Sunday, April 22, 2012

Buy Handmade vol. 2

This week our Etsy; Behind the Scenes takes us to Madrid, Spain. 

Name: Cristina and Javier
Occupation: Designers

Tell us a little about yourself:
My name is Cristina and I am behind Olula se casa, a brand of handmade accessories and home decor. Together with me, is Javier. We are based in Madrid, Spain. We both are autodidacts and we come from different sectors: Law and TV/Advertising. Yes I know it sounds a bit weird but we always had the sensation of being spoiled working on things that we were not enjoying. We were always daydreaming with the possibility of doing something that really love and one day it became true.

When did you start creating and how long have you been on Etsy? 
When I was a child, I was always sewing and drawing, using different materials and building stuff, such as cardboard robots. At the same time, Javi was painting strange creatures and mixing things. A long time later, I started designing accessories for my friends and myself and everybody seemed to love them, so I decided to set up Olula se casa, about six years ago, with the willing of offering high quality handmade accessories, bright, colorful and easy to wear. Little by little my project was growing. Javi joined the company and together increased the range of products, techniques and materials. Now we design a wide range of accessories, bags and products for your home such as hand screen printed cushions and soft toys.

We opened our Etsy shop in October, 2010. From the very moment we discovered the potential of Etsy decided: WE WANTED TO BE THERE!

How would you describe your creative process? 
Everything starts with a drawing. There are always thousands of doodles surrounding us. Then we try to solve some technical difficulties (as we are autodidact we are always making up how to giving shape to the idea, but we think that this is the fun part).We are pretty demanding so it is not easy at all. There are some stuff that are not finally released because our standard of quality is very high. If it does not move ourselves, we are not able to present it to anybody so we prefer to work on it again or putting aside until we felt more comfortable with it. 

Where do you get your inspiration from? 
From Nature. If you look around you can always see many different shapes, colors and combinations. I also like simple geometrical forms and patterns. We are now starting to design our own prints for fabrics.

What is your most cherished handmade item? 
It may sound a bit drippy but we have a deep affection for every single item we create. If I had to choose one it would be my little ornamental fishes. I have been making them from the very beginning but I am not sick of them at all. Moreover, we relaunch them every season with new fabrics and still make me smile. 

Apart from creating things, what do you like to do? 
We are super fans of Nature in every way. I love riding my bicycle or walking around the mountains (Javi prefers to climb them). Last year we started our own ecological vegetable garden without using any kind of chemicals and was a complete success. We also love cooking, I cook the salty dishes and Javi bakes the sweetest ones.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 
We can only see ourselves creating things. We have a very clear vision about the life we want to carry, so while there are people who keep enjoying our work we will continue designing, making the products ourselves and sending them to the more different places around the world the merrier.

Do you have any advice for anyone thinking about starting their own shop?
The main thing I can say is: Find your own style and strengthen what makes your products different. If you get a product really different and you can give expression to yourself, no matter how hard sometimes it is, because at the end of the day you can say: Another satisfactory day in which I have felt free for doing what I really love: CREATING.