April Melchoir: Designer and Owner of Urban Works Textiles

There’s something really outstanding about those who use their talents in unexpected ways; the ones who don’t necessarily travel down the “right” path…. But create their own. This is what came to mind when I learned about April Melchoir, one of the first recipients of Sophia Amoruso’s #GIRLBOSS foundation grant.

Upon receiving her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree in Illustration from University of the Arts in 2012, April created Urban Works Textiles — a small home decor and textile business. With the creation of this business, April was able to merge her love of illustration and design with her growing passion to sew.

Since I was a kid I was always dreaming up business ideas, I think having my own business came naturally to me. The idea of Urban Works Textiles came about when I learned I could have my illustrations printed on fabric. I ordered up 20 yards and had faith I’d figure out something to do with it! Since then I’ve designed pillows, fabric wall art, quilts, and reupholstery.

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The Urban Works Textiles designs are inspired by city life and landmarks. Hand drawn sketches of skylines, bridges, cafe walls and more are printed onto items that are perfect for home and interior decorating. With living in Philadelphia, this brand is a reflection of April’s lifestyle as a child and her desire for something bigger — something almost every dreamer can relate to.

I grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, and I didn’t like it. I was really interested in living in the city where everything was close. I hated having to walk a mile to get to the store, we lived in a dense neighborhood and it just seemed too far from stuff. There’s so much life in the city, it’s always moving, I liked that. My designs reflect my obsession with the crowded streets and tall buildings.

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Since the start of Urban Works Textiles, the business has grown and now items are available in seven stores as well as online. April exemplifies how believing in yourself, having self-pride (can’t be too shy to show off your awesomeness!) and being passionate about your work can lead you to wonderful things.

Getting the first sale was super exciting. Moving my business from my 400 sq. ft. apartment to its own location was huge (I was scared to death actually). It made everything so real! Also, landing my first store, Philadelphia Independents, was a really big deal as well as the #GIRLBOSS grant, which I am still a bit in disbelief about.

Last month, it was announced that April would be one of the first to receive a grant from the #GIRLBOSS foundation; a foundation that awards financial grants to girls who are in pursuit of their ambition and goals to run their own businesses. April created an awesome presentation to introduce her brand to the foundation and won over the #GIRLBOSS/NASTY GAL team.

With the #GIRLBOSS grant, I will be bringing all my production up to speed with demands with the use of a fabric printer. My goal is to create a seamless fabrication process, so that I can concentrate on growing my brand whether that be by reaching out to new retailers or by making new designs. I can’t wait to get started!!

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With this new opportunity for her business to grow even more, it’s obvious that April is going to be pretty busy…. But every girl deserves to have a Sunday with no rules or restrictions every now and then.

I’d sleep until noon... Would need to be on the beach in some cool bungalow, I imagine horses and cats just roaming everywhere. Also good music and good food is a must!

Spend some time during your Sunday checking out the Urban Works Textiles online store and shop home decor items that are absolutely perfect for a room makeover!

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