A life without social networks*

A life without social networks*

A few months ago, I renamed my blog, « Impostor Syndrome » (the podcast, in French) . But as my new « lifestyle » got settled for the past months. There is something new that need to be shared: A life with no social network*. Let me explain.

In order for me to share this experience without limiting myself, my social networks does still exist.

BUT, the thing is: I changed (may I say flipped): the way I used it.

If I had to choose only one it would be: LinkedIn. It will remain the only one I will always have. Professionally its really useful for me. It has been productive more than time consuming. I’m not saying its all perfect but at least, I know I don’t get lost into it. Even if the « design » is very similar to other platforms. I don’t know why, it just suits me.

Outside of LinkedIn, I got Twitter, Instagram and a Facebook account. My Facebook account has been deleted for a while now. Twitter, is the same as LinkedIn, I don’t like it that much so I’m not the best client neither (= no time consuming at all!). Except Instagram, this is the one app, and social network catching most of my wandering time!

At first I deleted all except LinkedIn. It felt good, and I got used to it for a while.

The only thing is, I must say: what I missed the most its not the « consuming content » part but the « sharing and publishing ». Therefore, those accounts does (re) exist now but I got no direct access through my phone or my computer. It would require me to search for passwords, and make a two-septs authentification in order to access it. I got lazy. I made it the least accessible. Which means from now on those social networks are only possible through posting not through viewing.

Therefore, the only way to contact me is not through Instagram inbox but through email (old fashioned). Why?

Because through email, deep conversations are possible.

Not through Messenger, nor Insta, sorry but that’s true!

So, here is the place where I’m going to share this experience with you.

However, I just want to « save » myself (and own sanity) from madness that can sometimes (quite often in fact) come from social media in general. Especially in this period of history!

With love,

C.

Be the Change !

Be the Change !

Let’s get sensitive and intimate here !

The truth is, as a multi passionate and infinitely curious person, I’m always looking for new ways of doing things. In fact, I always did. Solybox being part of it: How can I make e-commerce different and more respectful for all ?

I go out of conventional ways which might not please everyone but at least at the end of the day, I can say “I tried” or “I made it” ! The most important part remains :

“It feels right.“

I believe (kind of Stoic way of thinking), in our lives there are stuff we can’t control therefore we have to let them be, and other stuff, we can control, and somehow we all have a choice to make. While being responsible for our own lives…

For the past few years, I’ve been experiencing the ‘what I can control’ part, with new habits and ways, on how I can expend my views and mind ?’ In order to live an awesome life ! For instance…

Here are two ‘tips’ – improving our way of living :

#1 Get out of your comfort zone

Every single day I try to do something new, feeling uncomfortable without being a big dangerous risk ! As simple as it might sound, I will send this newsletter which is more personal and sensitive. It puts me out of my comfort zone since, I don’t feel always comfortable while sharing my personal thoughts.

This is for the best, since the more you experience new things, the less your life can get boring ! 

Another example: lately I was writing letters to people I would love to interview for the podcast. Part of them are people I admire for their projects and piece of work. In the past (still today), the ‘monkey mind’ said: “Why would you send this? It’s stupid, who cares about that?”. Yep, as an entrepreneur listening to this voice is far from being productive. So, I’m just saying “thanks for the note but I’m doing it” 🙂. Why? Because, it’s not going to kill anyone. And by the way, being vulnerable is part of being successful and live a meaningful life!

#2 Quit the mainstream media and choose your ‘fuels’ wisely

There is a very interesting Talk about this subject. It was given by Alain de Botton, the founder of The School of Life. He explains our past and actual relationship with media. Ever since I saw this speech, I choose, the kind of information I want to ‘put’ in my unconscious mind. Asking myself always the same question: is it productive or useful for me to know this ? I’m not talking about getting ignorant here. Even though, the past events have shown that our access to mainstream media as high as it might be, doesn’t mean we get more (emotionally) intelligent…

Finally, as Tim Ferriss said in his book (The4HoursWeek), if there is something you must know (about politics, economics, international matters, etc.), you will hear about it, since large part of our social interactions is dedicated to it.

« Reading after a certain age diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking ».

– Albert Einstein

When I say « choose your fuels wisely », it’s more about selecting, carefully, what you decide to put into your head, for the rest of the day.

Is it good ? Is it productive ? Is it positive ? Is it helpful ?
Same for food.

