When I started this blog, what, a hundred years ago?, Iuliana was one of the few fashion bloggers in Romania. And by fashion blogger, I mean the 2010 version of the term and not the 2016 version. She lived on the other side of the country, and I loved looking at her outfits. She also had an online shop (she still has it today), which was another thing we had in common. Some years later, she moved to my city, and we finally met in real life. And while she is no longer a blogger, her fashion designs have evolved wonderfully. Her style is minimalist with a twist, her pieces are unique or limited edition, and sewn by her in a small studio. I’m very happy to share our chat with you today – don’t forget to check out ready to wear pieces on Etsy and her FW16 collection here!
Kittenhood: You’ve started your love affair with sewing from a young age. Can you tell us more about how it all happened?
Iuliana Pislaru: I’m not sure how it happened, I guess a series of small events turned my attention to sewing. I was always the “repair-lady” back at my parents home… My grandmother taught me different sewing techniques one summer, I always altered my clothing out of boredom or, sometimes, out of necessity. Back in high school, I started getting more and more interested. I then attended a fashion design course in my hometown, bought a sewing machine, and started experimenting.
K: What does a work day look like for you?
I: Well, almost everybody I know thinks that working from home means doing nothing all day, but I’m the most demanding employer I’ve ever had! I sometimes work as much as 10 to 12 hours a day, but I love it! I usually wake up at 6:30 am, my husband makes breakfast as I get ready to go to the gym. After I come home from the gym, I spend around 2 hours online, dealing with emails, orders, planning what I have to do for the rest of the day, and of course browsing Pinterest a little bit. When all that is done, I start sewing, and I only finish when all the tasks are done. Of course, I’m not as strict as it sounds, I take several breaks during the day for other activities (eating, reading, petting my cats, and my favorite, taking a nap).
K: What would you name as your number one source of inspiration?
I: Fabrics, I love printed fabrics, and when I go shopping for fabrics I like to imagine all the possibilities for using them.
K: How do you beat creative block?
I: I’m not sure if I have creative block… I do happen to really not feel in the mood to sew, but then I start drawing my ideas on paper instead of sewing them, so I’m kind of creating all the time. When I don’t feel like drawing either, I nap or watch a movie, read a book, go for a walk, anything that relaxes me and takes my mind off sewing.
K: Do you make your own clothes? Do you wear a lot of handmade stuff?
I: Yes, I do. I used to make a lot of clothes for myself before I started this small business, but now I don’t have that much time. I love wearing my own clothes, it gives me a lot of confidence. I do wear handmade stuff, I think when you make handmade products, you appreciate the love and effort that is put into every piece even more.
“I feel happier and prouder when I wear handmade stuff!”
K: If you could wear one thing for the rest of your life, what would that be?
I: Pajamas! I know, not very glamorous, but I like comfortable clothing.
K: If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, who would you choose?
I: My husband. I already do that all the time and never get bored.
K: What’s your favorite thing about being a small business owner?
I: The fact that I’m doing what I love all day and that I can plan my time however I want to.
K: Do you have any tips for someone just starting out in this business?
I: To be true to themselves and to be confident in their ideas. To keep making what they love and are good at, and to be prepared to work a lot for their business. Then everything will work out!
K: You’re the proud owner of two cats. Can you tell us their story?
I: We both love cats but for a while, we stayed in a rented apartment and we were not allowed to have pets. We’ve had our own apartment for two years now, and as soon as we moved in, we started looking for a cat. One day, my husband phones me and tells me he’s coming home with a surprise. I had no idea he was bringing me two small furballs in a shoebox! They were so adorable and so small, I was afraid to touch them. They are brother and sister, and are as cute now as they were when I first saw them!
Photos c/o Iuliana Pislaru