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 all round 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.

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 Sept. 2019 · NEUBAU EYEWEAR
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