Very first. Very little. Very significant steps...
Summer 2013. I'm young and beautiful ;-) Mum and I are walking along a country road in Beloostrov near St. Petersburg. Mum's got a 'dacha' there. A dacha is a country house where Russians spend their weekends and holidays, it usually has a fruit and vegetable garden. So there we are, walking, talking. I'm a bit nervous as I've wanted to talk to mum for a while now about this big idea I can't get out of my head. And I start talking, sharing ideas, dreams, vision of this big and wonderful future for her father's art. I'm not sure what mum is thinking about it all, if she believes that I am serious and I am actually going to do it. I can't read her reaction and it makes me more nervous...
Autumn 2015. The idea is more real now and I've come to my aunt's flat to present it to her and seek her approval. Elizaveta is a passionate artist and person, very protective of her father's art and heritage. I discuss the name, logo, ideas of products and how I imagine that it will develop in future. Yay! It goes well! She is on board and I can start bringing the idea into life.
March 2016. Time flies. I live in England now. I've got 2 gorgeous kids and a rather amazing husband. I'm a full-time mum. I have time to bring my idea to life. Yes, I honestly thought I had time. Greeting cards were always going to be the first step; living in England, where giving and sending cards is a beautiful tradition for all generations; well, it seemed a logical place to start.
So I've got the first cards printed. I am ready to conquer the world! What should I do next to follow my big dream? Shops... I need to try and find shops, show my designs, get real feedback, maybe if I am lucky, someone will stock my cards.
I got lucky! Despite making the mistake of walking into shops to talk to the owners without an appointment (and at the weekend - awful mistake!). It was a whole new level of being nervous: blushed and passionate talking about my grandfather, his art, his story, my new cards. And you know what?! I got lucky! They trialed my cards and it worked. Since then these wonderful local shops have always had my cards in stock. Thank you for giving me and my dream a chance that day! It meant a lot and I needed it so much!
A whole new life began, first with local art and craft markets, then followed by huge trade shows around the UK.
So that is how it all started for me and Kapelki Art, from the first collection of greeting cards in March 2016, to today's stunning range of Kapelki Art cards, gifts and tableware, with new designs and products being added each year. And now I have a new person joining the venture with a new idea of a parallel brand in Russia: my sister Maria!