When it comes to interviewing a person of significant influence, there’s none more inspiring than Cristina Re, an extremely creative and talented visionary who has captivated the masses.
Cristina’s ability to use unique design to create fashionable and contemporary products while changing lives is nothing short of amazing.
The Cristina Re Business Empire gracefully stems across countries and cultures to captivate all that is beautiful in the world, while helping to globally improve the lives of women and girls. Equal opportunity, female empowerment and creative elegance are what continue to define Cristina as a distinctive leader in entrepreneurship, with her brand becoming one of significant class, beauty and elegance.
With a journey that began as a freelance designer and wedding photographer, Cristina has continued to build her business utilising a diversified range of elegant teaware and house ware products that are stocked and sold in David Jones stores and boutiques internationally.
Being able to interview someone like Cristina is an absolute career highlight for me, and her answers will continue to inspire me for many years to come.
Grab a pen, screen shot and share, because you are about to be incredibly inspired by the creative mind that is Cristina Re.
We LOVE the idea of high tea, stationary and teacups. Where did your journey begin?
Ever since I was a little girl, I have been extremely passionate about illustration, graphic design and photography. My European background and upbringing provided me with an appreciation for fine art and design. I was fortunate to have studied at an art school in Northern Italy, where I first developed my artistic and illustrative skills.
I was determined to be my own boss from the very beginning and my mission was to be an entrepreneur and successful business woman. As soon as I graduated with an Honors degree from Swinburne University Of Design, I immediately started my own freelance design and wedding /portrait photography business in 1994. I was one of the very first female wedding photographers in Australia and challenged myself to provide a fashionable and glamorous approach to my work.
I also began designing unique stationery for my wedding clients experimenting with beautiful paper stocks and printing techniques, and soon discovered a niche in the retail market for fashionable contemporary invitations that were readily available and affordable.
I created the DIY concept after I received numerous requests for printable papers with my signature patterns that people could personalize themselves at home to make wedding and party invitations. The concept took off in a big way and I expanded the range to include an array of accessories and tools. Today the stationery range encompasses over 500 stationery and craft products and is sold to over 1000 stores around the world.
Further to this, the company has evolved and diversified by introducing new categories including teaware and homewares which carry my signature style of design and packaging. Developing these new gifting categories are now the focus of the company with the aim of reinventing the Cristina Re brand to become the leading name in everyday ‘affordable luxury’ products.
Your Instagram account shouts feminine positivity, tell me more about who you are, and what you stand for.
I believe that I am a visionary, a dreamer and an entrepreneur. I believe that anything can be achieved. I always ensure that the values that I stand for are communicated through our products, their designs and their meanings.
I am extremely passionate about the empowerment of women and the importance of fostering and nurturing our unique talents. I work with a lot of different organizations including i=Change and Global Sisters who support and work with women internationally, with the aim to give every woman the same opportunities and rights that we sometimes take for granted. It is something that I hold strongly to my heart and will always continue to support and work with.
What projects are you currently working on? Are there any future events we should keep an eye out for?
Currently we are further expanding our range of luxury teaware by incorporating new designs, new shapes and exciting new colors. We are also in the process of developing a range of diverse new lifestyle accessories that compliment and epitomize the Cristina Re brand and our uniquely luxurious identity.
We seek our new and exciting ranges and products to continue to inspire people, whilst also maintaining our strong dominance within both the domestic and international lifestyle and homeware market.
Success and failure, both hold important lessons. Tell us more about your successes, failures and the things that drive/inspire you.
There have been numerous exciting and rewarding successes that I have been extraordinarily grateful for, including the diversification of our product range, our expansion within overseas markets, our stand alone boutique and tea salon ‘Where a Girl Goes’ and the many exciting collaborations and partnerships we have been involved with over the years;.
I don’t necessarily believe I have encountered many failures as I prefer to consider them as experiences that have both taught and helped myself to be resilient, to learn and to adapt to an ever-changing market and industry. Everything is a learning experience, so I think it is far healthier and more constructive to look at them positively rather than negatively. One of my largest learning experiences however was when I collaborated with a large retailer on a range, with their main focus being on price point as opposed to quality. We ultimately had to compromise and we weren’t able to design with what we are known for, including our beautiful gold trims and foil finishes. My intuition was telling me to stay true to my design and values, however on this instance I was unable to due to business and I do regret this greatly.
I am still driven by innovation and by the idea that people are inspired and feel joy when they buy our products. My mission is to make sure women feel worthy to indulge in any way that makes them happy, spreading positive messages through all of our platforms.
Your brand is extremely appealing, and is complemented by your feminine ideas, creative talents and positive words. How do you keep up with the demand of maintaining such a great brand?
One of the most challenging aspects of owning a business within the creative industry is the requirement to always stay on trend and to produce innovative, unique and timeless products and content. I think it’s extremely important to always stay inspired, and to surround yourself with what inspires you; whether it be travelling overseas to interesting places or even furnishing your home with inspiring décor, such inspiration ensures that you can remain consistently creative whilst maintaining your brand and it’s popularity. It is also really important to be able to step backwards from the business and identify areas that need to be nurtured, developed or considered so as to ensure nothing is left to fall behind.
What’s your favourite quote?
“Each individual is an artist. The real talent is believing in oneself” - Cristina Re
How do you believe words impact business?
Words can have an immense impact on a business and the message that it portrays to the public, and most importantly to our customers. Words evoke certain feelings, concepts and outlooks that can assist in contributing to and developing a brands identity and therefore their unique image. I always use positive, self-assuring and inspirational language across all of our social and media platforms, as well as when naming our products and collections, as I’d like our customers to feel as if they can relate to and empathize with us. I think this is why we have such an incredible following as our customers feel as if we are all on the exact same page.
I also believe in the Law of Attraction and the effect positive words, when always spoken and communicated, can have on your ability to focus on what it is you so greatly seek and desire.
How do you use words to get your message out to your audience/followers/fans?
I love the power that an interesting and succinct quote can have on how you think about and perceive certain concepts, mentalities and emotions. A few short words can communicate a powerful message that may cause you to view or think about something in an interesting way.
Instagram is a fantastic platform that I use to communicate quotes, phrases, and powerful words to our customers. Our customers and following really connect and relate to the words within these quotes, and we get such a beautiful response to them. I love being able to inspire people with something as simple as a word, it has a beautiful simplicity to it that many of us either take for granted or neglect to embrace.
If you could choose three words that showcase you/your brand to the world, what would they be?
Indulgent, Creative, Inspiring
What Words of Wisdom do you have for inspiring business professionals who want to succeed, while doing something that they love?
I believe that is so incredibly important to have self-belief and to be able to take a risk in order to succeed. I think it most definitely possible to succeed in doing what you love, so long as you are able to identify a niche within the market and offer something that is unique and has a point of difference. I am a firm believer that you can make a career from doing what it is you are most passionate about, however you must be able to believe in yourself and what it is that you seek to succeed with.
Follow Cristina on Instagram: www.instagram.com/cristinaredesign or visit www.cristinare.com.au for more insight into everything that is Cristina Re.