Meet Our Design Team

Our leader and owner C. Renea Abbott was educated in NYC and had a great mentorship with the old guard design firm, Irvine & Fleming, who worked in the White House back in “Camelot Days.” Next, helping Mrs. Onassis in NYC, as well as most of the well-heeled of Manhattan. After a decade of NYC, she ventured to Los Angeles to assist various rock-stars, and hockey great Wayne Gretzky and his new bride, Janet Jones, with their new Los Angeles digs. At this time, the idea was born for Shabby Slips.

And the story continues…

Renea and her mom, Barbara Carlton, started Shabby Slips in 1991. Renea commuted from Houston to Los Angeles for the first two years, hedging on a Texas commitment. The two hired seamstresses, Barbara learned how to sew, and they set out to open the first custom slipcover shop. They were well-received from the start and soon started manufacturing upholstery and buying fine antiques all over the country. This went on for 10 years while Shabby Slips flourished in all aspects of decoration.

They broadened their antique scope and have continued to travel, collect, purchase and import high-quality products from Europe and all corners of the globe. Shabby Slips is now almost 25 years old and has nourished a plethora of designers that have built great design businesses of their own. Barbara is in Santa Fe part time, dropping in to make sure we are still doing it right! Renea is still at the wheel spending her time designing homes, merchandizing the showroom, traveling to Europe for antiques, and attempting to keep up with the ever-changing technology to keep Shabby Slips current.

Marlene Gonzalez was born in Nicaragua, the third oldest in a family of 11, and attended the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Nicaragua (UNAN). In 1983 she came to the United States, settling in Houston shortly thereafter. She has worked for Benetton, Nara Camicie of Italy, and Max Mara as manager/buyer, and has also managed the wholesale Italian hosiery label, Florenza, in doing a private label for Neiman Marcus. After meeting Renea in 2002, she decided to make a career change and joined Shabby Slips. She considers herself lucky to be a part of this decorating world of Shabby Slips…”which is not too shabby” She has assisted Renea with various decorating projects as well as walk in clients, and has been the showroom manager of Shabby Slips for the past 12 years.

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