There's nothing more inspiring than the opportunity to follow your dreams, which is exactly why I am happy to introduce to you this young European designer with some very realistic goals and awesomely creative ideas. She's young and eager, but realistic enough to know exactly where she's headed. Read all about this fresh new face on the blogosphere to get inspired to do great things! She's got some really great advice for creative types.
Hey Karolina! I'm so glad to have found you. Tell me a little bit about yourself...
To begin I would like to thank you for your time to make this interview with me. I'm very thankful and will answer all of the questions with pleasure. My name is Karolina and I'm originally from Poland. I currently live in UK since 2013, where I came to study Fashion Design at University of Salford. Outside of studying, I work as a Handbag Designer in company based in Manchester for almost two years now. In my spare time I enjoy making clothes for my blog, tintofmint.com. The aim of my Fashion Blog is to show people garments that I’ve made by myself. It's a kind of portfolio, if you will. I want to inspire people to do something creative and think outside of the box.
Don’t be just a blogger that buys everything from shops. Do something else, something unusual.
How did you come up with the name for your brand/blog?
The name of my website “tintofmint.com” was inspired by the first garment that I made a few years ago for my previous blog. It was a tutorial for how to make smaller sweater in mint color. It was such a simple sewing tutorial, but the response inspired me to post more and more of my own DIY projects, leading me to rebrand my online presence to what it is now. It's a great feeling to be able to look back and see how much progress I've made since then, from remaking clothes to sewing new garments straight from my imagination. The name of my brand “caroline” comes from my name Karolina, but in English. This name will appear on labels on clothes that I've made. I want people to easily remember my names of blog and brand.
When did you know you wanted to work in the fashion industry?
To be honest, it wasn't until the last minute that I realized what I want to study. Even back in my high school days, I preferred to remake some clothes than to do homework, but never realized it's what I wanted to do. Thanks to my friend that helped me with the process of application for studies, I'm where I am today... and I couldn't be happier.
When I first started studying Fashion Design I wasn't too excited about it, but within a few weeks I discovered that studying fashion is more like a pleasure than a burden. That's when I finally felt like I chose the right path. When it comes to fashion, I have lot of different interests and still haven't decided which particular area of fashion I want to work in. Nowadays I spend a lot of time researching fashion trends at work, Uni, home. I'm excited and proud to be able to do all of these things, especially coming from fairly humble beginnings.
What’s it like being Polish in a British school?
Because English is my second language and it's really the first time that I'm abroad for studies, I have to say that it wasn’t all that easy getting started. Although the language barrier was a difficult hurtle, my passion for the subject kept me going until now. My love for fashion inspires me to spend extra time learning.
I'm an ambitious person and a hard worker, as anyone who wishes to success in this industry needs to be. I view my studies here as an opportunity and a challenge, so spending nights at my books and sewing machine are definitely going to pay off in the future.
Britain is the nicest country that I've been to and at Uni I can always count on help of my teachers. Also the fiends I've met in these last two years have made my time at Uni much easier and more fun.
Can you tell us a little more about your design process?
Most of the time, design comes to me as an impulse from an ever changing idea. I prefer to make something first and then create drawings in my notebook with all the themes/sketches, etc.
Inspiration comes from everywhere; something I saw on the street, fabric I found in craft shop, whatever. I often find myself ready to create my next masterpiece at odd hours in the night. You can find at my sewing machine well past 2am, even if I have work the next day. When an idea comes into my head I get so focused that things like time and food completely leave my mind ;) But once the piece is finished I'm always excited and happy to get organized with photoshoots and sharing my design with others. I love the rush of something happening all the time. That's why I'm constantly doing something.
What are you favorite fabrics to work with?
That's a hard question. My favorite materials right now are light weight silky fabrics like those seen on the catwalks of Elie Saab os Zuhari Murad. I'm completely in love in the way the fabric looks on model when she's walking, stunning and gorgeous. I love to work with this type of fabric, as you don’t have to create any patterns or draw any blocks. It's just fun to play with!
Many others fabrics take more time, as you have to make proper measurements. I like to come up with an idea and finish it in the same or next day, while the idea is still hot. I have an appreciation for the female silhouette, which is why my designs feature lots of close fitted garments made from stretchy cotton.
Where do you imagine your brand/blog going after you finish school?
My goal is to open my own boutique one day. There are too many great designers and it's too hard to compete with them. That's why I want to do something unusual, something of my own.
When it comes to my blog, I really want people to be inspired and get more creative in their own way. I'm not just talking about fashion, but all areas. If I open my own shop it definitely is going to be something different than the typical boutique. That's the only way to get people’s attention. Just another clothing shop is not going to change anything. But I can't tell what I'm thinking to do coz it's still a secret ;)
Do you listen to music while working on your fashion projects?
Yes, of course! Music helps me to focus on doing one thing. When I'm working in a quiet place, I get distracted very easily because I’m constantly thinking about other things that I have to do. But when I'm listening to music I can focus more or less 98% more efficiently on whatever I'm doing, leaving just 2% for dancing and singing along to my favorite song of the moment ;) The types of music depends on my mood, but I've prepared a playlist with songs that I'm listening all the time no matter what (below).
Do you have any advice for young girls dreaming about working in the fashion industry?
For sure it has to be their passion. Creativity and a new and unusual quirk is also very important when it comes to making it in the fashion world. My best tip is to do as much as you can. Spend every single minute developing your skills. Set yourself goals and have somebody who will push you up and help when you need it. Reach out to professors, mentors, friends! Be around people that support you and stay away from negativity.
The most important thing that all of us have to remember is that no matter how bad your life seems, no matter how many times you fail, "Nothing happens without a reason".
Alright, and now a silly question: You’re stuck on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. A genie shows up and tells you he can bring you 3 items from home. What are they?
I wasn’t expecting this type of question ;). Well, for sure I'd wish for things that could help me to survive. The first thing I'd wish for would be a knife, second thing would be a lighter, and third thing fireworks to get help when an airplane or ship passes by. I think that’s the perfect set to survive on island.