Maggie Cruz Home is a furniture collection born in Miami. It adopts a coastal contemporary approach to living that can be enjoyed everywhere. We spoke with co-founders Maggie and Suzette Cruze about their approach and the future of their brand.
Let’s start out by learning a bit more about your company. What makes your brand and products unique?
Maggie Cruz Home showcases a unique signature aesthetic that blends sophisticated vibrancy and urban edge with colors and architectural cues inspired by the designer’s classic Cuban roots. The product of 15+ years of designing bespoke pieces, many which were published and are nationally acclaimed projects, Maggie Cruz Home offers handcrafted case goods, upholstered and occasional pieces, grounded in tradition and modern sensibilities. Maggie Cruz Home is an ode to the designer’s unmistakable love for natural textures, authentic materials, unique lines, and her distinctive use of sensual and bold colors.
Do you have a favorite piece in your collection or a new item or collection coming that designers might not know about?
Maggie Cruz: Right now I’m in love with the Isabella stool. Stools are such a necessary furniture item in every home. It is lightweight and comfortable and easy to move. My favorite part is its beautiful backside with the round shape and cane details.
Who or what inspires you most when conceiving of your designs?
Maggie Cruz: I’ll see an interesting shape in an art piece or a beautiful gate at a home and try to reinterpret that shape or hardware into a furniture piece. I always try revisit my cultural roots and do a ton of research by looking at old family photos or researching other Latin cultures that are prevalent in my community (like Brazilian, Peruvian, Bolivian and Colombian cultures). Looking at handicrafts from different countries helps me in the process of designing furniture.
What is the process behind coming up with new designs and products?
Maggie Cruz: It begins when I come across an interesting shape in an art piece. I then sketch and play with that shape to see how it can be applied to furniture design. Can it be on a cabinet door, or hardware, or a curve in a corner? Is a type of material that can be used for lighting?
I think about the function of the piece as well as how that piece will look in a home. Who would use it and where would it be used? Does it match our overall brand image?
I finalize my drawings and then send them to be rendered. We revise them and make further adjustments and experiment with color, texture and material until the final product perfect!
What is your favorite part about the manufacturing industry?
Maggie Cruz: I love to collaborate with the manufacturer. It is one thing to design piece but another to actually make it. This is where the technical part happens. We make sure the piece can actually be built.
We make adjustments during the process of constructing pieces, and sometimes that requires extra support to ensure that the end product looks good. Sometimes, seams need a reveal so that the paint doesn’t crack, other times, we need to adjust the seat depth or its height.
Meshing the manufacturing stage with the design stage is where the magic happens, and it’s a beautiful process. It’s amazing to see your sketch or idea come to life!
Suzette Cruz: For me, it’s about fielding the different sources and finding the perfect partner to work with. We look for a partner that appreciates our brand design, is the right fit to work with, is open and flexible, and communicates easily. Above all else, we look for accountability.
Please speak to the custom nature of your lines.
Suzette Cruz: We offer customization by the way of COM, color, and at times, size, depending on the piece.
Our unique clientele are visionaries and so we aspire to be perfectly fit in their individual projects. We allow them the ability to add their own touch to our designs.
Please give us an overview of the more personal side of your business, who’s behind it, how did it come to be, any interesting stories about the origin or the founders you can share?
Maggie Cruz: Our beginning is deep-rooted in our ancestry. Our paternal great grandfather was a shoe-cobbler-turned-designer. He designed courtier shoes for wealthy women. Our maternal great aunts designed and embroidered wedding dresses and veils. We often listen to the rich stories of design and architecture from Cuba.
It’s no wonder that the creativity bug bit me! I thus became an interior and furniture designer. I have always had a passion for furniture design and our line allows my creativity to flow without external influence. I sometimes take cues and work from a client’s lens to ensure that the home I’m designing for them is truly theirs. Working on furniture designs and interior projects both offer me a creative outlet in different ways.
The company began when Suzette, my sister, and I decided to test out our designs in the real world. It was unnerving because the designs had not been exposed to a demographic beyond my clientele. We took a leap of faith by showcasing our work at Highpoints Interhall and we were overwhelmed by the response. The showcase gave us the affirmation, validation, and confidence that we had a look and aesthetic that others valued.
Suzette Cruz: Family is very important to us and you can see that reflected in the line. We’ve named several pieces after family members. The Lola coffee table is named after our grandmother. She was the center of our world. Juliette, a vanity chair/dining chair with a lovely silhouette that compliments all around it, is named after Maggie’s daughter. The Danielle side table, with its peek-a-boo daisy that makes us all smile, reflects the personality of Maggie’s other daughter and is thus named after her . The Isabella stools are named after my daughter. Its cane bodice and curves, remind me of my daughter’s long legs.
Naming the pieces comes from the personality that the design embodies. It is a tribute and a reminder that we are here because of our family. We want to pay homage to that and never lose sight of it.
Where do you hope to take the company next?
Maggie Cruz: We are really excited to be exploring new product categories. We are currently working on a line of lighting fixtures and prints for textiles. Eventually we would like to have offer designs for all the major home product categories.
Follow Maggie Cruze Home on Instagram at: @maggiecruzdesign.