Wednesday, August 31, 2011

SneakPeaks: Portuguese Designer & Stylist Shows Us It's Possible to Do What You Love, She Does!

Hi Anna, thanks for checking out my blog! I like yours too, we should do a project together -maybe I could have you on my blog as a guest or something? You could tell us about how you became a stylist, what you love about it, and what your inspirations are. You can do it as a guest blogger (you'll be my 1st!) and you can send me some pics over email that I'll add to it. So you can write it in 1st person...” Desha (18.july.2011)

That's how we began this project together.

Hello Dear Reader,
This is Anna {TheSneakPeaks}, a new brand blog where I write about things that inspire me, such as: design, art, crafts, artists, food, travels, people I know and people I don’t know, but admire. I am from Portugal and you will see some of my country’s beauty, as well as my work as a Stylist and Interior Designer.

A few weeks ago, the dearest Desha invited me to write to be her first guest and tell my story about my life as a Stylist. I took some time to think about it, and here is the story as it unfolds:

My Story
It all began when I realized my love of design, photography, making moodboards and
scrapbooks, and just dreaming (for hours and hours) about styling and decorating! I was almost 15 then.

At 18 I went to college to study Interior Design. During my second year, with almost no
experience, I decided to write an application letter directly to the owner of a great Interior Design Studio. I wrote to Graça Viterbo (who was my inspirational interior designer at the time) hoping that I could work and learn with her.

And guess what?
She accepted me!!! OMG!

I was only 19 years old and I was starting to learn with one of the best and most talented interior designers in Portugal, and I learned so, so much from her!!! She taught me that we always have to do things with love and passion, that being talented is important but, most of all, work hard, with professionalism, accuracy, and creativity- and ALSO never forget deadlines!

After graduation I decided to study Photography (one of my other passions), and took a one-year course at an amazing school where I learned B&W Photography, Color, Publicity, Portrait, and Styling Photography. At the same time, to help pay for my studies, I started working as a freelance Stylist to several Agencies, Magazines and Photographers. Then, once again, I discovered my love for my work and that I could do it forever!!!

During that time I was so in Love with Styling and Photography that I decided to apply for a scholarship to study abroad and further develop my skills. I applied for two very different Internships; one to Italy and another to India. (The idea was to do one after the other and travel a lot).

The 1st internship I applied for was to Fundação Oriente in India for 3 months (after finishing my Photography course). The project was to create a style story through text and photography about the history of Indian fashion from it’s beginning to the evolution of the Indian Fashion Week, highlighting the Best Indian Designers. During that 3 months, I was to visit several places around India, get in touch with Fabric Factories, find shooting locations, interview fashion designers, visit schools and foundations and other conduct other research to help me with my goal. At the end, I would present a book that would launch in Portugal and in India. I had help two great Project Managers that I invited:

a) Carlos Ramos, one of the greatest Portuguese Photographers (also one of my teachers).

b) Wendell Rodricks, one of the greatest Indian Designers, who made several exhibitions at
Lisbon that I loved.

This was the first time I thought about a book of my own, a moodboard story on a photography book! So exciting!

The 2nd internship was to go to Milan for 9 months (after returning from India) and study at the Marangoni School. They offer a Stylism Master-Course degree with the greatest Italian stylists,magazines, photographers and designers. After I sent my application and portfolio, they quickly invited me for an interview. Of course I said YES! I packed my bags  and flew directly to Milan for a week.

It was great because it was “Milan Design Week” and the city was full of excitement. The
interview went well and…
I was accepted!
and I stayed!
and I was so so happy, because things were running so cool and so fast, with lots of great
projects and great professionals around me.

But several weeks later...
I received a letter!
The letter said that my Indian Photography Project was accepted (it was a one a million shot because lots of people around the world had also applied), and I had the greatest luck to be the chosen one but...
I had to go to India... next January. It was October (3 months until January) and I was already settled down in the frozen, but cool Milan. I had already started my classes in Stylism and had also met the love of my life (now my dear husband!).
What should I do now? - I remember thinking.

I begged and begged for Fundação Oriente to give me more time in Milan, but they couldn’t- it was against their rules.

So, I didn’t go to India then, but 5 years later (in August 2007) I went to a beautiful island on the Indic and I was asked to marry, and I accepted, and we got married there, at a great Indian family house. It was a beautiful, romantic and exotic marriage!
One of my dreams come true:)

Still in Milan, I finished my Master Class in Stylism on July 2002 and I stayed for 3 more months while working with several agencies, magazines, and with my great master teacher Paola Gatto – a great Italian Stylist.

Then I returned to Portugal. I started working as a freelancer for several magazines, then for the textile industry and at the same time, doing some fun interior design projects with my husband.
I traveled a lot to visit Fairs and Design Weeks.
Paris, London, Madrid, Milan, were my new homes.

After 3 years as a freelancer, my husband and I decided to open our own Interior Design Studio. This Studio was the right place to join our skills as interior designers, stylists and project leaders. At the same time, I also founded a Craft Brand that started as a hobby and now is another project that I love and that is very important to me and my community.

That’s what I’ve been doing until now; designing homes and hotels, stores and restaurants, bars and shop windows, along with some crafting, and a lot of styling.
I really love what I do! My days are full and happy. My husband and I are a team, we travel a lot, but we also work a lot and very hard. Through our job we know a lot of different people and it’s amazing how a space can really change someone’s life. I simple love it! Everything that surrounds me inspires me at some point!

Besides styling, photography and design, I love making crafts, sewing, art and music (I am trying to learn guitar- omg), gardening and cooking (especial healthy food for my family and friends).

I am a countryside girl, who loves to travel around the world but also loves to drive a jeep through the hills and see cows and ships, feel the smell of fresh cut wood and get inspired by simple people and a simple life.

A few months ago I started my Blog – {TheSneakPeaks}, and I realize that I have so much that I still want to do in life! I built (with my husband’s help) my studio for blogging and for my personal projects.

For now, I will continue my blog, make it grow and, as a sneakpeak, for you dear readers, I am starting writing my first book! OMG!

It's going to be a styling inspirational book, with several examples, from several great artists that I know and I am sure you will love their ideas. Hope you will wait for it and follow me at my blog because it’s been quite fun working with so many great and creative people to do this amazing book project!

To you dear Desha, whom I admire so much, I thank you for your kind invitation to write a post to your great blog and I wish that your beautiful project will continue with so much happiness and fun as you have been doing so wonderfully!


A note from Desha~ 
Thank you Anna for this beautiful story and your willingness to share it here as my First Guest Writer, I really enjoyed working on this project with you and can clearly see your dedication and love of style and design! 
Wishing you continued success and joy,  
xoxo Desha



  1. What an interesting and inspiring story. Congratulations on your book!

  2. Thank you Cindy! Your blog is very inspiring too. Hope we can see each other a lot around here:) xoxo.


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