Most of us do not realise how the information, we get in touch with (it’s the same with people we hang out with), influence our moods or ways of thinking. Therefore, if we focus only on negative news (which is major part of our mainstreams content) we end up with pessimism and negative thoughts. On the other hand, when we choose to focus on something inspirational, joyful and funny, our day get much more brighter !

In fact, “We Spend Half Our Waking Lives Consuming Media, And It Will Only Increase” (according to global media agency ZenithOptimedia). So, we could ask ourselves, How could we spend this time more wisely? Let’s take some ceramic workshop !

In my last interview for Solybox, with a (new coming) ceramist artist, we shared the excitement people can find while making objects of their own. In other words, doing, creating something with your hands or mind, might be actually very fulfilling !

So how come we get so excited about something seemingly simple and essential? Simply because in our materialistic world, we lost a sense of doing and creating. Our capacity at making something into materialistic form. But we all have this power so why not use it?

Last but not least, awareness buying respectful and beautiful products is part of it. This is the reason why I created Solybox: to offer new opportunities combining ethics and beauty !  Outside of consumption, our purpose is also to create, produce or do something, at least significant enough in our life time.

I will see you next week with new products and new artist !

With love,
C. 

P.S. Solybox is in the French Magazine Simple Things #18, of Feb-March 2017 <3

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A French discovery, with Les Garçonnes

A French discovery, with Les Garçonnes

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video available here.

Camille : Can you please introduce yourself?

Marine : My name is Marine, I’m 29, I’m the founder of Les Garçonnes, a brand exclusively dedicated to trousers for women

Camille : How did you find your vocation?

Marine : After High School, I went to London. At that time, I already knew I wanted to practice manual work. An artistic vocation such as architect, painter, sculpter… I didn’t really know yet, what exactly, at that time. I attended Fashion Design School. Someone I knew was in this school and she introduced me to the educational leader. Years went by and I realised how much I liked it. How hard it was to stop practicing… and more than everything else, I truly felt pleasure doing this. It didn’t feel like a duty. I wake up every morning with joy. It feels more like leisure than work. I felt strange at the beginning, to call it a ‘job’. I graduated top of the class from school, it gave me trust and confidence about my work…

Camille : …and what about your brand ? When did it start?

Marine : One year ago (more or less), I picked up stuff from my grandmother’s cloak room. Some trousers with pleats, were too large for me but I loved wearing them. I have always been a ‘tomboy’ without shame. Many people told me : « your pants are awesome, it’s difficult to find them » or « they’re originals… », with beautiful colours and materials. Then time went by and I told myself it would be great to do something about this. My grandmother passed away and something clicks into place… I was working as a freelance for years and various brands. I never really found a brand that I really love. One day, I felt ready about creating my own brand. It was the right time. I jumped in !

Camille : What are your values as an artist ?

Marine : What I do really like is to share. In other words, every time I sell one of my creations I like to get feedback from my customers. Do you feel good ? Does it feel too tight ? Does it feel too short ? Even if it’s criticism… On the contrary it’s very constructive… As my brand is growing, the better I  will get, the larger my collection will be. I will be able to answer women’s expectations on a large scale. That’s definitely Sharing… Women once told me « your pants are great, you should do something about it ». Today I answer, saying « here I am, with my creations I hope you will like it ! »

Camille : What is your main mission as an artist?

Marine : I would love my brand to remain over time. I started with ‘timeless pants’ style, for a reason. The aim is that you can still wear my creations in 20 years. And why not, granddaughters can wear them one day… Today, wearing trousers with pleats is fashionable. I wish that even out of fashion, it remains like this. 

All generations wear your creations.

Yes definitely, that’s great. Both my mother and my niece wear my creations. From 15 to 70 years old it’s working. Still, I have to carry on, creating more and more, tailored to every generation and desire. Even in 10 years you can still keep it and wear it again

Camille : What are your rituals?

Marine : With materials, it’s love at first sight. I regularly visit my suppliers in Paris. I’ve been working with them for years. They offer new materials. Touching,  feeling… it’s really impulsive with the material. I see myself in it right away. I touch it and I realise how great it will be. Since I want people to feel great and comfort(able) using my trousers. In Winter, especially it should be very cocooning. I’m looking for soft and comfortable materials. Flexible and lasting at the same time. There is a true research on materials.

Camille : What makes your brand unique?

Marine : First, I’m specialised in trousers. Nowadays, more and more brands are doing mono-product. It’s clearly a new tendency. Trousers, it’s something I wear everyday. It’s a true urge, once I create, I can see myself wearing it. After that not everyone is ‘tomboy’ like me. I really want comfort. When I’m selling one of my creations, I really want to share it with my customers. What really makes a difference… it gives me joy and I want to share this joy with others. I think that’s already a great start.

