Describe your job in a few words:
I design and realise hand-woven fabrics. I focus primarily (for the time being) on clothing accessories: scarves for both men and women. My scarves are unique and are produced in limited series. I sell to select boutiques in Italy and Europe as well as taking orders from private customers.
How long had you been pursuing your passion before it evolved into a job?
I started weaving 9 years ago, although it remained more of a hobby for some time. For the past 5 years, however, I have focused exclusively on hand-weaving. In this time I have taken part in several workshops and in 2008 I began a 2-year course in Bradford College of Art and Design in England. I started my business as a textile designer just prior to my graduation in June 2010.
How did you understand that this hobby could become your career?
My passion for textiles became so strong that I had to devot all of my energy to studying and learning more and more. From the moment I chose to invest so much mental energy, (and more- I have made many sacrifices to pay for my studies), I realized that this was the only profession that I could imagine for myself for the future.
Have your family and friends been supportive?
My partner helps me with my work on a daily basis, he supports me 100% and encourages me when I need it the most. I feel extremely fortunate! He, on the other hand, also has a creative job and we are well suited for this reason: because we understand and respect each other for who we are. I also try to give him all the support and aid possible with his work!
When I started my business, my parents gave me great encouragement and I know that they are proud of the fact that I am following my dream. Sometimes they worry, but I think that after all these years they understand that I am tenacious and that this is what I really want to do.
My friends believe in me too, the people whom I love have accepted that this is who I am... a bit' eccentric and unconventional. The fact that they respect my choice of lifestyle makes me really happy and I really appreciate their support!
How has this new life made you a better wife/ mother?
I learned not to surrender in the face of problems as there is almost always a solution. On those occasions when you cannot find a solution, however, you simply have to accept the fact that you have to start from scratch and then you have to just do it! And the next time you learn from the mistakes you made. The activity of weaving changed my way of thinking, of solving problems and of dealing with practical difficulties in life. Who I am now is a result of my weaving experiences over the past nine years and I believe that it has helped me to become a better person, a better partner and a better daughter.
What are your short term goals?
To broaden and consolidate my customer base, study marketing and improve the presentation of my business, to acquire greater expertise in business management, to continue my research of ecological and sustainable yarns with Italian companies, and finally I would like to produce knitted accessories (I am currently dedicated to the study of my newly purchased knitting machine).
Do you see yourself as an innovator, or more of a traditional woman?
I am definitely not a traditional woman, although weaving has its roots deep in human history and therefore in a sense you can call mine a traditional job but I think there is a need for it to be reinterpreted in a contemporary context in order to revive it. What I try to do is to bring new dynamic and modern energy to my business without forgetting the past, but without being inseparably linked to it. In this sense I feel a bit innovative ... at least in the Italian scene.
When you received the invitation to join WithandWithin community you were curious because...
I immediately liked the idea of a website dedicated to women and it seemed dynamic, new in its conception and born of positive and constructive energy.
I have a strong belief in women and in their positive energy, but also in their practicality and concrete nature! The hardest thing in life is to have confidence in oneself and to believe in one's own potential... let's try harder!
Do you think that sharing your experience with W&W users can be helpful to them?
I hope that I can give some moral support to those who feel a little discouraged by the extremely difficult situation in Italy in which we young (and mostly female) people find ourselves right now! I know that I have a long uphill struggle ahead of me to achieve my goals, but I also know that it is possible! You just need a real desire, self-belief and perseverance!