Antonella Farah Louis: From Nautical Royalty to Fashion Pioneer – A Journey of Resilience and Creativity

Antonella Farah Louis, known for Antonella Art Shop, is a 49-year-old woman who passionately believes in the profound ability of art to convey love, respect, tenderness, and empathy. 

Leading a unique business endeavor, Antonella Art Shop, Antonella specializes in the artful repurposing of used denim. Every old pair of jeans she encounters becomes a canvas for her boundless creativity, resulting in a diverse array of transformed masterpieces, including tote bags, cushions, hats, and more. 

At the age of 16, after graduating from high school, she embarked on a journey into the world of Economics at the university. Despite her young age, she started working and building herself as a professional, gravitating towards the productive field of nautical tourism in Colombia. This path led her to a brilliant career, establishing herself as a reference in the nautical industry in Colombia.

Together with a group of amateurs and entrepreneurs, we created the nautical corridor of Colombia, the first nautical guide, the nautical association, and nautical congresses, among others,” Antonella says.

However, it was just before the onset of the pandemic that Antonella’s life took an unexpected turn. Her mother, sensing her artistic potential, urged her to find a canvas, marking the beginning of a new chapter.

Throughout the scarcity of the pandemic, Antonella discovered a talent for transforming old garments into pieces of art. Whether it was turning old jeans into shorts or repurposing boots into aprons and face masks, she found a way to infuse creativity into everyday items. 

As a child, I always had two notebooks: one for poetry and one for clothing designs. And it was just in the shortage of the pandemic that I started to develop a skill of turning old clothes into pieces of art,” Antonella expresses.

One of the most significant obstacles she overcame was the scarcity of resources. However, this limitation sparked creativity, turning constraints into opportunities for artistic expression.

Antonella distinguishes herself from competitors through her creations’ vibrant colors, distinctive scents, and unique designs. Each piece bears the stamp of her Arab eye, a symbol she grew up with and holds dear.

Her passion for art gave birth to an entrepreneurial venture that now sells its products in a store at The Oculus, the World Trade Center’s shopping center in New York.

The journey from painting in the corner of her apartment to showcasing her art in The Canvas store in New York’s World Trade Center reflects the evolution of Antonella’s brand, Antonella Art.

Antonella Art is a sustainable fashion brand born in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia. Today, her creations are displayed at The Canvas store in New York City, located in the futuristic World Trade Center Oculus station.

While doors initially closed, The Canvas store in New York City opened its doors. It provided Antonella with a three-day platform to paint and intervene garments to the tunes of Colombian artists, surrounded by the smiles of countless passersby in the heart of New York’s financial district.

Antonella is not just a businesswoman; she is also a mother to four sons: Federico, Salvatore, Geronimo, and Domenico. Her journey from Cartagena to The Oculus reflects her resilience, creativity, and commitment to making the world a more beautiful place through art.

The motivation behind Antonella’s business venture traces back to her mother’s encouragement to explore her artistic side. For her, art is not just a creative outlet; it is a therapeutic tool for navigating life’s challenges, especially in times of loss. She firmly believes in responding to life’s hardships with “ARTE”: Love (Amor in Spanish), Respect, Tenderness, and Empathy.

The biggest challenge Antonella faced when starting her business was the lack of belief in its feasibility. Overcoming self-sabotage and embracing the joy in what she does make discipline and consistency more manageable.

Antonella emphasizes the importance of mindset in business. Connecting the mind with the heart, which is fueled by passion, makes facing new challenges more bearable and enjoyable.

Her advice for those starting their own business is to work with love, enthusiasm, and passion. Believing that everything is achievable when talent and eagerness come together to beautify the world.

Looking ahead, Antonella envisions continuing to produce and create new art pieces that contribute to the environment and spread messages of love and happiness. 

I want to expand my team by involving talents who wish to join my brand’s purpose, and take this brand to new destinations,” Antonella comments.

Discover the vibrant world of Antonella Art! Explore unique, sustainable fashion pieces transformed from old denim. Shop the collection at The Canvas store in New York’s World Trade Center Oculus. Make a statement. Wear art.