It was on an interior design job in New York City in the early 1990s, when Rebecca decided to make her first antique textile pillow. Using a filigree curtain panel and the trim from a tattered vestment she picked up in a flea market, she was able to create a more clean-lined design and the pillow was an instant hit.
"At that time it was impossible to find an antique textile pillow without gobs of passementerie. I felt like the actual handmade textile should be revered and not overshadowed."
[BV DESIGNING] / [ STUDIO PIC]
With a mind full of ideas and inspiration, Rebecca returned home and quickly enlisted the help of Belinda Prudhomme who was at the time her housekeeper (and is now the Head of Operations for B. Viz Design). With Rebecca designing and Belinda cutting and sewing, the orders began to flow and soon enough Neiman Marcus picked up the collection. As the years went on, the business flourished and Rebecca enlisted the help of several other extraordinarily talented local seamstresses to keep up with demand.
In the studio, textiles collected from around the world are sorted by colors or patinas and are stacked in plain sight to enhance visual stimulation. For the embroidered pieces Belinda with her nerves of steel meticulously cuts around the hand stitches with tiny cuticle scissors, careful not to snip a thread lest it all unravel.
After the embroideries have been removed Rebecca measures each remnant and draws the pillow’s design, calculating the cost per square inch. All components of the pillows are gathered together for each seamstress so that she can complete the painstaking handwork and repairs from her home.