We had the good fortune of connecting with Francesca Bonaduce De Nigris and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Francesca, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
Ciao, sono Italiana but I lived in many places! I was born and grew up in Italy. After completing my undergraduate degree in Architecture, I moved to London in the United Kingdom, and I lived there for many years. When I was in London I studied a bit more and did some other important things like getting married and having children.
After that I moved with my husband and children to Al Ain a small city in the United Arab Emirates for a couple of years, and then back to the United Kingdom for several years. Only in 2011 I landed in Houston.
Traveling and living in different countries has always been one of my passions. Learning, experiencing and understanding other places and people is an irreplaceable experience and definitely something that contributed to who I am today and how I see the world around me.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I love art in its many expressions! Handmade rugs are just beautiful artifacts layered with the individual stories of the people who made them.
After finishing my degree in Architecture, I decided to travel abroad and continue studying. I completed a Master in Built Environment and a Doctorate in Social Science. I was lucky enough to work in different places and for different organizations. Although it was difficult to adjust when changing work environments, I think that it was extremely beneficial to learn and grow professionally and personally.
After different work experiences, today my business is about bringing together my passion for art and architecture with my professional experience about people and places. In particular, I see my job as helping clients find the perfect rug for their space. As I deal with authentic handmade vintage rugs, it’s about matching a unique rug to a unique person and their space.
I believe that choosing a vintage rug is always a personal experience that is both visual and tactile. It’s never only about color and size but often about the emotional experience that makes you connect with that specific item. As Nate Berkus correctly explained “You might have bought your sofa at a major decorating store, but the rug you found at the flea market is so unique, it takes your room from ‘carbon copy’ to ‘simply yours’ in no time”.
Also, it’s a way of making sustainable choices in interior design by using decorative items such as vintage rugs or cushions made from reclaimed vintage rugs.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to
Houston is a great city, and I am always happy when people visit me here! So, I would start with food…
Vietnamese sandwiches at Cali Sandwiches
The BBQ at Goode Company BBQ
A great crepe at Sweet Paris
Japanese food at Yakushi Robata and Oiishi
Then a walk (to digest!) at Buffalo Bayou Park and a little stroll around Rice University to look at those beautiful oaks.
There is so much more to Houston… a weekend is never enough!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Great question! Lots of people!!!
I would start with my father who was a true entrepreneur and the person who has instilled in me the passion for traveling and for understanding different places and people. Definitely my friends for supporting me throughout my journeys, both physical and personal journeys.
For my business, I need to thank a very close friend who has been brave enough to support and invest in my business and still provides all the mentorship I need in the field of antique and vintage rugs.
I say that lots of people deserve credit for my story. The core is always friends and family because that is where we all start from and those are the people who help us grow,
These are all my photos with exception of the first one of me that I took at JCPENNEY photography