Elemental Weds Design & Poetry in Wynwood
Mauricio Gomez, a Product Designer and graduate from Parsons in New York, is the owner of Elemental, a lifestyle design store with locations in Wynwood, the Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach, and in Colombia.
It is in Colombia where Elemental also manufactures their in-house designs. The company’s focus and main source of revenue are clients in the hospitality industry such as hotels and restaurants, as well as private residences. Their Wynwood location at 2399 NW 2nd Avenue was to initially serve as an inventory warehouse for their web sales, doubling as a design studio. Recognizing the importance of the central corner location, the owner of the building offered to work with Elemental to create a showroom, which included installing large windows. It is this device that Gomez feels is key for the development and growth of Wynwood and would like to see incorporated into more of the district’s businesses. Gomez emphasizes the significance of the windows, “more windows show that you’re open.”
With walking traffic still in its early stages, Mauricio would like to see more retailers move into the neighborhood as he envisions the future of Wynwood. “The growth of Wynwood has been great. It’s been a year since we’ve been here and security’s better, we get more walk-in traffic. If we get more restaurants that would be great because that’s what really draws the crowds, more bars, more stores, more residential areas. That would really bring the neighborhood up. People draw people.”
Mauricio describes Wynwood as a “raw neighborhood…full of creatives.” He continues, “the neighborhood is influential because it’s a creative neighborhood. “These elements played a key role in selecting the location and working with the artist community. “Creatives know what they like and want and they know their designers. They make a good clientele. Artists come in here and get inspired by the products. It’s good to be the first design store in the district.”
With over 450 products the store has to offer, Mauricio stocks limited quantities of the merchandise, as he likes to keep the selection fresh and current. Having carefully curated the collection, he explains, “if they’re in here, they’re my favorites.” He describes the company’s merchandise, which offers many functional objects such as lighting and furniture, as “accents or conversation pieces,” or as Mauricio so eloquently puts it, “they’re a wedding between design and poetry.”
As many designs are also in-house, they are conceptualized in Miami and manufactured in Colombia. Mauricio plans to expand his business through the purchase of a 3D printer so that he can offer product development services to new designers. Not only will the designers have the opportunity to take their idea to the next stage of prototype, but Gomez also plans to offer his manufacturing services to the designers.
He also works with local artists to showcase their work on a month to month basis keeping it fresh for each Art Walk, and the prices affordable. “We have a mix of high end contemporary design, but our concept starts with design being affordable. So design has to be inclusive and exclusive. Somebody can walk into the store and see that we have a piece that’s $3,000 and another for $5. Designs should be for everyone.”