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Meet Vera Indenbaoum of Antique Textile Clinic in West Los Angeles

Today we’d like to introduce you to Vera Indenbaoum.

Vera, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I was born and educated in Moscow, Russia. I had an internship and worked at the Moscow Kremlin Museum, Museum of Decorative Art of Russian Federation, Grobar Center of Art Conservation, and Gedemanis of Art Conservation in Vilnius, Lithuania. I received certification as a textile conservator from the Russian Ministry of Cultural.

When I arrived in the United States, I continued as a textile conservator, working for private rug galleries. Due to the violent death of my last employer, I decided to open a private practice. I am grateful for the support of my husband.

I started my practice 20 years ago and since then, I have worked with all kinds of textiles from around the world. My specialty is tribal textiles from a multitude of cultures, like Indonesian, African, Native American and Polynesian textiles.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I struggled with many things over years. When I started, I had very little experience with running a business, like making estimates, marketing myself, and finding proper materials. I also struggled with a language barrier, because English was not my first language. Another issue I dealt with was many tribal textiles are made in unconventional ways. To conserve these textiles, I had to develop new techniques and methods that would persevere the integrity of these textiles’ structures.

Please tell us about Antique Textile Clinic.
I do restoration, conservation, mounting, and preparation for safe storage for all kinds of textiles. I am known for working with Indonesian, African, and Polynesian textiles. I am proud that I have maintained an extensive clientele from many different countries and provide high quality work for all of my clients. Something that makes my work different from others is that I am willing take on textiles that do not require conventional methods of restoration. Also, since many of my projects have hand spun and unconventional materials, I am willing to put in a lot of effort in finding materials that imitates the original material. Sometimes I will unravel sweaters, rope, cheese cloth, and even Halloween decorations to make sure the results look as close to the original.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I would have educated myself more about the logistics of running a business and marketing.

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Image Credit:
Vera Indenbaoum

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