Faride Mereb first discovered Modern Shelving in the spring of 2021. As a book designer, researcher, book collector, and avid reader, Mereb needed a space to store her large book collection in her home office. As her business grew, she decided it was time to open a physical location. She partnered with Zuleika Acosta who works in hair, makeup, and photography and together they opened a studio in New York. She was in love with her Modern Shelving shelves, so when it came time to open the studio, she knew exactly where to look for shelves.
Located in Brooklyn, the feedback the artists often get is that their studio is very “New York.” Monday through Wednesday the space serves as a design studio for Mereb and Thursday through Saturday Acosta uses the space for hair, makeup, and photography. Sometimes, the artists collaborate on projects like shooting for a book cover—Acosta does makeup and photography while Mereb is the art director.
“It’s basically split up into a women’s workspace,” says Acosta. “It’s got beauty, books, and all the good things.”
While figuring out the setup and layout of the studio, the women knew they wanted a reliable shelving unit to store Mereb’s books and Acosta’s styling and makeup equipment. The studio had an odd layout and they were looking for shelves that fit under a staircase. Thanks to Modern Shelving’s custom option, they were able to design a set of shelves that fit the space perfectly.
“Before we had several types of storage conditions under the staircase that made it difficult to be seen as cohesive—it looked like a place you didn’t want to look,” says Mereb. “But now it looks like something you want to showcase rather than hide.”
Because Mereb’s husband, Samoel, had experience from setting up the shelves in her home studio, he put together the shelves in the new studio as well. Mereb says that the directions were straightforward and assembly was smoother and quicker than the first time around. Mereb and Acosta love that the shelves are modular and they can easily move drawers around as needed.
Originally, Mereb is from Venezuela and Acosta is from Puerto Rico. They also regularly collaborate with Venezuelan junior designer Oriana Nuzzi on book design related projects. Their studio is in a Latin neighborhood where many immigrants communities reside. The women are proud to be part of that tradition and give back to their heritage
Currently, the studio is open for appointment only, but it officially opens in January and the women have lots of exciting plans in the works. They hope to host free, bilingual workshops for the local community. One idea they have is to host workshops that are centered around makeup and binding. They also want host events where they can do book related things and photography.
“When you align with someone in principals, it’s very easy to have a cohesive project,” says Acosta.
“We want to merge the qualities that we have to welcome more people and more disciplines,” concludes Mereb.