Tell us about your background and how you got to where you are now.
My name is Carolina Ossa and I am the designer and maker behind Hello Chiqui. I originally went to college for Fashion Merchandising, but after a few years of working as a visual merchandiser, I just didn't feel inspired anymore. In my search for a more creative outlet, I started HelloChiqui but found it was really hard for me to find materials and easy to follow how-to's. I decided to open a one-stop shop for everyone, like me, that felt lost when wanting to take up a new hobby.
On August 29th, 2014, I launched the ChiquiLoom Weaving Kit and a few months later, the ChiquiMacrame Plant Hanger Kit. My brand has transitioned a little, as I solely focus on macrame right now, but helping others feel like a total pro when starting a new craft has always stuck with me throughout the years. I continue to offer the ChiquiMacrame Kit, you can find tutorials on my YouTube channel, and for those that live in Miami, I teach workshops throughout the city.
For the not-so-crafty handmade lovers, I create ready made and custom pieces, and you can now even find a few of my pieces at select Florida West Elm locations!
What is your creative process and where do you find your inspiration?
Once I’m ready to create a piece, I always sketch it out first. It might not always end up looking like my original design, but I still always like putting it on paper, just so I have a general idea of the direction I’d like to take. I turn on this “creativity+inspiration” candle I have (I don’t know if it works, but I like to think it does), put on some music/podcast/easy to watch show and I get to knotting!
I find inspiration from the usual places - Instagram, Pinterest, my surroundings, but I mostly feel inspired when going through my macrame books, I like finding new knots or techniques to try with every new piece I make.
How do you take care of yourself? What self-care rituals do you rely on?
Although I’m not very good at self care, I do try to meditate every day, or at least a few times a week - 10 to 15 minutes either in the morning or on my commute to work.
Tell us about one of your favorite pieces - how it came to be and why it’s so special.
I’ve made 2 wall hangings for my mom, and although they took me an eternity to complete, they have been my favorite pieces to make. With both wall hangings I’ve taken my time to experiment and try different things, which has been so fun. There’s nothing more special than making something for your #1 fan!
What is a personal motto that you try to live by?
My sister and I always say this to each other jokingly, but it’s definitely a motto I live by - “Do You”. In a time where social media makes it so easy to compare yourself to others, now more than ever, I find these simple words comforting.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to start their own business?
My advice for anyone wanting to start their own business would be to just go for it. If you have a good idea, you’ve done your research, and you’re willing to put in the work, then don’t hold back just because you’re scared of failing or because someone else has done something similar. That being said, do you (clearly, my life motto!) and be original.
Favorite Podcasts or Books?
GirlBoss Radio, Etsy Success Podcast and Talking in Circles. For a good laugh I like Lady Gang Podcast.
Do you have any strange interests or collections?
Besides my obsession with dogs, I don’t think I do - I’m pretty normal I guess. I would like to up my plant collection, but baby steps, 'cause these thumbs are not green at all!
What is a favorite beauty product that you would recommend? Why?
I’ve heard such good reviews about Herbivore Botanicals and I recently purchased one of their skin routine travel sets just to test it out. Woah, I’m hooked! Their Rose Hibiscus Face Mist is so refreshing.
Name a song you have on repeat right now.
Mystery of Love by Sufjan Stevens. If you haven't yet, go watch Call Me By Your Name, you’ll have this song on repeat too.
You can follow Carolina on Instagram: @shophellochiqui
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