Camille : Where do you get your inspiration? 

Marine : More than the material, I have muses. There are important women for me… For example, I named my first five creations : Lauren Bacall, Katharine Hepburn, Marlene Dietrich, Jane Birkin… actress from the 50s and iconic women. They left their mark with their independence and appeal. They were a little tomboy but really feminine as well. Those women reflect perfectly my brand. They are also models for me, what I would like to be or what I have been in the past… I know my next creation will get the name of my grandmother it’s a little wink 😉 

What was her name?

Marine: JeanneThere are my favourites. Jeanne it’s also Jeanne d’Arc, Jane Birkin… that’s a name coming back a lot in my inspirations. I read a lot books, where I can find names of inspirational women. I will carry on that way…

La boutique Les Garçonnes, now available on Solybox.com

Have you met Jane ?

 

The Massive and Destructive Power of Technology

The Massive and Destructive Power of Technology
Every morning, like many people, the first thing I used to do waking up, is checking my smartphone, placed next to my bed.
 
At first, it was unconscious, as many. I was not able to realise what I was doing. Then discovering that everyone was doing this around me, I thought: Wow, how come the first thing we do waking up is checking a screen with social media, and email? We just woke up, don’t need to jump directly into traffic jam already!
 
Let’s go even further. As I was discovering studies and tons of data, here is what I found…
Half of smartphone owners aged from 18 to 24 checked their devices in the middle of the night. Compared with 14% of owners aged 65 or older.
A recent study conducted by Deloitte shows that:
  • 43 percent of consumers check their phones within five minutes of waking up, and 17 percent check them immediately. This is the fifth year of Deloitte’s 2015 Global Mobile Consumer Survey, which covers almost 50,000 smartphone users aged 18 to 74 and spans 31 countries.

  • One obvious takeaway: Consumers are more connected now than ever. In fact, Deloitte found that Americans are looking at their smartphones a combined eight billion times per day, starting first thing in the morning. In addition, Deloitte found that 13 percent of consumers check their phone right before bed, and four percent even admit to checking their device more than 200 times per day. [Source]
As someone who grew up at the right time. Right in the middle of my childhood arrived the first computer (at home). A big grey box, (not so sexy – compared to my fancy Mac Book), with a very round, big mouse. All this thing was called Macintosh. I was fascinated by the rainbow Apple logo.
I liked it. I’m a kid and this is all new for me. Out of my television and cartoons – already saw Lion Kings thousand times! I grow up with the first computer and the Internet is popping (democratically) when I’m around 12. I’m not going to lie. With time, it’s getting really addictive. It’s kind of my way out of the insatisfaction of life – by this I mean teenage time.
 
The more I grew up. The more it got worst. I mean, first it was simple text on the vintage Nokia 3910. Then it was snake game on that same phone. Then it started to be with colours! So bad quality pictures came out. And now, we are close to be able to make coffee with our phone (very close, I’m pretty sure). Compared to many from my generation and other new coming generations, I feel there is a hint.
I’m a highly sensitive kind of person and I attach a lot of importance to my social interactions. I have never been good with communication on a phone. I need face to face interactions. The new area we are in is very intimidating to me. The more I’m looking at a new episode of Black Mirror, the more I’m getting scared by all of this new tech, called revolution, or innovation but could be also called for massive destruction of our consciousness.
 
If we look close enough, we didn’t had enough time (yet) to realise the true impact of tech in our daily lives and our physical brain (in a more scientific way). 16 years is not a lot.
 
Single note: The very first computer was born a long time ago (1822). But the « universal » access to computers (for our families and homes) is quite recent: Home computers were a class of microcomputers entering the market in 1977, and becoming common during the 1980s. At the time, it was closer to a typewriter. Perfect for « single tasks ». Internet was very limited compared to nowadays. Slow and Big enough for not being yet introduced in our intimate life. 🙂 [Source]
Should I remind you that cigarette at the very beginning was considered as healthy? No, I’m not saying tech is cigarette. It’s completely differentLook cigarette is creating a whole in your throats. Tech is creating a whole in your head. Just kidding !
 
But when I check the recent studies made on our new habits, called multitasking and his bad effects in our lives, I’m getting a little bit (lot) worried. Don’t you?
 
Check this out :
  • A study from the University of Sussex (UK) ran MRI scans on the brains of individuals who spent time on multiple devices at once (texting while watching TV, for example). The MRI scans showed that subjects who multitasked more often had less brain density in the anterior cingulate cortex. That’s the area responsible for empathy and emotional control.

