Recently I have been thinking about courageous people who take a leap of faith and following a calling from deep within. It is no wonder that I came across such a person on Etsy. Meet Guilia Bertelli, the owner and maker behind the brand Un Peu Sauvage, which translated from French means "A little Wild." Read her story below:
Tell us about your background.
I've always been a creative person: when I was young I made skirts from old jeans, strange paitings, lots of collages and I took many many pictures. I remember the first time I used a black and white film on a saturday afternoon during a walk with my parents, I was thirteen. But I never found the right way to wholly express myself. I lived half of my life reading books and when I had to decide what I wanted to study, I went in that direction. It was only five years ago that I learnt to knit all by myself and I found the perfect way for me to create something with my hands.
What made you take the leap and start your business?
I was working on my thesis and I was really stressed out. I started learning to knit as a way to calm myself down, to take a breath from my studies. After a while I noticed that I really enjoyed knitting and I started to make things for my friends, not just for myself. At one point I understood what I really wanted to do with my life and I took a chance.
Why is making and shopping handmade so important?
Shopping handmade for me is to buy something special, made with attention to details and materials. It could be more expensive, of course, but I prefer to buy just one piece, or a dress, for example, if I know that it will last longer, and so I also put more attention to what I really want in my closet or home. In the end I see it as a way to spend less and way better my money. For this same reason I think it's important to make handmade products, to care for the materials I use and for all those little details that make a piece something unique.
Tell us about your creative process.
Last year I lived a strange period of my life: I didn't feel the need to knit or crochet, I was really insecure about my work and I felt I didn't have "a style" that made me stand out above other creatives. At one point I was able to clear my head, I thought so much about what I wanted and about my work. I made list after list and one day everything made sense. Right now I have " a system": for the first time since I started my journey I made a collection; I decided what pieces I wanted, I researched the yarns I wanted to use, the colours that better defined my style and I created my patterns. Before that I worked in a different way: I wanted to do everything, everyday I had a different idea and I just made it, without thinking about the final result.
What is your studio space like?
I work in my home workspace: a home studio in my new house. I love to have a space entirely for me, I like to surround myself with all the things that I love: my favorite pictures and illustrations on the walls, little succulents and many, many yarns. The good and the bad thing about my kind of work is that I can work everywhere: from my studio, but also from my couch for example, so, when I have a lot of work to do I find myself working after dinner while watching some movie or tv series.
Who are your favorite makers and artists?
Thank you Giulia for sharing your story and your photos!