Cheryl Landry Baptista, owner of Fabrika

Fabrika Building

The building they called a “Fabrika”.

The year after I graduated from college, I spent six months on my own in Europe, bicycling through Holland, Belgium and France, riding a train along the Cote d’Azure of France, across the top of Italy, south through what was then Yugoslavia, down to the tip of the Greek mainland, onto a ferry past many Greek islands, to finally land on the island of Samos, near the coast of Turkey. I found a job as a chambermaid there for a couple of months, and lived in the off-season in a hotel right next door to a lovely old building where the residents of the island brought their olives annually to be pressed for the olive oil they would use for the year. That building they called a “Fabrika”, and I always loved the sound of that name.

Fabrika WorkspaceAlmost a decade later, my brother and I headed out on our bicycles across the United States, west from Plum Island, Massachusetts to Florence, Oregon. Steve flew back home to New England, but I ended up staying with family in southern California, where I met and married a Navy Seabee, and started a family. A part-time job in a fabric store, where I was assigned to the home decorating department, introduced me to the world of custom soft furnishings. I loved it, and went about learning all I could about the art of sewing for the home. Read books, took classes, and finally, with the encouragement of a dear friend and mentor, and producer of incredibly beautiful custom work, I started my own workroom in an extra bedroom of our home in Pensacola, Florida.

Home again, in Massachusetts, Fabrika finally outgrew my basement, and in 2002 I moved to a beautiful space in a building that is part of a shipyard in Fairhaven, Massachusetts. Here I was lucky to work with some spectacularly talented designers and their clients to create work that I am very proud of.  In addition, I was lucky to make the acquaintance of the owner of a high-end woodworking shop, which shared the space on the second floor that Fabrika occupied.  The benefits of working in proximity to another creative endeavor were many, and the owner, Rick Cantwell, and I even collaborated on a couple of projects.  When it became apparent that both our businesses had outgrown their location, we decided to search for a bigger facility that our businesses could share, and in the winter of 2011, Fabrika and R. Cantwell Woodworking moved to their new spacious quarters in repurposed mill space in New Bedford, MA.  This new space we call North Light Studios, and you can learn more about that at nlsnb.com.

We look forward to continuing to grow here, as we now have the room to add employees and equipment.  Always, though, the focus is on the highest quality handcrafted soft furnishings.