  • A study at the University Of London showed that subjects who multitasked while performing cognitive tasks experienced significant IQ drops. In fact, the IQ drops were similar to what you see in individuals who skip a night of sleep or who smoke marijuana. Now that’s a terrifying thought[Source]
 
#Scary right?
One big piece of advice : Be wise using it.

Think more than twice before checking your phone for the 10th time of the day. Before checking it ask yourself this question:

Why am I doing that? Is it conscious or is it a simple repetitive impulsive twitch habit?

Don’t prioritise your phone over your friends, family, wife, husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, cat or dog... Be the one in control of each moment of your life.
One of the many excuse I got : *It’s urgent.*
  • Are you the President of the United States? No. (except: Obama if you’re reading this, cheers :))
  • Have we been surviving without a smartphone under our eyes all the time? Yes we did survived. Hurrah everyone !
  • Are you very busy and not able being in the present moment? Then like many people you don’t know how to manage your time wisely.
We all have 24 hours a day. Obama have 24 hours a day, Steve Jobs had 24 hours a day, even François Hollande have 24 hours a day (no way?), and you have 24 hours a day (big news)!
If you check at the most successful people, in business, they know their priorities.
The key is : prioritising. Tim Ferris explained it very wisely in his book “4 hours week” (highly recommended).
You can’t be productive working on your smartphone while eating, looking at television and socialising (I’m not kidding). This is not (only) my point of view, this is science.
For instance, look at this (from Forbes 2014) : « Research conducted at Stanford University found that multitasking is less productive than doing a single thing at a time. The researchers also found that people who are regularly bombarded with several streams of electronic information cannot pay attention, recall information, or switch from one job to another as well as those who complete one task at a time ». [Source]
 
Neuroscientists, the kind of people you want to listen since THIS IS LITERALLY THEIR FIELD OF SPECIALISATION (thanks guys for being here checking over our brains during this fast transforming period, time of history), said:
  • “That switching comes with a biological cost that ends up making us feel tired much more quickly than if we sustain attention on one thing”, says Daniel Levitin, professor of behavioral neuroscience at McGill University. “People eat more, they take more caffeine. Often what you really need in that moment isn’t caffeine, but just a break. If you aren’t taking regular breaks every couple of hours, your brain won’t benefit from that extra cup of coffee.”

  • Gloria Mark, professor in the department of informatics at the University of California, Irvine, says that when people are interrupted, it typically takes 23 minutes and 15 seconds to return to their work, and most people will do two intervening tasks before going back to their original project. This switching leads to a build up of stress, she says, and so little wonder people who have high rates of neuroticism, impulsivity, and are susceptible to stress tend to switch tasks more than others. [Source]
I don’t hide the fact that like many people, I did, was addicted. I’m looking for progress not perfection. My progress is being in the present moment. Bring my focus to each moment, one task at a time. Prioritise each of my task of the day. When around people, not being reachable because everybody deserve my full attention. And every part of my world as well.
 
#How do I get away from this addictive and bad habits ?
  • Make your smartphone and screen as something available in a determined laps of time. For example, stop (put on flight mode) your phone from 7 or 8 p.m. And start it only one or two hours after waking up. Your phone can be [on] from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. This seems quite fair. A least, you have twelve hours without “being technologically connected”, to your smartphone and this is a huge step!

  • Like me [switch off] notifications. Except phone calls. If it’s really really urgent, and deserve to call or get your attention, people will call. Overwise, it’s not so important and it can wait your next “time to check up your phone”.

  • When you are on a specific task requesting your full attention, a meeting, or even a break (relax time is equally important to work), try to put your phone on flight mode. Remember, a simple alert on your phone put you out of your present moment, [work mode] or [relax mode]. It will take around 20 minutes to go back effectively on your previous task, at hand.

  • Try to check the phone no more than three times a day. Every 3 hours if you work in a time laps of 3 hours at a time. This could be really great.

  • Time checking your email? Yes there is a time for that (now). Checking your email two – three times a day is enough. Believe me…

#SWEET PIECE OF ADVICE:
Don’t break the flow. Follow your own flow of inspiration.
By the way, it’s all in your head so no need for smartphone, laptop, tablet or Internet! Life can be so easy & magic 🙂
 
With love,
C.
 
