local markets :: by deva

hello good morning! oh, yesterday was a bit of a confusing day! well, not confusing, just a very busy day! but as promised here i am with another {local markets} feature! i have been receiving several work submissions, for which i am very proud! i have thanked a few ladies already, but haven’t had the time yet to answer all those of you who submitted your work, but i will! for the record, {local markets} will be enjoying its vacations during august, as i will be also away for at least a week, so the blog schedule will be slightly different perhaps! but moving on, yesterday i was actually excited about this next guest, though i ended up not introducing her to you… but today is also a good day for some handmade designs… this girl actually lives quite close to me and has a thing for beautiful handmade bags. her name is marcia. and she is the gal behind {by deva}. let’s see what this means and her opinions on running small businesses, shall we?

hello there, how are you? so, can you tell us something about yourself? hi! my name is marcia valbom. since a very early age that i love being in touch with nature. i’ve always lived by the beach, right in front of the sea. during the winter, i opened my room’s window and loved to stay there, feeling the fresh breeze, the smell of sea breeze. i remember how, many times, we kept the old bread to give it to the seagulls.or how, at the end of summer afternoons, we picked seashells by the sea, or wrote and draw on the wet sand with a little stick that the sea offered us, coming from somewhere, anywhere. i grew up like this. when i got married, the beach by which i lived had become a rough sea of people and noise. and therefore i felt the need of looking for another cozy place. in order to guide me to that place… i looked for quietness and nature. so we moved to the countryside, to the village of my mother’s parents. we live today in a little country house, near Serra da Arrábida. and i feel again the happiness inside of me!

how did your handmade business start? when i was 13, i learned from a brazilian lady how to cut cardboard hexagons and sew them manually, making coloured cloth flowers. this technique allowed me, then, to make some pillows. today, i figure that, when i was 13, iwas making patchwork! four years ago, my pregnancy also matched with my unemployment. and the need of making something came with urgency. i wanted to sew again, but this time professionally. that very same year, my husband offered me a sewing machine. even if i had never used a machine like that, i thought it was the best gift in the world! with no kind of bases to start, orkshops weren’t part of my plans either and, in the family, there was no one nearby gifted for sewing. it was a double effort, something between “i can do it” and the practical glimpse of someone who supports you and helps you with the first steps, i finally thought i had all the basic instruments for a good start. and that is still what happens today. sometimes i ask for the help of my husband, who has a quicker and keener vision than me to analyse the tridimensional geometry of some schemes and tutorials.

do you do anything else besides that or is it possible for you to make a living out of your business? nowadays, i work in homeopathy. but in fact, i know i cause a bit of a shock when i say, in front of my family and some friends, that domestic life attracts me. i feel an inbred wish of dedicating myself exclusively to a more modest life, turned to my home, my family and, of course, my brand {by deva}!

where do you seek for inspiration? nature, for me, is a part of my well-being, it’s my true inspiration. all the rest comes from myself, from what i see around me, from my imagination, the will of seeing a piece created from some kind of material, a new pattern, colour or texture. it all depends on the moment…

what do you do to promote your business? what has been helpful? i have now a shop on etsy and a facebook page, but it is mainly through the blog that i receive most of the visitors. it is very well accepted and i feel grateful to those who keep me company and spread my name and my work.

what advice would you give for those small business owners/design-makers in portugal? who am i to give any kind of advice? all i can do is giving just an opinion: above all, it is important that we do not restrict ourselves to what already exists. i see some copies, disguised and altered, but yet copies. there are nowadays a lot of workshops. i stand for them because i think everybody must – and has the right to – learn. and the workshops must exist precisely for that – teaching, but never how to create reproductions. create with the dedication and belief in yourselves! let’s be truthful to our work!

ok, so now i need to confess that though i love lisbon and cannot imagine myself living in another city in this country, when i read these descriptions about country life… well, i always feel a certain jealousy. it must be such a pleasure to have a small backyard, to feel the country breeze, the little birds… eating outside… though i love my house and the neighbourhood i live in lisbon, this seems to be such a good setting to live a happy life! and what do you say about marcia’s work? i love the {around the world fabric}, definitely one of my favourites! and i actually felt a bit related, as i always do, for knowing that she taught herself how to sew. sometimes we face some adversities to search for our dreams, but those are inside of us… which means that sometimes, not having a degree or some sort of certification does not have to be something that drives you away from what you wish to do. there are so many self-taught successful people out there, why not give it a chance? we just need to accept that we might take a while to learn some things on our own! but if we love it that much… we won’t regret, nor complain! you can explore more of her work on her {blog} and on {facebook}… her {etsy shop} also has some new products, but you can see much more through facebook! thank you marcia! it was such a pleasure to have you here!

images: marcia valbom via etsy and by.deva (click on each image for original source)

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