As their website says: “House Of Correia recycles once-loved vintage jewels and reimagines them into glam, one of a kind accessories.”
There’s a poetic, touching tone to this mission, even in the best of times. And, as we all navigate our current experience, where so much of life is lost or unsure, there’s something particularly beautiful and metaphoric about the story behind this company.
House of Correia co-owners Keriann Correia and Angela Basolis will happily tell you that story. It begins when they were paired up as roommates at Fashion Institute of Technology. Their random match, they say, “changed the trajectory of their professional lives” – and personal. They are best friends, and both are only children. To listen to them interact is to hear a sisterly bond, and a tremendous mutual respect for what each of them brings to their business and partnership.
While at FIT, Keriann and Angela started going to vintage markets around New York City. They developed a common love of creating unique designs and pushing back on “the rules of fashion.” After graduation, they debuted their Bombshell Clothing line, which they promoted initially through pop-ups at unexpected venues such as rockabilly shows. By 2013, House of Correia was up and running.
Their line expanded to purses with brilliantly original details such as vintage door handles, and of course, their signature item- sunglasses. These “sunnies” are not your average shades. After FIT, Keriann began creating the glasses, each pair decorated with upcycled gems or pieces of jewelry in an original design. It’s a universally loved idea. What if you could take your box of broken or unmatched jewelry (we all have them!), every piece of which represents a memory, and give it another chance? Or, as House of Correia says, “We take what we have and we give it a new life!”
When asked how they know which salvaged items to use, Keriann and Angela describe their process as thrifting, hunting, collecting. They also note why the need to upcycle is essential. “So much already exists.” says Keriann, who recalls seeing a lot of waste in the corporate fashion world. “This is our answer to that.”
“Sustainability is the only way to move fashion forward,” adds Angela.
In addition to their philosophy of giving old items a new life, House of Correia is a wonderful ally to the Plus Acceptance/Size Diversity movements. As Angela notes, “Our accessories fit everyone -and it transforms their day.” Their sunnies are available in every size so that large faces and narrow faces all feel, as one customer phrased it, “…empowered and stylish in a way I didn’t always feel in a large body. It’s something I put on and feel immediately “fashion” in.” Angela reflects on the momentum and profession of Size Acceptance, saying, “…it’s been ugly at times- but even in just the past five years, it has come so far.”
House of Correia continues to not only grow, but respond to the needs around them. You can now find mask chains on their website, which are gorgeous, necklace-like decorations designed to keep your protective mask around your neck when you remove it. No more shoving it in your pocket or purse!
And don’t forget to check out the “Marketplace” tab on their site, where you can browse everything from a cooling eye pouch to a French Fries-themed throw pillow. All pieces are upcycled and handmade by small business owners. As Keriann and Angela pointed out, this year’s holiday season is going to look very different, not just because of malls and stores being closed, but because so many people have lost their financial security, or sense of security in general. They posed an interesting solution- using what we have to make gifts, or buying what artists create from what already exists.
It’s a bold, beautiful suggestion. What if this was the year we all did what we talk about doing every year? What if we scaled down extravagant expenses and lavish expectations? What if we patronized small businesses? What if we recognized where we all are emotionally and focused on supporting each other?
Keriann summarizes House Of Correia’s work as, “Making something out of nothing.”
Her description couldn’t be any more accurate…or timely.
Enjoy more of House of Correia on today’s Bold Podcast! See below:
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