Vision vs. Reality. The dictionary states vision is the ability to think about or plan the future with imagination or wisdom. Reality, on the other hand, means the world or the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them.
When I met Cecilia, she only had a vision of wanting to start an Etsy business to provide accessories for pets. Now she has taken that vision and made it into a reality. I find that very empowering because at Celicia's age she could have stayed retired and enjoyed her time off, but she wanted to do something more. During these times during Covid-19, I think we are all at a state of not knowing how our current career paths will turn out, and I find it encouraging to see that you can change your way either with a new career at any age or a different lifestyle. You just need the vision to make it into a reality.
Getting to know Cecilia from Pawfect Accents
Where were you born?
I was born in Piura, which is a city on the northwest coast of Lima, Peru. Piura is a very delightful, relatively small city close to the Pacific Ocean, and it is characterized by its predominant tasty cuisine and fresh seafood. When I was very small, I moved to Lima, about five years old, since my Dad decided to move to the Capital in lieu of better opportunities for our family. Since then, I have lived in Lima until I decided to move to the US three years ago.
When did you arrive in the US?
I came to reside in the US in February 2016 because my two daughters were already living in the US. We decided as a family to live closer to each other to share experiences and support one another. The distance from the US to Peru is considerably long, about 6 hours flight. Even though technology is our best ally, the distance was too big, and we decided to get closer.
Who taught you to knit?
I love crafts and decorating. Most of my life, as far as I can remember, I have been doing an art project. Sometimes I would dedicate a lot of time decorating my house or even those from close friends, but I have also been always involved in different arts and crafts projects. I am inquisitive as well, and as soon as I see something that I like, I want to do it and learn how to do it; I find different ways to teach myself or attend classes. This is how I learned to knit, crochet, and many other artistic activities such as metal embossing, ceramic modeling, and many different handcraft styles.
Have you heard that knitting reduces stress? Do you believe that to be true?
Yes, definitely, I do think knitting reduces stress. From my experience, I can say that knitting is a very relaxing activity while it awakens your imagination. Every time I finish a product, there is a sense of rewarding that makes me feel happy. This happiness translates into motivation and willingness to do more. It provides a very positive state of mind where stress has no room in me.
How do you come up with your designs and color schemes?
I like to innovate and do things that are unique and different. There are many ideas and concepts that come to my mind about objects or designs I could develop during the creation process. During that same process, I also undergo a selection of what idea could work (match) with the other one and how these would work together, as well as what elements I can incorporate as final details to all my designs. The colors selected are very intimate to the final product I want to create and, most importantly, to the sensation I want to create in the person using it. Nothing makes me happier than to see someone’s face or receive positive compliments about my products.
What words of wisdom can you remember your parents gave you that you still believe are true?
They always taught me to follow my dreams and do everything with love and patience. I firmly believe this is very true because it has helped me to overcome situations with a better attitude, always keeping myself positive and motivated, always looking for my next dream, and my next step in life.
Why did you decide to open this business when you could be retired and enjoying your free time?
I believe that the best time a person can spend is that one dedicated to doing productive things. There is nothing better than keeping your mind occupied and active, which also contributes to reduce stress.
Did your previous work experience help you to start Pawfect Accents? My previous career was a lovely challenge since we created, along with my two daughters, a company dedicated to producing handmade porcelain products for the party industry. The company grew relatively quickly, and we had a staff of thirty people working in our factory doing manual works of arts. I was the creativity and quality control director. Our designs were highly welcome in the US market, where we distributed to all states and participated in the gift industry trade shows along the US, winning various awards for our creative designs and final products.
Who is the person or strength that represents your source of inspiration?
My motivation and personal strength come from my family. My Uncle's Grandfather was a very known and prestigious sculptor in Peru. He made a significant and well-known sculpture of Bolognesi (a National Hero in Peru), which was exhibited in Lima, Peru, for several years. The arts in my family have also been inherited by my daughters and now, granddaughter.
Do you have any guidance for anyone that is about to start a new career?
From my perspective, motivation is critical as a driving force in life that allows you to do something not because you have to, but because you really like it. This has particularly resonated with me throughout my entire life, and it is the best tip I can share with anyone starting a new endeavor, and even my own family.
You can find Cecilia's Shop on Etsy: Pawfectaccents
Let me know your thoughts in the comments.