The Profile: All about Malene Barnett who is the President and Design Director of Malene B Carpets, a company specializing in creating handcrafted custom carpets for prestigious residential and commercial environments. Malene owns and operates an innovative design studio based in Brooklyn, NY. Her art is known for its globally inspired, unique point of view. Influenced from the patterns and lifestyles found around the world, Malene B creates dynamic hand crafted carpets for luxury residential and commercial spaces.
She has been a Carpet Designer, world traveler and a creative force in the world of modern textiles. Her globally inspired brand boasts a refreshing and original style. Working together with Interior Designers and Architects, Malene B creates timeless masterpieces that enrich any setting.
Tell me about a project or accomplishment that you consider significant in your career
My company designed and manufactured 10 custom carpets for the historic Chatsworth and Astor building in Manhattan. To see my work grace the floors of an historic building feels like I added to the history of the building.
What are the rewards from your work
Since I work with interior designers, projects can take up to year plus to come to fruition. But I love collaborating with designers, they help push me to new limits as well as me providing them with the tools to inspire them to think outside the box too. It’s a great feeling to the final outcome of our creation and the completed space after waiting months for the carpet to arrive.
If there was a movie produced about your life – who would play you
Viola Davis! I love her work and she is a great actress. Her bold personality, confidence is what’s needed to rock my thought process and to portray my actions.
|Viola Davis, L.A. Times Magazine
Which philanthropic organizations have you been connected to
Goodweave: they are non profit organization that certifies that the carpets are made child labor free.
Can you share your motto or mantra
You have to do what feels right for you. No matter what you do someone will always have something to say but as long as you are true to yourself nothing else matters.
What book are you currently reading
Nothing right now but I love reading books about entrepreneurship.
Who is your secret celebrity crush
What is your favorite time of day
The early morning. Its a peaceful time of the day and when I can I love to watch the sunrise.
Do you know your heritage
Yes, my African heritage is traced back to the Caribbean. My mother is from St. Vincent & The Grenadines and my father is from Jamaica. I’ve been to West Africa a few times and I feel that my ancestry could be traced to the Fulani’s in Senegal or the Ashanti’s in Ghana. I saw many similarities to the people and lifestyle to my parents home countries.
|Malene’s Mother Cynthia
Are you fluent in other languages
No but I wish. I’ve studied French and can still read it and speak a little. My dream is to be fluent one day.
Do you follow astrology – What is your zodiac sign
Yes, I love reading about signs. My sign is Libra.
What would your DJ Name be
DJ Malene B
Do you have a favorite number
Hmm…not really but I love even numbers
Do you have a favorite fashion magazine
Nah… I just love reviewing pictures of great fashion online. I prefer bold, colorful prints.
What is your “go-to” fashion brand
I love Vince. They have simple clean line clothes in flowy fabrics. Perfect for when you want to get your grub on, their clothes camouflage everything!
If we were to peek in your closet, what is the dominant color
You will see lots of color! I organize my clothes by color so the rainbow is pretty balanced.
What is your present state of mind
I’m excited about Spring and creating a year based on my theme of “Doing things differently”
It’s 6pm at your favorite bar or restaurant, what drink do you order
Water, I don’t really drink… I was never into having a drink, I’m more into having dessert.
Do you awake with or without an alarm
Both! I usually wake before the alarm and then snooze for few more minutes or hour then the alarm goes off and then I snooze again…
Do you have a favorite social media outlet
I love Instagram! There is nothing better than sharing a great picture.
If you could be a background singer, dancer or musician – which entertainer (living or dead) would you choose as the star
I would love to be a background dancer for Machel Montano, the King of Soca. There is nothing better than knowing how to whine down to soca, dancing to wee hours in the morning and you will get the workout of your life.
What is the last photo you took with your cell phone
A picture of my cement tile collection.
One of the best lessons my parents taught me is to
My mother taught me this lesson “Stoop to conquer.” She always said this while I was growing up and she still says it to this day. It means sometimes you have to do things that you may not want to do but those things will help to open doors to help you achieve what you want in the future.
What is your favorite work of art
I love the work of Lois Mailou Jones. One of my favorite piece by her is “Moon Masque” She inspired me to pursue a career in textiles as she was the first African American women that I read about who had a career as a painter and textile designer.
What is your favorite building in Manhattan
I love the patterns and shape of Cooper Union building for the Advancement of Science & Art.
I had the pleasure of being introduced to Malene, years ago by TV Personality Elaine Griffin at my first Design on a Dime event. Her brand was just brimming on discovery and her personality and style were radiant and splendiferous. Her short, sculpted hair and creatively shaped hooped earrings were perfect compliments to her flawless coco skin. (does this sound like a love letter?) I knew the moment we started our conversation -this lady had an innate sense of color, style and pattern and she has made that her business. I’ve been a fan ever since.
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