New Hope is welcoming a new addition, Design Pretty, to its historic Main Street at 9 North Main Street. Design Pretty specializes in inventive design and gift ideas ranging from a new table runner to handmade cloth napkins to custom pillows, bedding and window treatments.
Most of the items are created and manufactured by its owner, Oneka Benn Schwartz. Customer also have the option of consulting about design with Oneka.
After attending the Fashion Institute of Technology, Oneka started her own online design store in the late 1990’s. She has been designing and creating ever since. “I love to blend different fabrics and colors to create the right feel and, at times, the right statement when you enter a room. Even something as simple as adding new pillows when the seasons change, can liven up a room. More recently, I have been experimenting with bespoke lampshades, and am very excited to have developed a new line that is receiving amazing feedback and can add that something special to a room.”
Oneka moved to New Hope this past year after living and working in Bermuda with her family for the past 8 years. In Bermuda, Oneka’s products are featured at the Island Shop, one of Bermuda’s preeminent design stores, where her custom products were featured at trunk shows and in many Bermuda homes, and continue to be sold. Before moving to Bermuda, Design Pretty worked with designers, the public and businesses in New York and New Jersey with a workroom in Union City, NJ. “I started making window treatments, bedding and pillows, and while I am still extremely passionate about fabric, I have enjoyed branching out to create my own tabletop product line that features agate and rose quartz, as well as my napkins and rings.”
Oneka is originally from Guyana. She learned to sew from her grandmother, who ran a factory in Guyana that manufactured women’s intimate apparel. “Ever since a young age, I have loved to envision things in my mind and then work to transform that vision with fabric and other materials. My grandmother taught me how to sew, and at age 91 is so excited for me about the opening of my first brick-and-mortar store, Design Pretty in New Hope.”