P.S. Nonetheless, there are interesting solutions available out there. One of them, is Freedom. It helps me to get back the precious value of time while being in the present moment…
 
Access to Freedom HERE >>> http://bit.ly/2gOamEu

Make Good Art

Make Good Art

Today, I want to share about an artist. A true source of inspiration, at least for me. Neil Gaiman is a British author of novels, comic books and much more. He wrote Coraline, a dark fantasy children’s novel. But also, Sandman, a comic book and Doctor Who, a science-fiction series (available on Netflix), as a scenarist. 

Here I want to share his advice and speech given at The University of The Arts.

The subject of this speech – three little words, posted on my desk :

MAKE GOOD ART

The following extracts are my favorite quotes – there are precious source of wisdom.

Neil is someone we could called ordinary. Nonetheless, his background is quite an exception, since he wanted to escape school, and he didn’t really got any fancy diploma. Somehow an inspiring example for anyone convinced that creating or doing something involve an autorisation or some assigned authority.

“I never really expected to find myself giving advice to people graduating from an establishment of higher education. I never graduated from any such establishment. I never even started at one. I escaped from school as soon as I could…”

“I got out into the world, I wrote, and I became a better writer the more I wrote, and I wrote some more, and nobody ever seemed to mind that I was making it up as I went along, they just read what I wrote and they paid for it, or they didn’t…”

He got this image of himself as a writer from the very beginning. Instead of making a career plan, he decided to make a list of all the things he wished to do and realise in the course of his life.

“Looking back, I’ve had a remarkable ride. I’m not sure I can call it a career, because a career implies that I had some kind of career plan, and I never did. The nearest thing I had was a list I made when I was 15 of everything I wanted to do: to write an adult novel, a children’s book, a comic, a movie, record an audiobook, write an episode of Doctor Who… and so on. I didn’t have a career. I just did the next thing on the list.”

This is how he start his speech: giving advices he got from his experiences as an artist and writer. With tough beginnings, he has been going over the rules of the game, which are somehow set for us.

His first advice is the following :

“When you start out on a career in the arts you have no idea what you are doing.”

“If you don’t know it’s impossible it’s easier to do. And because nobody’s done it before, they haven’t made up rules to stop anyone doing that again, yet.”

Advice number 2, in which he shares the power of visualisation. In being willing to realise our own and true purpose…

“If you have an idea of what you want to make, what you were put here to do, then just go and do that.”

“Something that worked for me was imagining that where I wanted to be – an author, primarily of fiction, making good books, making good comics and supporting myself through my words – was a mountain. A distant mountain. My goal.”

« And I knew that as long as I kept walking towards the mountain I would be all right. »

“I learned to write by writing. I tended to do anything as long as it felt like an adventure, and to stop when it felt like work, which meant that life did not feel like work.”

Advice number 3 :

“When you start off, you have to deal with the problems of failure.You need to be thick-skinned, to learn that not every project will survive. A freelance life, a life in the arts, is sometimes like putting messages in bottles, on a desert island, and hoping that someone will find one of your bottles and open it and read it.”

Advice number 4 :

I hope you’ll make mistakes. If you’re making mistakes, it means you’re out there doing something. And the mistakes in themselves can be useful…”

“Make good art. I’m serious. Husband runs off with a politician? Make good art. Leg crushed and then eaten by mutated boa constrictor? Make good art. IRS on your trail? Make good art. Cat exploded? Make good art. Somebody on the Internet thinks what you do is stupid or evil or it’s all been done before? Make good art. Probably things will work out somehow, and eventually time will take the sting away, but that doesn’t matter. Do what only you do best. Make good art.”

Advice number 5 :

“Do the stuff that only you can do.”

“Most of us only find our own voices after we’ve sounded like a lot of other people. But the one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.”

Advice number 6 :

“People get hired because, somehow, they get hired. In my case I did something which these days would be easy to check, and would get me into trouble, and when I started out, in those pre-internet days, seemed like a sensible career strategy: when I was asked by editors who I’d worked for, I lied. I listed a handful of magazines that sounded likely, and I sounded confident, and I got jobs. I then made it a point of honour to have written something for each of the magazines I’d listed to get that first job, so that I hadn’t actually lied, I’d just been chronologically challenged… You get work however you get work.”

Here is the bigger piece of advice, he got, but failed to follow.

Given my the prolific Stephen King :

“This is really great. You should enjoy it.”

“And I didn’t. Best advice I got that I ignored. Instead I worried about it. I worried about the next deadline, the next idea, the next story.”

“That was the hardest lesson for me, I think: to let go and enjoy the ride, because the ride takes you to some remarkable and unexpected places.”

