Clovis West grad's chair wins nationwide contest

July 20, 2011 

A former Fresnan is making a big mark as a furniture designer.

Meghan Carozza, a 1996 graduate of Clovis West High School and now director of design at Michael Taylor Designs in San Francisco, was named a furniture design contest winner by Thos. Moser, a company that designs and builds fine, solid wood furniture.

Carozza's entry – a chair – was designed as a companion piece to the Moser Lolling chair. The company will produce and sell Carozza's design. It has showrooms in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, New York City, Washington, D.C., and Freeport, Maine.

As prize, Carozza received $300 cash and a Moser iconic chair. This weekend, she also will visit the company's production facility and attend a workshop in Freeport.

"I enjoy designing, so I knew I was a contender," Carozza says. "I just didn't know how much."

Carozza always has displayed a sense of competitiveness.

At Clovis West, she was a starter on the girls' basketball team that advanced to the Southern Region Division 1 quarterfinal round in 1996.

"I still play – in a coed league here in S.F.," she says.

After leaving Clovis West, she earned a degree in biology at the University of California at Santa Barbara. Then, she received a scholarship to the San Francisco Art Institute. She completed a four-year program in two years to earn a bachelor of fine arts degree in photography and painting.

For the next seven years, she cut her teeth in home furnishings and interior design stores in the Bay Area, but she longed for a degree in interior design and enrolled in the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in San Francisco.

She was one of 10 students selected from the school's campuses in San Francisco and Los Angeles to come up with entries for the Moser contest to find a sidekick to the Moser Lolling chair, which features Asian and colinear references in architecture.

Carozza's design is a variation of the Klismos chair, a type of ancient Greek chair, and features an arcing back and rear legs.

"It just evolved," she says.

Carozza graduated with a degree in interior design in March. She received a promotion to director of design at Michael Taylor Designs in April. Then, she learned she was a contest winner in May. "I didn't mind if I won or lost," she says. "I'm in the right field now. I am a furniture designer."

The reporter can be reached at rorozco@fresnobee.com or (559) 441-6304.

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