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Cecilia Capri
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Cecilia Capri: Self-made flower enthusiast and keeper of creatives, this stylish boss tracks her progress

With the help of a diverse and hard-working team, made up of designers, illustrators, programmers, filmmakers and social media, communication, PR and event representatives, Vienna native, Cecilia Capri has found herself on the way up.

From Ike­bana-esque’ inspired entre­pre­neur turned co-work­ing space come hotel co-founder- she’s an all round boss. Hum­ble yet busi­ness-own­er direct, this is a woman who knows her pow­er. Notic­ing a niche in the mar­ket, the Vien­nese cre­ative and her close friend and part­ner Math­ias, set out with the not imme­di­ate­ly obvi­ous mis­sion to pro­vide the per­fect flo­ral head­piece at an afford­able price for all women’. Stand­ing out as Vienna’s lead­ing flower arrang­ing busi­ness with a cre­ative­ly unique vision, these two quick­ly made a name for them­selves through We Are Flower Girls’ on the peak of everyone’s lips. 

Emerg­ing from Berlin with a degree in fash­ion design, Capri has worked across the board as a fash­ion edi­tor and all­round style icon. From there she became the author of We are Vien­na’ city guides before launch­ing the busi­ness We are Flower Girls’ which would light the cre­ative fire that would go on to inspire her full poten­tial. Come 2017 and Capri had found­ed the cre­ative agency Pavil­lon Stu­dio with the Shared Office Hotel Pavil­lon, offer­ing a cre­ative space for artists and cre­ators alike to express and explore them­selves with sta­bil­i­ty and com­fort. A pho­tog­ra­ph­er her­self, Capri knows when it’s time to take a break and recharge which she cap­tures on her blog with insight­ful reflec­tions on her cre­ative process. 

Cecilia Sigmund Carl
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Clear­ly an indi­vid­ual dri­ven not only by per­son­al inten­tion but also by the pas­sion of oth­ers – her team – Capri shows us that some­times suc­cess sim­ply comes down to find­ing the right peo­ple: As she states on her blog, Act­ing alone on your play­ground day-in, day-out makes you stay inside your own hori­zon … it’s get­ting super bor­ing. Share your fan­tasies, projects and crazy ideas with oth­ers to cre­ate some­thing even bet­ter. That’s the only way to learn, to see and explore some­thing new every sin­gle day.“

For neubau eye­wear, Cecil­ia shares her busi­ness secrets, sus­tain­able ambi­tions and life learn­ings with all the up and com­ing cre­ative entre­pre­neurs out there:

You dab­ble in what seems to be very dif­fer­ent fields — mak­ing flo­ral wreaths and run­ning a cre­ative agency amongst oth­er things — how would you explain your unique career trajectory?

That’s true, it is some­thing I hear quite often. You run a cre­ative hub, an acces­sories brand, a cre­ative agency and you’ve pub­lished a city guide? What do these things all have in com­mon?” From the out­side, it might seem kind of ran­dom but for my part­ner and I, it all makes sense. The com­mon fac­tor behind all our projects, busi­ness­es and ideas is that they all have formed from our own per­son­al needs or desires. Let’s take the WE ARE VIEN­NA city guide and blog for exam­ple; my part­ner Math­ias and I, we love to trav­el and so when we expe­ri­ence those real­ly spe­cial adven­tures, say in a par­tic­u­lar city where a friend or some­body we know lives, we’ve want­ed their advice and so we’ve placed it into this guide. If you’re with some­one and you like his style and the things he/​she does in life, you can be sure that he/​she will lead you to spots you will prob­a­bly also love. So we thought, Why not do a city guide for Vien­na, with locals – most of them cre­atives – who tell us their secret spots. That’s exact­ly what we would love to have, espe­cial­ly if we didn’t actu­al­ly know any­body in the spe­cif­ic for­eign coun­try. En voila, WE ARE VIEN­NA was born. Or let’s take HOTEL PAVIL­LON – our shared office. Math­ias and I were look­ing for an office for us and our Pavil­lon Stu­dio team. But all we found where cowork­ing spaces with­out the kind of vibe and style we were look­ing for. So we start­ed our own shared space. The same sto­ries I could tell about all our oth­er projects. 

