Style Talk With: Riley de Encio of Curated Casita

The Huntington Beach-based brand sells vintage apparel and handmade ceramics.
Photograph by Emily J. Davis

In 2020, Riley de Encio began curating vintage clothing and accessories, including purses and shoes, and creating eye-catching ceramic pieces such as bowls, mugs, and more. “I have Hispanic roots, hence why I chose the word ‘casita,’ so pieces that are useful in your home,” de Encio says. “ ‘Curated’ fit more with the vintage clothing aspect, which is hand selected by me for you.” Customers can find de Encio at pop-ups throughout O.C. Check Instagram for her schedule.

How did you get into ceramics?

I’ve always been a very crafty, artsy person. I had done ceramics in high school, and I wasn’t very good at it, but I was determined. I thought I’d just teach myself something new, so I bought a used kiln and wheel and watched a bunch of YouTube videos. As with most things in life, I learned along the way. 

What inspires your ceramic designs?

I worked at Prism Boutique, and I was very inspired by the curation of clothing and brands and colors there. I pulled from that. Checkered print is one of my signature designs as well as my Balance tumbler’s (yin and yang) design. I based that off finding balance between work and play because the ceramics started as something I was doing for fun, but then it became my career. I wanted to play off something that had a dual meaning. I focus on functionality and pieces with intention, so I try and make sure that all my pieces will fit into everyone’s daily routine. That’s why I stick to cups and mugs because I think that’s what people use the most. I’ve also had a lot of people tell me they like to display them, so you can use them as decor pieces as well.

Cowboy boots, purse, and handmade Balance tumbler from Curated Casita. Photograph by Emily J. Davis

How did you decide to add in vintage items?

I was really inspired by my grandmother; she had a lot of great vintage pieces, and I wanted to go out to try and source things on my own. I also went to school for fashion and merchandising so I wanted to incorporate vintage clothing as well. I’ve always been passionate about clothes. I feel like I have two crowds of people—people who appreciate the (fashion) aspect but also people who appreciate the amount of time and effort that goes into creating each ceramic piece. 

What do you look for when sourcing vintage pieces?

I’m big on texture, so I go through racks and look for things that stand out to me, like chunky knits and textures that you can mix and match. I think that’s what makes an outfit stand out and a bit different as opposed to just wearing all the same material. I focus on basic everyday pieces with a little something extra from the texture. I often look for neutrals, but I do enjoy a pop of color here and there.