Sorry about this VERY late posting! I was in the hospital twice last week or else I would’ve had this up last Sunday!
But, without any further ado, here’s Tuka Ltd. for your reading & viewing pleasure!!
1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am originally from Barcelona, Spain. I grow up in a middle class family in a little town in the coast, called El Masnou. I have an older brother. I love sports and during summer time, if I am there, I am huge player of beach tennis.
I am the traveler in my family. That’s probably why I ended with a foreign boyfriend! Now I am living with him in a farm house close to his home town in Nebraska. While we are thinking where to settle down, we are here renovating the house, cleaning the whole property and eating lots of ruhbarb pies! I don’t have that plant in Spain and I am stunning with it.
I am a cat person, although after I lost my two dear cats (Xila and Bebe) I didn’t have another one. I had a shy try with Nochka, another lovely kitty but once she knew my mother, she decided that she was her owner and I couldn’t take her from her side! Now I am a proud owner of a mini dachshund Maixa, a year and a half old, born in Chile. She is the greatest thing that happened to me lately.
2. Apart from creating things, what do you do?
I am graduated in Law at the University of Barcelona and professionally I am involved in international cooperation, development and humanitarian aid. I’ve been in lots of places in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. Mozambique was my first field experience in Africa and has a special place in my heart. It’s an amazing country with wonderful people.
3. Whatʼs the most important question a customer/client should ask you when considering purchasing from you?
If he/she wants a stuffed animal, they should tell me if is for a cat, a dog or a person because the created aromatherapy is different for each of them. So if they are not telling me in advance, I am the one who is asking.
Besides that, everything is handmade and personalized. I am trying to reply all their doubts in advance. I am adding instructions about how to clean the items or how aromatherapy could work in the tag I am attaching to them.
4. Whatʼs the most memorable custom order youʼve created?
The thing is that I opened the shop only few months ago and I had few sales, so I didn’t have any kind of memorable moment in that sense. It’s been very good so far.
I did a personalized purse for a good friend of mine and somehow she opened my options and my mind about the idea of personalized some cotton cord items. It is an option that gives the client the opportunity to feel that the piece it was really made for him/her.
5. What would be the title of your memoir and why?
There is a poem from Rafael Borges that goes with me since the day I read it for the first time, almost 20 years ago. It calls “Instantes” (Moments) and talks about what he would do if he could live his life again. One of the things he says is that life is made by lots of moments, and depends in ourselves to make them GOOD. He also gives us some clue about how to achieve it. It is the quality that makes the difference and we are the only responsible of that.
“Listen to yourself, ALWAYS!” That would be a good title for my memoirs. It is a mantra that I am trying to apply in my life every day. Through the years I learned that I need to be comfortable with who I am and what I want in order to feel free and happy. My natural instinct is to pay attention to others, and often that doesn’t give me time for me. But one day, I realized that I need to be first. It is not a matter of selfishness because even if I enjoy helping my family, friends and other people, I need to feel strong, positive, happy in first place.
6. Where does your inspiration come from?
Nature in general is my inspiration, but with no doubt, the sea. I grow up seeing the sea every day, and every day it is different. Is a wonderful source of inspiration to me.
7. What does handmade mean to you?
A wonderful therapy!
8. Who has been the most influential person for your business?
Probably I am the most influential person in me and for what I am doing. My dream of becoming my own boss and do something that I like it what makes me do what I am doing. Take some risks sometimes and try to do what I think is going to be good for me. Maybe Rafael Borges’s poem also has some influence in that!!
And now that I started this handmade shop, I have some friends very supportive. They are giving me ideas, suggestions. I had wonderful surprises from some friends who even bought some of my pieces.
9. How would you describe your creative process?
The first intention is to do something with a purpose. I mean something that is useful. I am very interested in the “usefulness” of the things. That’s maybe why I do toys or pillows, with this extra element of aromatherapy.
Concerning the cotton cord accessories, I am following the same philosophy. To do something simple, even imperfect and always useful. All those components give an exclusive and a beauty to the piece that makes it unique.
10. If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who would it be?
I really have no preferences at all.
11. What handmade possession do you most cherish?
When I was a kid, one of my uncles who lived in Germany brought me a patchwork pillow cat that I, literally, adored it for lots of years. I give her a name (because I decided that it was a she), I slept with her, I played with her, I used her to hold my secrets… After 15 or 20 years, my mum through it away I was already living abroad and so she thought that I dind’t want it anymore. Well, when I came back to her house and I didn’t see it, I was extremely sad. I tried to find another one like that but it was impossible. Sometimes I am still talking about that pillow with her.
In the late years, probably because I am a traveler I don’t have too many possessions, to be honest. I am not a person who keeps things for many years. This also comes with my idea of useful and the feng shui philosophy.
12. How do you get out of your creative ruts?
Mmmmmm, what I question! When I am saturated I just go out, most of the time I am doing some sport to get tired, mental and physically. I am just doing something that relaxes me. And I take as much time as I need, maybe one afternoon, maybe one day…Once the creative comes again I am going back to my work space to let it fly!
13. Where would you like to be in ten years?
In a nice cozy house in an island, in the Mediterranean, probably Ibiza, doing what I want and enjoying life close to the sea.