Anoth­er thing is, that my career path was not planned. After school, I moved to Berlin to study fash­ion design. Then, I got a job offer in Vien­na from WOMAN mag­a­zine. So I moved to Vien­na and due to the need for jour­nal­is­tic knowl­edge, I decid­ed to study Jour­nal­ism part-time in Salzburg. There I got to learn all about online plat­forms, blog­ging, and social media. Lat­er, for 9 women’s’ mag­a­zines, I worked on the build­ing of each of their web­sites and social media han­dles- all in Austria. 

Then, the WE ARE VIEN­NA book project came along and it sud­den­ly was my first con­tact with the world of being self-employed. Six months lat­er, Math­ias and I launched WE ARE FLOW­ER­GIRLS, our acces­sories brand. After we final­ly quit our day jobs, our next project was our agency PAVIL­LON STU­DIO. Then – due to the lack of an office – HOTEL PAVIL­LON came along. Since the inte­ri­or and style of HOTEL PAVIL­LON is not typ­i­cal – soon the first inquiries for inte­ri­or and dec­o­ra­tion jobs came along. We are very inter­est­ed in inte­ri­or and styling so we start­ed ERIEUR – our inte­ri­or web­shop. Yep, that’s us – let’s see what comes next.

What’s the biggest entre­pre­neur­ship les­son you’ve learned?

To be hon­est, sad­ly it’s a neg­a­tive one: The more cool projects you do and chal­leng­ing moves you make, the mer­ri­er peo­ple will be and allow you to reach your suc­cess. That’s a fact and you have to learn to deal with it. But the good side is, you will see who your real friends are. These will be the peo­ple that will sup­port you end­less­ly and cel­e­brate your achieve­ments with you, no mat­ter how suc­cess­ful you or unsuc­cess­ful you may become.

How do you remain cre­ative and pro­duc­tive when you’re so busy?

I have an amaz­ing team around me who does a great job. So I don’t have to do it all by myself. If you have peo­ple you can trust, even big loads of work will be (more or less) easy to han­dle and you will have enough space to be creative. 

What are the unique chal­lenges you face as a female entre­pre­neur and how do you tack­le them?

For me, it was always more my age than my gen­der. But as you can imag­ine, the old­er I get the more these prob­lems dis­solve. I was very young, twen­ty years old in fact, when I got the job as an edi­tor at WOMAN mag­a­zine, and also kind of young (23) when I became the head of dig­i­tal at echo­me­dia Ver­lag. In this time it was not always easy to gain the respect of old­er co-work­ers or clients. Obvi­ous­ly. It was a great chal­lenge, but I learned how to deal with it. Of course, it’s also a thing to be a young, self-employed woman who has two busi­ness­es that are suc­cess­ful. But to be hon­est, for me, it was nev­er hard­er to get respect from men, than get­ting respect from women. In my fam­i­ly, my sis­ter and I were always edu­cat­ed that there is absolute­ly no dif­fer­ence between men and women and you can always achieve what you want if you pur­sue it. So, for sure this men­tal­i­ty helped me immense­ly – for me, it was always a fact that men and women are equal: in busi­ness, in rela­tion­ships, and in life. And, my expe­ri­ence is that men can sense and respect this once they face a woman who knows that she has the same strength or pow­er to get things done, has vision­ary ideas or can lead a project/​team.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received with regards to entrepreneurship? 

When­ev­er a per­son crit­i­cizes you, face this feed­back pro­fes­sion­al­ly and reflect for a moment. Maybe it’s just con­struc­tive feed­back you can learn from and not per­son­al crit­i­cism. That’s a thing I had to learn. But now it makes me stronger and allows me to learn a lot from others.

21 Sep 2019 · neubau eyewear