Stylish Slumber

For Ursula Barrantes-Tarafa, creating the Morpheo Line of children’s pajamas was the next step in her professional evolution, a progression that has secured a good night’s sleep for Key Biscayne kids and beyond.
Text by Luisana Suegart Photos by Leslie Fuentes | July 15, 2018 | People

While most teenage girls spent their allowance at the mall, 13-year-old Ursula Barrantes-Tarafa spent hers on paint, linens and accents for her bedroom. “I used to decorate my room every other month,” says Barrantes-Tarafa, now the owner of Casa Grande Design in Key Biscayne and the creator of the Morpheo Line of kids’ pajamas. “Instead of clothes, I would buy things to decorate and I would spend days painting and changing everything.”
Born in Lima, Peru, Barrantes-Tarafa moved to the U.S. at 18 to pursue her passion in interior design and attend the International School of Art & Design in Miami. “The most important thing in a person’s life, other than health and family, is their career,” she says. “I have friends in my country who studied the same thing, but they aren’t at the level of business that I am.”
Seven years ago, Barrantes-Tarafa founded her company, which owes its success to a whole lot of love. “I’m totally in love with what I do. Sometimes people work in something that doesn’t satisfy them completely but I wake up and fall asleep thinking about my designs.”
For every ounce of Barrantes-Tarafa’s passion, there’s an ounce of effort. “That is how you gain recognition,” she says. “I start with a project and put so much effort into it, and that’s how you can tell I’m in love with what I do, because I pay attention to every last detail, right down to the towels.”
“All human beings are born with their own personal taste and sense of style, so not everyone wants an interior designer,” she says. “The first client I had seven years ago is still my client today. I always had the desire to grow slowly. I never lost my head.”
For Barrantes-Tarafa, one of the biggest challenges is having to depend on several people for projects to be completed. “Depending on electricians, upholsterers, logo-makers and so many others has taught me to be very patient,” she says.
Undoubtedly, her patience has paid off, as her designs are not limited to existing within walls. Over a year ago, Barrantes-Tarafa founded Morpheo Line, a collection of bedding and matching pajamas for children characterized by the color white and unique materials. “I feel that when you sleep in white, you sleep more relaxed, because your mood is affected by the colors around you.”
The entire line would be white with each piece made of the finest pima cotton, originally cultivated in Peru, where the idea to launch Morpheo Line was born. “When my grandmother passed away, I went back to Peru and I remember looking at linens in the house and at my daughters in their pajamas, and that’s when I made the decision to create the line.”
Though the concept was concrete, Barrantes-Tarafa set her heart on making the line anything but ordinary, beginning with its name. “At 2 a.m., my best friend, Santiago Villega of Fortune International, who has an answer for everything, calls me and says, ‘I got it! Morpheo Line, Ursu! The name is Morpheo Line!’…and he hung up.”
Morpheo is Spanish for Morpheus, the Greek god of dreams.Her line is manufactured, packaged and shipped from Peru. “Aside from my persistence to always give my all, it is the team I have that has helped me reach where I am. Wherever I go, they will follow me and be proud of my name.”
So far, Barrantes-Tarafa is confident in the success of her line, sold exclusively in her Casa Grande Design sales office in Key Biscayne. A part of the line that includes color is sold exclusively in The Island Shop, also on the Key.
On days off, the busy mother of three enjoys island living, along with her husband, Alberto Tarafa, and her daughters: Nicolle, 17; Catalina, 4; and Emilia, 3. “I love meeting my friends for coffee,” she says. “On weekends, I go to the beach or fishing with my girls.”
Meanwhile, it seems her career is on cruise control. “My ideal, which I don’t think is high because I’m almost there, is to place Morpheo on the same level as the top linen lines around the world,” she says. “To get there, I need to continue at the same speed. If I run or stop, I’m going to lose a lot. I wouldn’t change absolutely anything.”