This speech gives us the motivation to go forward and go into action. As simple as it may seems, by a single act considered as courageous : create something.

I think this lesson is not limited to art. I consider it as a true life lesson. We are all invited to apply it in our respective lives and at our pace.

“So be wise, because the world needs more wisdom, and if you cannot be wise, pretend to be someone who is wise, and then just behave like they would.

And now go, and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules…”

Every human being who succeed in life, business, art, or what so ever, once, got over the rules. You feel much more expansive when you don’t impose yourself any rule. For once, nothing seems impossible and everything is happening for you, and not to you.

Be Wise and Break those Rules. 

The official video :

Sources :

– The book edited by Neil Gaiman, “Make Good Art” – here on Amazon.

University Website, with the video and transcription of this speech. (available here)

EnJoy

EnJoy
Dear all,
 
This week is very special.
Big wave of Coming Back from Summer Holidays.
 
I hope everyone enjoyed long free time over the sea with your relatives, (friends or family), or in the sweet comfort of your home. Or maybe, you plan to go on vacation in the coming days, weeks or months…
 
This summer, while working on Solybox, I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts. I’m a huge fan of podcast. In fact, I might be called addicted since I’m listening to them more than often.
 
One I especially like is called Magic Lessons. If you already know about Elizabeth Gilbert you might have heard about her last book, titled Big Magic. A must read I recommend to anyone looking to crack his own creativity sparkle. While listening to the first podcast of the season, I found myself writing notes and drawing … I wanted to share it here.
 
The episode 201 of Magic Lessons podcast, season 2 is about this great quote of the show:
« you just don’t have a calling, you have a screaming. »
 
I’m a huge huge fan of that. I mean, this is so true. In entrepreneurship especially. It’s not about the idea you have, it’s also about the desires behind this idea. The Why ? as Simon Sinek said in his Ted Talk.
 
I really enjoyed this episode.
With love,
C. 
 

About My Story

About My Story
I decided to share more about my experience here, regarding my past experiences as an expat’. For those who don’t know (yet), I’m a French citizen and I’m living abroad since the age of twelve. In 2000, my family and I moved out, not so far from France. In Belgium, to be more precise. I was quite young so I didn’t lived it well at the time. But now, with distance, I can say how grateful I am for being moving abroad.
 
Luckily, it didn’t stopped there. In fact, three years after our « very first » moving out of France, we moved to Czech Republic, in 2004.
 
After high school, I follow those steps as a young adult living in Finland and Canada. Somehow I decided to return to Prague two years go. Simply because, as a young entrepreneur the start is not always easy. In 2014, I had to go back to my parents in Paris suburbs. I loved it but even with average income, and because of the cost of living in Paris, it was really not worth it. So, moving to Prague was the solution for me to make Solybox happen without having to worry so much about the big question at the end of each month : how am I going to pay the bills?
 
In fact, Prague is quite a good destination for entrepreneurs. Finding a part-time or full-time job there, is really easy. In a week I found something to do in order to pay the bills. I didn’t had to worry about anything else. The city is « human-scale ». If you speak good English, you can communicate with ease. Going out in evenings is not an option anymore. Since everything is really at a reasonable price. Finally, as a Vegan or Vegetarian, alternative solutions and Prague as an international destination is very open. This, without sacrificing your wallet.
 
The life lesson I got very early, is « no matter what you want to do, do not limit yourself geographically ». For sure, being in our comfort zone is something we are aiming at, nowadays. This is what we have been taught to do. Nonetheless, I believe marvelous things can happen in our life, if we decide to make a step forward, out of our comfort zone, into Adventure and New Discoveries.
 
May you find inspiration…
With love,
C.

Ema Mamisu Atelier discoveries !

Ema Mamisu Atelier discoveries !

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video available here

The Artist Atelier is a good place to start with. I always enjoy visiting new atelier. I’m curious about every aspect of it. This is where you get inspired by new techniques and rituals

I think it’s the perfect place to discover the true value and method of an artist. The shop and a close look at the products, it’s not enough for me.

Here, let’s make a tour of Ema Mamisu Atelier from the Shop to the back side of the workplace!

Boutique Solybox, where you can find all Ema Mamisu creations.

Ceramic blue plate

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Interview with Ema Mamisu

Interview with Ema Mamisu

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video available here.

Camille : Can you please present yourself ?

Bára (Ema Mamisu) : I am from Prague, I founded this company in 2013, alone. After one year Petra Maskova joined me. She is right now on maternity leave. So I’m alone in the business for now. Sometimes some assistants come help me, when needed.

