Homepolish designer Michael Groth and textile fabricator Gina Rockenwagner have been friends since childhood. You could say that he was destined to one day create her Queens-based studio for her sustainable fashion line.
Photos by Cody Ulrich.
Homepolish designer Poppy+Pima, knew each other long before either of them showed their penchant for creativity. When they were both mere 5 year-olds their mothers met at “Mommy and Me” classes, and the two have been lifelong friends ever since. A short time later, Gina picked up her first set of knitting needles and developed a love of weaving and textiles. Michael also developed a love of design, but of course, with interiors.and Gina Rockenwagner, founder of the ethical, sustainable fashion line
When Gina founded her company in 2015 in a studio space 3 blocks from her apartment in Queens, she immediately realized that there were functional deficiencies in the space. Storage was lacking, and most importantly, the space didn’t have a useful (though still aesthetically pleasing) table for rolling out fabrics. That’s where Michael came in with his form of design expertise.
Working with only 300 square-feet of space, Michael was able to create three distinct spaces. In the far corner from the entrance, a small desk space allows Gina to get down to the logistics of running her own company. Wicker chairs surrounded by lush green ferns and pothos plants provide a lounge area. And the all important workspace got a custom table. Every square-inch, though, received an extra layer of textile love from the brightly colored, distinctive Peruvian fabrics.
Michael is talented and has superb taste. He quickly thought of solutions to any issues that came up. I love how functional our space is now, with room for inspiration and relaxation. Now when visitors come to my studio, they feel welcome to stay and hang out.- Gina Rockenwagner, founder of Poppy+Pima