In Conversation with Victoria Aguirre
As long time fans of Pampa and having always admired the design & aesthetic of the brand from afar ~ we were thrilled to have the opportunity to step inside the home of Co-Founder & Creative Director, Victoria, her partner Carl & their dog Poncho. Each corner so thoughtfully put together with pieces collected and created, it's clear that Victoria's vision has transfixed each part of their newly renovated home Casa Pampa.
Get to know Victoria as we chat to her about how Pampa came to life, the brands journey to today & the importance of nature within her rituals.
Introduce yourself, where are you from?
I'm Victoria Aguirre, the Creative Director and Co-Founder of Pampa. I'm from Argentina, but I’ve been living in Australia for almost 9 years, of which the last 6 have been in the Byron Bay region. I'm a photographer and designer by trade and I love how I can still use my photography as part of my daily work.
Tell us about Pampa and how it came to life?
To begin with Pampa is a living breathing thing. Like the large, treeless plains for which it is named, Pampa is a vast and generous landscape that invites spontaneous discovery. Pampa celebrates tradition, it looks to guide ancient techniques and customs worth preserving safely into the future. It is a storyteller, an explorer, a great connector. It finds beauty in that which is almost forgotten and gently nudges it forward to glitter before new worlds. Above all, Pampa pays attention, treasuring small details like sacred objects. The knot of a thread, a subtle shift of sand, the worn, lined hand of the weaver - each of these as magnificent and essential as the other.
We're a family run homewares business based in Australia with our flagship store is in Byron Bay. We work directly with skilled artisans in remote Argentina to bring the finest-quality woven rugs and goods to the rest of the world.
Pampa started with the desire of travelling. I was on an assignment for a travel magazine in the Atacama Desert in Chile where I met Carl. He was towards the end of a year travelling solo throughout Latin America. During those early journeys together, we found a shared passion for photography and traditional cultures, this soon led us to cross paths with our artisans off the tourist trail and this was one of the first steps to starting our business.
Today though, we’re a team of 10 based between our store and studio in Australia and our office in Argentina. The heart of the brand is still connected to those early years, a passion and desire to do something that matters. We explore art. We preserve heritage. We empower culture.
We’d love to know, what does a normal day look like for you as the Creative Director?
I wake around 6 am and after smooching my dog Poncho I make a coffee and start looking at all the messages and emails on my phone. Due to the time difference in Argentina, I need to attend to them first thing while the team are still awake over there. My first 3 hours of my day are usually my most productive and creative. I’ve always been a morning person, so I'm lucky I have that high level of energy to keep up with my fast-paced mornings. I then drive to the office and start working with our team across all things such as designing, production, marketing, sales, etc. I love what I do so much that usually by 4pm I can’t believe that the working day is about to wrap up. The day starts to slow down in the afternoon and I try to have some sort of connection with nature, usually Poncho, Carl and I go to a beautiful park or to the beach. Without this I can’t seem to be able to disconnect from the intensity of the day and I need this so much to keep my mind and body healthy (or at least trying to!). Then I cook a nice meal with my partner Carl and early bedtime is essential for me. I need to sleep 8 hours a day minimum to be in a good balanced mood for the following day ahead.
What are your key principles to balancing business and your own rituals?
Im not the best person to talk about balance as I work a lot, but I do have rituals that help me navigate through the week. Mainly walking it out, walking at the beach observing the sunset is my main ritual, but during the weekend I'm a real homebody. Having moments during the weekend at home in the quiet is a key for my balance for the rest of the week. Having downtime with a warm bath, crystals and magnesium salt is something I absolutely cherish. I also read and have a beautiful selection of cards that I tend to go to for guidance and some meditation here and there which can be very calming. Laying outside in the sun, having tea or making a fire at night with a glass of wine are also moments I consider as part of my rituals. I'm an Aries so I need to balance the fire within and the act of grounding helps me lots. But my best ritual would be swimming in the ocean, no matter the season of the year, an ocean or river swim is the place where I let myself go and my mind tends flows.
We’d love to learn more about your creative process and what inspires your collections?
Again, usually nature inspires my main creative process. Though we live near the beach, I'm drawn to desert landscapes and earthy colour palettes which are the real scenes of Pampa, Pampa meaning fertile earth in the Quechua language in Latin America. All our collections have a deeply rooted sense of place and are named after the landscapes of where they were created.
Pre-Covid my partner Carl and I used to travel regularly to these parts and during these travels is when our colour palette would come to life. A large amount of inspiration comes from my books… I have quite a collection of books, old and new, where I go for inspiration. In my library I find tales of heritage, folklore, tribal culture, as well as inspirational landscapes, voyages, life outdoors and mindful interiors.
Tell us about your home, your styling inspiration and what makes it such a special space?
Our home is calming in our own way, we knew we wanted to create accents with Pampa textiles, ceramics and artworks and kept everything else minimal with a sand and natural tone palette to be able to do so.
I would describe Casa Pampa as a home with soul. All the small details have been thoughtfully added and most pieces have a story. Aside from having lots of Pampa pieces and totems from our travels, we styled our home with local Australian brands, however always with the Argentinean-Australian concept in mind.
We just finished renovating, (not that finishing is really possible, still a few things to do!) and we absolutely love the earthiness with a touch of a mid-century feel. When renovating we made many changes but one of the best decisions was replacing the 2 back bedroom windows with sliding doors to let in not only more light, but to improve the vista out to beautiful private jungle we have behind our house.
Where can we find your MARLOE MARLOE pieces in your home?
I like changing things around so you can find MM in many different places around my home, but mainly in our bathroom, bedroom, living room, sometimes in the home office and lately I’ve been using one of MM trays for my crystals to move them from room to room.
2020 was a challenging year ~ what’s on your agenda for 2021?
Indeed, it was!
Working wiser and better, less hours but being more productive is the plan. Growing our team and bringing in new experience to help plan where we would like Pampa to be in 5 years time.
We just launched a new geometric cushion collection and limited-edition photographic prints from our worldwide travels. We’re also soon to launching our new rug collection as well a few other exciting things in the pipeline that I shouldn’t mention just yet!