Materializing A Custom Decor

Linda Dela Cruz
Wednesday - November 09, 2005
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Johnny Mango Home Textile Collection owner Brett

Brett Sowell encourages his customers to take home fabric swatches to coordinate with their home decor. His store, Johnny Mango Home Textile Collection, welcomes both the professional interior designer and the casual decorator.

Whether customers want to make new drapes, a bedspread or cover their dining chairs, they can browse through aisles of fabrics organized neatly by texture, and then by colors and patterns. Textures include silks, linens, chenilles, leathers, suedes, raffias and unique tropical wovens.

When it comes to fashioning your home or office to suit your own style, Sowell shares his theory: “People should buy what they like.”

The Waikiki resident notes one of the popular fabrics in his store is the Sunbrella line, which is good for indoors and outdoors. People with pool chairs and lanai furniture can hose the fabric down, and if it’s out in the sun, it doesn’t fade. Another fabric customers like is an easy-care microfiber suede and velvet. Model homes may be sporting some novelty fabrics which have designs of potted plants, lemon trees, butterflies or airplanes.

“Designers can sink into a chair and spread out on our workspace,” says Sowell, whose intuitive designer’s flair began when he was a teenager and rearranged his mother’s living room. The designers hired to do the room liked Sowell’s ideas and and invited him to do an internship with them. Sowell says that brown and blue, like that in his parents’ home, are going to be the most requested color themes for the next couple of years.

With his degree in interior design from Texas Christian University, and his experience working at Showplace South Hawaii before it closed, Sowell has worked with many designers.

“If I make a promise, I’ll do it,” he says. “With designers, the quicker you get back to them the better. You need to strike while the iron is hot.”

His toughest challenge and his greatest reward is providing excellent customer service.

“I have the willingness to say I’ll take care of it,” notes Sowell, who is up early working with suppliers in the Eastern time zone.

For the month of November, when the Festival of Trees is at the Gentry Pacific Center, he’ll be open on Saturdays. The ornaments on his personal tree are flowers made of, of course, fabrics.

Johnny Mango Home Textile Collection is located on the first floor of the Gentry Pacific Center at 560 North Nimitz Highway, Suite 118. The shop is open from Monday to Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 536-2300.

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