We had the good fortune of connecting with Irina Madan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Irina, what’s your startup story? How did you start your business?
I have always dreamed with my eyes open hoping one day I will become an artist and fashion designer. I took my very first art courses in 2009, in order to prepare for the student examination at The Fine Arts Academy from Moldova ( Eastern Europe). My education in fashion design helped me to develop the skills and strengths I needed for my career. I discovered my vocation in life, purely by chance, in 2013, during the work on my graduation fashion collection. Being passionate and inspired by Venice (Italy), I decided to create a collection from unique hand painted fabrics. Immediately after I had graduated, I launched my first blog and brand. I was very actively involved in promoting my hand painted designs on social media platforms, and it was such a huge opportunity to me to share my own story. I was continuously telling to myself that I had no time to loose. Ultimately, my first client found my blog and decided to contact me in order to place a custom order. I still remember the feeling – it was assuredly one of the happiest days of my life. I was even happier, because the order was an international one. I was given the opportunity to participate in fashion and art events that offered me a great exposure, a few weeks after that. I started to receive more orders than I was expected, instantaneously. There was such a wave that I didn’t even understand what was happening.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My main goal is to be authentic by telling my own story through my art. I have always been connected with my inner world where I find inspiration and strength. I consistently try to add more color into my creations by emphasizing the beautiful part of the things. It is essential to be aware we are living in a wonderful world, in spite of everything. Additionally, I have a special love for my roots, which I try to value in my hand painted designs. It is so important to never forget where we come from. I am so happy and excited when people appreciate my art; that makes me continue my path to fulfill my dreams. I have had many obstacles during all these years, and it wasn’t easy at all. But I feel so blessed for every challenge my life offers me. Besides, I don’t want the easy way. That`s exactly what determines ourselves and makes us even stronger. Our wish to succeed is the key which opens the doors in life. We need an immeasurable wish, a strong ambition, and so much work to do in order to arrive to our dream destination. An important lesson I have learnt is that happiness is along the way. A dream that comes true, offers us an enormous fulfillment in the end, but it doesn’t last too much. Thus, I always need to set a new goal, so I can go for it. Otherwise, my artistic motivation decreases in intensity. Another lesson I have learnt so far is that we should follow our intuition, and never stop trying new things – that’s the way we can discover ourselves and find our right way in the roots of life. The most important thing I want the world to know about my brand is that my creations are not only clothes – they represent pure feelings and deep states of mind.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
San Diego is such a beautiful place – the fairy tale city of California, which I like to call “the city of revelation”. People who live in San Diego are spoiled by nature with the most beautiful weather. I feel so fortunate to be given the chance to live in this amazing city. If my friends were visiting the area and I wanted to show them the best time ever, we would start the journey in the Tuna Wharf Park to see the Unconditional Surrender Statue. This imposing place was the first one I discovered by chance in 2017, while wandering the streets on the second day I moved to San Diego. I loved it even more after I had known the unbelievable story behind it. No trip to San Diego is complete without visiting Balboa Park – the largest cultural park in North America. We would walk in the impressive park to admire the architectural heritages of San Diego. Also, we would visit a few museums, and tour the path to see the Art Workshop called Spanish Village. Then we would buy some pure exquisite artworks. Being far from the noise of the city, we would visit Coronado Island. First, we would admire the bridge with unique architectural shape, which separates the island from San Diego city. Then, we would explore Hotel Del Coronado, which represents the oldest symbol of the city and a certainly must-see. Also, there we would taste one of the most delicious ice-cream, while walking and admiring the beautiful artistic houses. Our next stop would be in Little Italy – a picturesque neighborhood in San Diego, that makes me transpose in Italy, on its colorful streets. Definitely, we would have some Italian pizza and pasta. We would quench the thirst of adventure by exploring the ocean, while surfing, or paddle boarding. Also, we would go hiking in Torrey Pines or La Jolla to admire the beautiful natural landscapes which San Diego has to offer. For mouth watering meals we would choose from so many good restaurants and traditional places to eat. There is an incredible amount of diversity. In order to try the most delicious burgers, we would go to Nicky Rottens Bar & Burger Joint on Coronado or to Hodad’s Ocean Beach. For the most delicious Californian burrito and Mexican tacos, we would go to Lucha Libre Taco Shop or Lupe’s Taco Shop. For sure, we will not forget to check out places that serve Vietnamese Pho soup or Thai coconut curry soup. We would save room for our sweet tooth and go to Extraordinary Desserts. San Diego is well known for its traditional brewers. One of the most authentic ones is considered The Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens from Escondido. For an even more authentic experience, we would interact with the locals, as San Diegans are so nice and open.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I am enormously grateful to my loved ones who have always believed in me, no matter what! They supported me in the most important way, by giving me the freedom I needed so much as an artist. Also, I feel so blessed that I have had wonderful teachers. They helped me to develop precious skills, so I could choose my own path I want to follow. They taught me what individuality was, and how we could find inspiration in our inner world or nature.