Camille : What is the meaning of your brand ?

Bára (Ema Mamisu) : We want to make beautiful and useful products. The most important thing is « good functioning » and « good to use ». Things need to be solid in order to last long, at the same time they are unique and interesting, so when people hold them in their hands their heart is pounding with joy, when using it.

Camille : What are your main values at Ema Mamisu ?

Bára (Ema Mamisu) : At first place, it’s the function of the product. When I create something it must be functional to the maximum. Sometimes I add an esthetic value but it’s really important to be mainly functional.

Camille : Do you have rituals during the process of creation ?

Bára (Ema Mamisu) : First I need to clean my working area before I start to work. I like it when it’s clean and I like to listen to audiobook during the process of creation. I play audiobook and I began. Which genre ? Like detective most of the time. Sometimes when I’m listening to them the dark atmosphere of the genre is taking place around me. I compensate it, with colours of dots, and other tenderness. I remember one moment, I was listening to a dark and uncomfortable book while painting small little dots on the cups. Which were also very small. They were very cute afterwards ! It was the biggest contrast in what was going on. I like to listen to Maigret. I know him a lot. So only from time to time. Plus, I like new detective stories coming out, mainly Scandinavian. Yes also Jo Nesbo but not as much !

Camille : Where do you find your inspiration ?

Bára (Ema Mamisu) : Definitely not from detective audiobooks. Much more from everything around me. When I see some interesting things, even from another specialization. I’m going through different magazines, about Home or Design. There I collect inspiration in shapes and decoration. Sometimes in the nature as well but nature is not good inspiration for practical products. But when I create things, in oven working with wood, yes. I remember once I wanted to create a vase that look like a wasp nest. Colours, structure and shape included. I haven’t been able to realise it yet !

Camille : When did you started Ema Mamisu ?

Bára (Ema Mamisu) : It was around 2012. My job at the time didn’t worked well for me. Intern relationships included and the impulse was that I was fired… So I realized now it’s time to start and stop finding excuses, on why I can’t.

Camille : What is the authenticity of your products ?

Bára (Ema Mamisu) : Our authenticity is in the preparation of our materials. We make it ourselves. Not that we mix the glaze as someone else, but we mix it on our own way and from there we mix everything we need plus we are mixing other things than just glaze ! That’s what I think is making us unique. In ceramic there is infinite spectrum of colours that you can make, depending on which glaze you may use. Each glaze look different on various materials. So it’s in combining glaze with materials it can make you special because nobody else knows the ingredients. We can keep our originality. Plus, we are doing the procedures. Unless you put it into the mold you can’t copy it. Huge big part of the products is handmade work. For example, the finger-pressed bowl, which I offer on Solybox (here)… this bowl I press it with my fingers which is my specific shape. Since everybody has a different shape. Finger pressing by another person look different. Then there is quite a long process of creation. And it’s not easy to discover how to make it…

Camille : What is your favorite part of the creation process ?

Bára (Ema Mamisu) : Definitely inventing the product in my head when I got the idea and I’m thinking on how to compile it. Then, I love the part when I shape it on the wheel that’s quick procedure, nothing that much creative. But then comes the second stage when the product becomes dry and I need to finalize it adding details and finalize the shape ! That’s the moment when I’m finally creating. Of course, when I’m opening the oven and it’s done perfectly, I see the final result. That’s the cherry on top of the cake.

Camille : Do you have favorite artists ?

Bára (Ema Mamisu) : form international artist Lucie Rie that dedicated her life to ceramic from her youth ’till her death with a very interesting style and from Czech artist which I know, Martin Hanus who’s autodidact, he works in South Bohemia. He uses wood-fired oven. His attitude to life and ceramic is very sympathic. So everytime when I’m talking to him, he’s very inspirational. I think many products we create, exist thanks to him because I was at his workshop. plus Martin Hadrava who works with him. He is a source of technology somehow. 

Camille : How was the beginnings ?

Bára (Ema Mamisu) : At the beginning I was working from home. I was going to workshop to « burn » the products. But you can’t do it for a long period of time because ceramic creates a lot of dust and dirt so we were looking for a place. We set up a budget and we wanted some size and my demand was to have the place in Létna because I live here. So I have it close to work. We were searching for something and we found with this amazing big window. It was clear since we wanted a shop in here.

The Boutique Solybox with all Ema Mamisu creations, is here.

