sweetest woman I’d ever met living alone in this tiny house. The first time we spoke, she shared that her family had given her a laptop years ago to communicate with them, but she didn’t even know how to turn it on. I spent that day writing out instructions on how to use the computer in front of her. And that friendship happened to turn into a business relationship. The same woman who didn’t know how to turn on her computer now sends me images of new designs and patterns and ideas she has to help me with the business . . . It’s amazing what can happen when we make time for others without expectation.
Your family has a rich history in design, yes?
Well, I majored in Economics and Theatre so that definitely isn’t what drove me into the design world! In reality, my mom is wildly creative and a huge source of my motivation to design. My mom and aunt actually founded a line of dresses and sportswear called Barboglio that was showcased in department stores across the country. Today, my aunt owns her own interior decor business, manufacturing and selling candelabras, chargers (metal plates), candles, etcetera, at Neiman Marcus, from her factory in Mexico.
This business venture is new, and I’m sure getting there wasn’t easy. Tell me about that experience and what keeps you pushing forward.
I come from a very entrepreneurial family, but it was the wise counsel of one of my brothers that convinced me to take the leap into the design world under my own label. I started working on this project about a year ago, but I don’t officially launch the brand until this month. Until then, I’m sitting on a bunch of inventory that I'm itching to show the world. I previously considered an MBA, but realized that I’m getting an incredible education trying my hand at this new venture—succeeding at some things, failing at others. That type of education is priceless . . . That’s what keeps me moving forward.
How did you go about making your name and work known?
When I was a sophomore in college, I was interested in TV production so I sought out and became friends with the CEO of ReelFX. As it turns out, his mom runs Peacock Alley. (A company that’s been around for 40 years—designing clean, but indulgent, textural bedding pieces, with touches of classic chic.) After showing the CEO the Mexican dresses that inspired my own bedding ideas, he decided to get involved. I now supply his team with embroidered fabrics from Oaxaca, along with my designs, and he manufactures my end product on their luxury linen and fabrics.
You're known for your decorative bedding and nightgowns, correct? Why is this specific market special to you?
Originally, I didn’t know which embroidery to start with, but after visiting Oaxaca with my mom, I stumbled on a small town outside the region that produces the intricate designs I’ve been wearing since I was a kid. I just knew that it would translate well into bedding—it’s floral, sweet, and dreamy. I’m currently using this embroidery in all of my designs: decorative pillows, duvet covers, pillow shams, etcetera. Watching the process go from a pattern I sourced in Mexico, to an enhanced image on my laptop, to a product I can hold is thrilling.
Tell me about the experience that led you to WELD.
I needed a place to work where I’d be around other creatives. Being an entrepreneur tends to take you away from the community you have when working for a large company like Oscar. But through a stroke of good fortune, I met Kelsey Foster — an amazing photographer and WELDER — and I ended up joining soon after. Since then, I’ve made some incredible connections and relationships that have helped me expand my business. It’s seriously such a blessing to be around such talent day in and day out.
Share a lesser-known fact about Cristina.
I like to box. I did it for a year while living in New York, and I’ve been a couple of times since I’ve been back to Texas . . . It helps me blow off steam and release my serious creative anxiety. I’m also a huge foodie. Be careful mentioning delicious eateries to me if you don’t plan on extending an invitation.