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Made in Austria Made in Austria

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 Sep 2019 · neubau eyewear
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