One of her latest creation : Ceramic plate, blue is the new black

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A Jewellery Workshop with Czech artist, Tereza Cermakova

A Jewellery Workshop with Czech artist, Tereza Cermakova

Workshop

On Saturday May 27th, I got the chance to participate to one of the first workshops organised by Tereza Cermakova.

First of all, let me introduce you the artist. Tereza is a unique and authentic jewellery designer. Within the framework of Solybox, I got the chance to meet her. It has been a true breakthrough. She truly represent values I wish to spread on this platform. Values on sharing, creativity and meaning. Each of her products have a endearing and original story

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A warm welcome in one of the most enjoyable area of Prague, Vršovice. This district is green, flowery, on the outskirts of down town. His buildings and houses are different from each other by colours and shapes of their facade, which draw the eye on every detail. You enter at number 38 of Ruska street (Russian), the interior of the building is blue, which reminds me Brittany and her sea that I miss so much…

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It’s with open arms that Tereza welcome you in her apartment, which is as well, her atelier. This is the place where she works every day on her new creations. We are five participants and introduce ourselves to each of us, around a drink or a cup of coffee. First improvised visit of the Atelier, enough time to admire jewellery and sketchs.

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After making the introductions, each of us take a sit at his own post ! Which means at his own atelier since we all have the opportunity to use same materials and tools like true professionalsHere the magic happen: we are employing tools usually used by full time artists !

Once we got settled, Tereza introduce us techniques. She shows us models, examples and some parts with littlScreen Shot 2017-04-28 at 11.17.28e bit more technique (which remain simple, don’t worry) : the material ! And so, the material doesn’t resume itself to three little tools doing everything. There are more than fifteen on the table, which show a huge range of variety you have access to ! Tereza shows us each tool, with his utility and how to use it in the right way. It’s very intuitive and simple

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The complex part (at least for me) was the very beginning, starting to practice. Once explanations done, Tereza is inviting us to draw a first sketch of our futur creation. Slight digression on that subject: before the workshop, she send you pictures in order to boost your imagination right the day before ! When you receive those pictures, you can think about the infinite possibilities of your futur piece of jewellery.

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Once you take the « artist sit« , things are getting challenging. I decided to start with a little wax already used in order to test each of the tools previously displayed. Then, I arrive at the esthetic part. I wanted a more or less simple ring. I’m very used to wear more than one ring at a time. So, I needed something quite discreet.

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Here is a video in order to show you the process of creation in high speed:

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In the meanwhile, Tereza remains available foScreen Shot 2017-04-28 at 11.20.21r each of us. She helps us as a True Teacher. The art of advising and guiding us without doing the job instead of us ! This is that part that I particularly appreciate. Her singular way to adapt herself to our needs, ideas, in giving us much more, thanks to her experience and talent. Once our stomachs start to gurgle, the lunch break start and Tereza invite us at the table. In French it means: “à table” !

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With haste we get together around a convivial table embellished with fresh salad and hot meal (typically Italian). My question asked to everyone : How did you met Tereza? Nothing more interesting than listening stories.

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Right after came my favorite moment : Dessert ! Not just any… An homemade dessert prepared by Tereza hScreen Shot 2017-04-28 at 11.22.14erself (as everything else). A cheesecake flavoured with lemon and strawberry. What a delight. Along with a cup of coffee… we can’t imagine betterAfter this sweet & salty « lunch break » all together, we are invited to get back to work in the Atelier. This break was perfect amount of time to take distance with the work previously done in the morning. I saw it with all new perspective.

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Hours are going by without really realizing it. It’s quite surprising. You discover little by little the results, all around the table. It’s full of joy and very inspiring atmosphere.

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The creation process can seems difficult at first but it’s worth it. So join one of the futur workshops organised by Tereza Cermakova. For subscription, contact her directly on her email at terezacermakova@gmail.com. I believe it’s the perfect gift for your loved one… Tereza is my first partner Artist on Solybox. Her products are already available. To access her Solybox Shop, follow this link here. In order to get in touch about futur artists and products on this platform, you just have to subscribe, in simply giving your Beautiful Name and Sweet email Address. Doing that, you will receive exclusivities by email, plus all updates and novelty available on Solybox only 🙂 Thus, you can experiment true Ethical and Fair Shopping Experience. Enjoy  !

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In the framework of Solybox official launch, we count on you for your feedbacks and sharing. We will be very grateful if you can spread the word sharing this article with numerous of your friends and relatives via email or social networks !

See you soon and I hope to have you part of our subscribers ! 

I will see you in your mailbox… 

With love,
C.

​About Painful Separation

About Tereza Cermakova
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