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How Silk Cocoon fabrics ended up in Madonna’s house |

Modern Living

How Silk Cocoon fabrics ended up in Madonna’s house

Jeannie Goulbourn is the consummate artist. She is always brimming with bright ideas. I can hardly keep pace with her thoughts. But she is not just a thinker, she is a doer. When she entertains an idea, it won’t be long before she puts that idea into action.

Last year, she told me of her dream of joining an international trade fair for homeware. She wanted to make her woven silk fabrics (intertwined with indigenous fabrics like piña, abaca, raffia, linen, and high-tech liquid copper) world-renowned and used by famous decorators all over the world. Before long, she told me she was joining a big trade fair in Dubai. She put a lot of effort and energy into preparing for this trade fair, which caused sleep-deprived nights, anxiety and stress, but the end result was more than great. She was able to penetrate the elite group of internationally well-known designers in the USA, the Middle East, and Europe, and landed big orders. Her woven fabrics for curtains and upholstery materials are world-class and exquisite, and buyers found them hard to resist.

With Jeannie and her gem of a sister, Frances Lim, present at their classy booth, buyers couldn’t turn away without placing an order. She proudly told me that David Collins, Madonna’s interior designer, used Silk Cocoon fabrics for Madonna’s Notting Hill house. Recently, she finished a shipment for the showrooms of Chanel and Nina Ricci. Zara and Fendi also put in some orders. After the successful showing in Dubai, she took a short respite but soon after, she was again talking about putting up a showroom for her fabrics and housewares that are made in the Philippines. This showroom will finally cater to the retail market. In the past, Jeannie could only sell her fabrics to wholesalers because of high production costs. Only a few designers who were Jeannie’s special friends were privileged enough to use her fabrics. Conrad Onglao and Ramon Antonio have used her fabrics for some of their clients’ homes; Ed Calma had an art piece made of Goulbourn’s material; Budji Layug used her silk fabrics for his showrooms abroad; Manny Samson also used Silk Cocoon fabrics for the hotel lobbies he decorated.

Today, with her new lifestyle showroom at the LRI building on Nicanor Garcia St. (formerly Reposo), everyone who wishes to have a fabulous home can now buy directly from her. Jeannie dreamed of putting up a lifestyle showroom for 11 years, but decided to focus first on her career as a fashion designer. Her passion for fashion showed in the evolution of her career as a fashion designer. Now that she has proven herself in the fashion world, it’s time for Jeannie to move on and realize her dream of creating a lifestyle center.

She went to Cebu to source out suppliers for the different products in her showroom, but realized these suppliers were only interested in exporting. So she decided to create items from scratch with her fabrics, which could be made into curtains, Roman shades, throw pillows, lampshades, wall coverings, and bedcovers. Interestingly, her imagination led her to creating lamps with her fabrics.

"Lighting is so important in a home, an office, a hotel. Without the proper lighting, one can ruin even the most beautiful interiors," she states. So, with the help of designer Yvonne Quisumbing-Romulo, she came up with conversation-piece lamps that were worn by models as headdresses during her opening. They were actually lit on top of the models’ heads. For the store opening, Goulbourn asked her designer friends Tessa Prieto-Valdes, Firma’s owners Chito Vijandre and Ricky Toledo, Miguel Rosales and Impy Pilapil to create home accessories using Silk Cocoon fabrics. Jeannie Goulbourn stands firm in her belief that Filipino products are more beautiful than the competition and she will continue helping our export industry flourish by creating products with her own local fabrics.
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For more information, call the Silk Cocoon Lifestyle Showroom at 897-2217.

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