Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Celina. I live in Poland, in the beautiful city of Krakow, which in the Middle Ages and Renaissance times used to be the capital of our country and the seat of Polish kings. Living in a place like this is a unique experience; every day, you get a chance to see and feel the beauty of art and architecture. Passing buildings that are more than 900 years old on your daily routes lets you directly experience history and the passing of time.
In Krakow, I studied Film and Media for five years. After graduating, I realised that I did not want to be a film critic after all and I left for London, where I lived for one year. During that year, I worked in a fashion studio, milliner’s studio, and I also did some work backstage of London Fashion Week. These experiences brought me to start designing, which was always my serious passion.
I returned to Poland and in 2006 and started my own label. Although “Celapiu” contains part of my own name, it’s actually a word I invented. Looking back, I think it was a kind of charm or battle cry for me at that time, to gain more courage at the threshold of my own adult life as an independent designer.
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
Each week, I go to the cinema and I try to see all of the major American, European and Asian movies. I also try to read as much as possible. I love heated conversations with my friends, from art, through politics, to global economy. And I enjoy cycling! This is how I move around the city and last summer, my fiance and I cycled 460 kilometres along the Polish coastline. We rode along a route connecting all the places we spent holidays as children, long, long before we met.
What first made you want to become an artist?
Designing and constructing objects has been my favourite pastime since I can remember. As a six-year-old, I became fascinated by the concept of perpetuum mobile. When I was eight, I made my first puppets and every few years, I’d revisit the craft again, testing new materials such as wood, clay or fabric.
When I was 11, I pestered my father to buy me a vice and nails at an ironmonger shop. I have always preferred to get supplies and make something than buy something already made. I always get enormous, almost physical pleasure the moment I see a raw resource and tools to create something.
Please describe your creative process.
When I get an idea, I first draw it out, so my workshop is always full of paper with scribbles all over it. I also scribble on my diary pages, bills, tissues and even cinema tickets; you never know where the next fit of ingenious ideas will find you.
The best ideas enter the sample stage, where I experiment with technique and material; depending on the basis of the design, I can create as many as five different samples. When I am happy with the sample, the model becomes part of a collection. I try to create a new collection for each season and when it’s ready, I choose the idea for the photo shoot, look for a model and take photos.
What handmade possession do you most cherish?
What’s surprising is although I design and create objects, I do not cherish things. What I enjoy and cherish are the meals I prepare together with my love.
Name your top five books, movies, musicians, and websites besides Etsy.
What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy?
The most important thing that makes your work interesting is your original design, so don’t waste your time copying others.
What are your favorite features on Etsy? What new features would you like to see?
Etsy is an incredibly effective tool/website/community that helps you reach new customers from around the world and this is definitely what I like about it the most. On top of this, it is very user-friendly and has a very clean layout that doesn’t distract customers from what they came here for — handcrafted creations made with passion by independent designers. I love to read the Featured Seller interviews and learn so many different life stories behind the designs. Knowing that there are people like myself, passionate about creating objects, all around the world, is very comforting and uplifting. The world can’t be such a bad place with so many crafters!
A feature that I would find very useful is drop-down menus in “Currently for Sale” section, especially the one concerning an item’s status. I think it would work great as separate information, so that you would be able to choose from “ready to ship,” “made to order in 7 days,” etc. as opposed to writing it in the item’s description. I would also love to have my customers automatically notified by convo about their order being shipped once I tick the box in the “Orders” section; a place to type in the tracking number for this sort of notification would also be great.
How do you promote your work?
I don’t have time for this! I am usually so busy making orders or designing a new collection. Recently, I launched a Facebook fan page and becoming a fan is the best way to keep up-to-date with what’s going on with Celapiu, press features, lookbooks, discounts, etc.
In ten years, where would you like to be?
I would like to live a healthy, happy and balanced life with my family. We would travel a lot and own a small house. In this small house, I would like to have a big studio and just keep on creating.