Interview with a Romanian textile-interior designer Alina Dobre from care?cutare

We’re going to keep this intro short and sweet so you can get straight to reading this interview with Alina Dobre  from care?Cutare, a creative textile-interior designer from Romania.

What was your first step into the interior design ?

Beside raising 7 children, my grandmother also weaved carpets; my mother worked in a knitting factory and to add some extra money to the monthly  income , she also made embroidery for bed sheets. When we were kids , my brother made espadrilles with an „Illeana „ sewing machine, that i have also used to sew my first clothing items, back when i was a teenager. At kindergarten i was talented at drawings and in school I liked the manual work classes. After high school I ran to France , where I studied visual communication and later on, fashion in London.

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I came back in Romania due to an overflow of information and the desire to pass on all that i had learned. I didn’t know exactly what I was going to do, but I always knew that I want to do something personal, as unique as possible and not repeated.  I wanted to treat objects like individuals in their uniqueness, to tell the stories I  imagine , but most of all, back in Bucharest,  I saw the need of color and joy in peoples houses. So I decided that I wouldn’t dress people, i will dress up houses.

What was your first project ?

A collection of beanbags and bed sheets with applied embroidery, textile painting and integrated text, exhibited in my friend’s house, along with a hand made catalog , a cup of tea and a DJ. The first order was a wedding gift , a set of bed sheets embroided with the words : “more than a feeling”. Then came the cover of the first edition of the  “Homage” Magazine ( Revista “Omagiu”- Its Romanian name)  and a collaboration with Mnac ( National Museum Of Contemporary Art).

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What are your inspirational sources ?

My imagination. I gathered information for a long time now and I still keep adding new things through my daily experiences. I stopped reading magazines for a while already, there was a time when it was necessary, now I allow information to reach me trough its mysterious ways.  But whenever I need to find something specific I use the Internet.

How would you describe your company and style?

It a small, intimate company and the style is personal and playful. We are creators of textile stories.

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What’s your favorite fabric?

I ‘ ve always had a soft spot for velvet, but there are less materials I don’t like than are those I like.  I tend to use natural fibers because I appreciate their relation with the human body, but I also like innovating materials for their ability to open new ways.

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What project brought you the greatest satisfaction so far ?

Almost all of them, because every one of them brings a different kind of satisfaction and every one contributes  like bricks in a wall to a greater unified satisfaction for what I do. If you like what you do and you work with passion for every project, a part of the satisfaction comes from this stage as well. Than, if you plant the seed of love, you also harvest love from the people you address. When people feel loved, they are grateful in return.

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How is it to be a designer in Romania ?

From the technical  point of view  is not easy, the structure is not designed be helpful. In France if you have the desire and the courage to do something the state will grant you facilities for young entrepreneurs, in here you are thrown into the lion’s cage, the point is to see if you can handle it, or not. Thanks to our creativity  we  are able to find all sorts of possibilities of expressing ourselves, and when  these existing ones will be eventually consumed, new ones will appear every time. Creativity can’t be stopped because is the main factor of evolution. Thereby, if you are creative, in Romania as in any other corner of the world it’s a pleasure to give birth to a personal universe where other people can be included as well.

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It is difficult to sell in Romania, with this  economical crisis ?

For us is the same as before, because we don’t manufacture or sell a large volume of products. Indeed, nowadays people are more aware on what they spend their money, but this is an advantage for us. We’ve always intended to do quality things, durable, well finished and unique. It is wiser to invest your money in something made especially for you, with care and love, a thing that will last a long time.

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What do you like the most to do and why ? ( interior design, cushions, beanbags etc)

Any challenge is welcomed and with every one of them I have learned more and more. I alternate my projects because I don’t like the routine and I always want something new.

In our atelier there are two directions: one for custom made items, which i like because we relate directly with our clients and another one where we propose our vision in periodic collections, like the last one “Disco.Sextra.Terestrial”, presented at Intro Store and on our website, in the online shop section.

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We published a few days ago on our site Cuba and African theme styles, can you tell us something about these two projects?

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Safari was made for a couple who loves animals very much, they take care of cats, dogs, turtles horses and so on. After a holiday in Africa they  felt such a strong connection that a decision was made to decorate  their home in the African style. We tried to present their spirit of adventure into a solar atmosphere , like the one emanating from their hearts and as a plus we brought into the house  exotic animals to keep company to their local friends.

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The travelling loft/ Cuba was a good thought of a loving wife , who offered him as a present, the fulfilling of a dream. They had an unfinished attic, that they wanted to use as a game room and a place to socialize with their friends   He went to Cuba at some point because he  loves very much to travel, and we tried to create a warm place, animated like the atmosphere from a Cuban seaside Bar, with an orchestra that sings about the eternal revolutionary Che.

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What are your plans for the future ?

We are working currently on a larger project, a guest house with many rooms, each one with its own theme and then we have a few other proposals, but we can only talk about the future, when it becomes present.

What is your opinion about ?

I appreciate any activity performed  with care and interest to educate the society as well as sharing with other people the best things and creations, so thank you homedit !{all pics from care?Cutare website}.