#meetthemaker: Rolend Gumanas of GURO Designs

To countdown to our two-part holiday show, we’re kicking off a new #meetthemaker series to get to know our DIY Night makers and artists a little bit better. If you haven’t already, RSVP for our DIY Night on Friday, December 1st and stop by Rolend’s booth to make mini plant hammocks!

A former Assistant Director for Clinton Park, Rolend Gumanas now heads GURO Designs, specializing in the creation of handcrafted items made from salvaged materials of goods like denim, canvas, and leather. Working out of her Downtown Oakland studio space, Werkshack, Gumanas creates exclusive American handmade accessories, including duffel bags, tote bags, plant hammocks, dopp kits, and leather key fobs. She visits local factories in search of salvaged materials that typically end up in a landfill and turns them into one-of-a kind, exclusive artisanal accessories. Read on to learn more about Rolend’s journey as a designer.

Tell us a bit about your journey as a maker. When/why did you create your company and where do you see it in the next 2 years?

“Before launching Guro Designs, I worked as an Assistant Designer for Clinton Park, an apparel servicing company in San Francisco. Prior to that, I was a Denim Tailor and Repair Specialist for several companies in New York, including Levi Strauss & Co. and Selfedge, which further cultivated my passion for denim.

I’ve always been intrigued by the concept of creating art through apparel, and even though I began my fashion career as a stylist and visual merchandiser, I realized my niche was in design. In 2019, I plan on launching GURO’s apparel and accessories line made in Japan!”

What inspires you?

“Inspiration comes from shapes and colors. When I view a particular object I like to think of how and why it is made. I am particularly immersed in the thought process of how certain object fit together. Once my mind passes through that stage color, then draws my attention.”

What’s your favorite gift to give during the holiday season and why?

“My favorite gifts to give are objects that I make that hopefully can be used regularly.”

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?

“I recall one situation that changed my life forever. My clients are so generous. One client in particular gave me a blank check to buy my first Juki industrial sewing machine. After I purchased my first sewing machine, the sky became my limit.”

What is your favorite part of participating in markets and meeting your clients face to face?

“I feel as though I am a personable individual. When people meet me my passion for creating with my hands is a subject that always surfaces, which is probably because of my sewing needle tattoos located on my forearm.”

When you’re not crafting away, where can we find you?

“I love to ride my bike around Lake Merritt. If I am not seen on my bike, then more than likely I am painting in a studio.”

Show us where you work!

“GURO Designs is located at Werkshack, a shared work and retail location off of downtown Oakland. There are six resident makers who feature art, apparel, home goods, and jewelry.”

Any advice for first time vendors??

“My advice for individuals who are planning to vend at a craft fair is to make sure you are willing to talk to customers about your process. Visual merchandising is also very important and having an extra individual is always a plus.”



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