Today we talk with
— You are a person which constantly creates beauty around you. How did you start your career?
— My story began in my childhood: the love of drawing, self-expression using lines, color, composition. I need to create, and now it is my vital need. While studying at the university the love of drawing united with the love for the word and literary images. Soon my bags in the technique of wet felting appeared — in fact they are art objects.
— Now you are engaged in leather products and different kinds of textiles. How do these changes of epochs in the work of an artisan go?
— My felt waits for my children to grow up. Wool does not tolerate haste and requires absolute attention. And the story of textiles and leather — this is a collective business in which 90% of the duties are taken by my husband.
— Most of the models of your bags have a touching name "gulyeni". How did you stop on these styles, how did you choose the perfect size?
— The name "gulyeni" came to me by accident. I love unusual words, once I called my handbags like that in my blog, the word caught on. We were looking for a technically comfortable and soft by the mood shape of a handbag-girlfriend, which would be responsive to textile materials. And we found it!
— Your spouse supports you in your work, you call the "Maria Solovey" brand a family business. How do you split your roles? Can we call it co-creation?
— Sure you can! At the moment my husband Konstantine is the Foundation of our business. He took full responsibility for organizational aspects, materials, assistants, the technical side of the question, and my job is to deal directly with creativity, and I like it. Surprisingly, during the four years of our work together he has shown himself not only as a organizer but also as a designer. This is partly because of his genes — his grandfather made leather shoes.
— Not so long ago you have started to make a line of natural clothing that blends with your bags. Tell us what inspired you to expand production? — The clothing line sounds too intense. They are attempts to sew something free, original, but we haven't found our way yet. Ideally, we plan to fully dress our customers: clothes, shoes, bag. If our worlds and tastes intersect, why not?
— You often wear things from your collections, do you create something unique and special for yourself and your family?
— Yes, there are things created solely for myself, for my children. People often ask to repeat them, but I don't want to replicate them. They fulfill my desire of pure creativity, they are not for sale.
— You are the person who knows how to live in your rhythm. How do you manage to combine internal deliberation with the need to make the works in the stipulated time? — At some point I realized that without delegation I couldn't do this and I made this step. And I still have resources for new projects and family.
— You taught master classes on felt items. Please tell us about your teaching experience.
— Teaching is a serious job that requires not only knowledge and skills, but also a specific psyche constitution. Despite good earnings and meeting interesting people, I have always given away more physical and mental energy. At the moment I have something to tell about printed patterns and lino print, but I will likely continue teaching in the form of online courses.
— Buyers often say that products by "Maria Solovey" are sometimes the only opportunity to come into contact with something natural and "real" during a long day in the city. Are you able to find time to communicate with nature, what is the best holiday for you?
— I continually interact with nature. We live on earth, in our own home. To walk barefoot, to grow plants, to collect herbs — this is my need. And the best rest is in mountains, on wild beaches, in forests.
— Your younger daughter is so little, but you have enough time and energy to launch new models and collections. What would you like to recommend creative working moms who want to do everything?
— I would advise to leave work and creativity, if possible. Focus on children, because there is no greater creation. And calm down about multi-tasking and efficiency. It's not what you need. Being a mom is awesome, and that is pretty enough. This is a great, necessary and pleasant job. In my case, work is minimized, I feel that my children need me more.
— Your products harmoniously combine elegant notes of retro, fabulous antiquity and modern fashion trends. What era is the closest to you, in what epoch would you like to live?
— I think it is very modern and timely to find something special in the flow of monotony. Something which has a little memory, a little history. Vintage has always been for me a sort of reassurance — fashion is cyclical, our product can be at the peak not once ot twice. And we can only take care of the quality factor to be able to transfer the product by succession.
— You called literature your source of inspiration. Please name three books that have made on you the strongest impression.
— It's impossible, I can name three favorite formations: the Russian, Latin American and Japanese literature. There are many books inside, and each of them is impressive.
— You wrote that cooking for you is the best way to express your feelings to loved ones. What dishes do you make most often, what does you family love more?
— Our kitchen is always funny: my husband likes richer and more spicy food and I love vegetables and fruits. We agree on pies — a Tsvetaeva pie, a Browny pie, a carrot pie. Everybody love them!
— Your children grow in an atmosphere of beauty and inspiration. Do you try to specifically develop their creativity or your personal example and the surrounding space are enough?
— We do not do anything on purpose, my husband and I are fans of self-organization and self-education. Children are always with us, we do not plan kindergartens and schools. They are quite different, they have their own interests — the eldest son, for example, loves drawing much less than a LEGO constructor, although he draws very cool. We just try to create a calm, warm atmosphere in the family and to be there when needed. I like the formula of "peace-game-development".
— What would you advise to those who want to engage in professional handmade and to be a demanded master? What qualities do you need to have, to develop in yourself?
— First of all, I suggest and wish to find a business, to listen to ourselves so that the desire to be someone reborns in a desire to do something. Then you don't think about status or response, you just do it, learn, and demand will not be forthcoming. I am familiar with the story when a business comes from desire to do something, when you don't need extra motivation. In our case it is so: sometimes our job is ahead of us, we are not ready for such growth, and we have to think in process and grow after it. I think this is the natural state of things. I suggest to learn, constantly learn from the professionals. Find those who are your authority and learn. I have plans for happy years of study, when the children grow up. I am looking forward to that!