Janelle Pietrzak with a selection of her free-form weavings. (Photo courtesy Janelle Pietrzak)
Janelle Pietrzak graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2003 with a degree in fashion design and set off for New York to fulfill a lifelong dream of working as a designer’s assistant. But she quickly became disillusioned with the day-to-day grind of the fashion industry. “School was really hands-on and the process of making things was what I liked,” she says.
Following a six-year stint working for Anthropologie in Philadelphia, where she sourced fabrics from around the world, she moved to Los Angeles for another fashion design job. But it wasn’t until she created a free-form weaving in her spare time that she discovered her true passion.
Today, Pietrzak’s weavings, sold under her All Roads label, have been featured everywhere from Design Sponge and Anthology magazine to Vogue and The Wall Street Journal. “People are attracted to the work because of the resurgence of craft appreciation we have seen in the past few years,”
Pietrzak says. “All different kinds of crafts are having a moment. People appreciate things that are handmade.”
Part kitschy ’70s-era fiber art, part modern sculpture, Pietrzak’s tactile creations inspire nostalgia, she says. “It is reminiscent of bohemian 1970s organic things people remember from growing up.”
In addition to selling through her website, allroadsdesign.com (most of her weavings are commissioned), Pietrzak designs home textiles and some apparel for Anthropologie under the All Roads label. “I still work in fashion,” she says, “but on my own terms.”