Pillow Perfect by Richard Virgilio
The Coaster | 6/11/09
Whenever Michael Jackson’s sister, LaToya, would make an appearance on Howard Stern’s show, her husband at the time Jack Gordon, insisted her green room be “soft and comfortable for the morning” and filled with fragrant flowers and comfortable pillows.
Arriving at 6 am in full makeup when the interview was just for radio, she was a very sweet, almost fragile woman who I found to be totally caught up with a horrible man – now deceased – who thrived on creating conflict with LaToya and her family to isolate her and cash in on her family name.
LaToya would have loved the new and original line of Pattern on Pattern pillows from Shelter Home on Cookman Avenue.
“The first step in silk-screen printing of fabric yardage is to ‘open up’ the screen, making the first impression on a blank piece of fabric,” said Gene Mignola, co-owner of Shelter Home. “Eventually the fabric outlives its usefulness but in the process becomes a one-of-a-kind piece of art: Pattern on Pattern.”
Gene selects dynamic patterns on wonderful fabrics – made of cotton and linen – washes them and creates some of the most beautiful and original home accessories available.
“We have re-imagined these unique textile pieces as pillows which are sewn with love right here in New Jersey,” said Gene, who began creating the pillows a few months ago.
Gene – in addition to serving as co-owner of Shelter Home, has been a textile artisan for more than 35 years for theatre television and film. His clients include Walt Disney Theatrical, Calvin Klein and Donna Karen and work which can be seen in the Tony award-winning productions “The Lion King,” “Little Mermaid,” “Billy Elliot” and “Wicked”.
“I like the playfulness in the design of these pillows,” said Scott Hamm, co-owner and Gene’s partner. “With a few pillows you can change the mood in a room very inexpensively.”
The pillows, exclusive to Shelter Home, are completely “green” – made of 100% recycled products (the stuffing is recycled soda bottles) – feature a minimum of four different “patterns on patterns” and come in three sizes in a variety of luscious color themes such as blue and grey and rust and natural and dark red and deep green.
“Everything in Shelter Home, including the pillows just has an amazing style and energy,” stated Lois White of Ocean Grove. “It’s wonderful that many items are recycled and fair trade. The store gives flare with a heart and soul – substance and style.”
Beyond pillows the store feature original home accessories – from lamps to plates to glassware to rugs to handbags. Each item is unique and has a great modern style. This is one of a handful of stores that I would pretty much purchase the entire inventory, if I could.
“It’s awesome in here,” said a very young and adorable Brielle White, also of Ocean Grove.
Next Friday (June 19), in conjunction with ArtsCAP’s June Collide-a-Scope program, Gene will be giving a live demonstration of his work on digital printers at Shelter Home, beginning at 7 pm.