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Meet the Maker: Heartmade’s Claudia Orengo

How did you think of your business name? What does “Design for Happiness” mean to you?

Heartmade began even before I knew I would one day create my own business. I am always thinking new ideas and dreaming, and one day the named popped into my mind. Heartmade is the perfect name to represent handmade creations made from the heart.

In 2013 I decided to quit my job to start freelancing. I started Heartmade. The tagline “Design for happiness” is significant because that’s how I work: I am a very passionate person, and I always follow my gut often learning and pouring over new interests and passions for weeks at a time. I love to live in the moment with 150% passion.
One of my freelancing “musts” is only to work with clients who are passionate about their businesses. I don’t want to work for a bank or a government even if that might bring in more money.  I want to work with creatives. I want to become passionate about their businesses. Most importantly, I want my clients to be happy.
My main business is graphic and website design, but I also sell handmade and downloadable products on Etsy. Each thing I create is made from the heart and designed to make you happy.

You made the leap from freelancing to owning your own business. What made you decided to do that?

Back in 2013, I found myself unhappy in a five-year relationship. I had little to no social life. My job was amazing, but my boss was awful. I decided I needed a change. In the span of a few months,  I left my partner and quit my job. Yes, it was risky, but it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I went from crying every afternoon to sharing a flat with friends and working from home with free time and the best: creating things every day and being super happy.
My graphic and website design work gives me the opportunity to have a free schedule, to live wherever I want (since then I’ve lived in Barcelona, Berlin, Ibiza and currently in Morocco) and also gives me the freedom to create handmade products whenever I want.

You create so many amazing things. What is your latest passion?

Thanks 🙂 Now that I’m living in the desert of Morocco with a local family. I don’t have access to all the supplies I wish, so I’m currently focused into painting watercolors.
I feel that in every place I live,  my mind opens to a new craft. First, it was Denmark, where I spent my days knitting and crocheting. Then in Barcelona, I learned how to sew clothes and accessories. In Berlin, I found amazing leather, and I designed purses with it. In Ibiza, I focused on my wedding invitations business and also in traditional crafts such as baskets made from bamboo and esparto sandals. Now in Morocco, I’m into watercolor paintings and weaving.

From where do you draw inspiration?

Sometimes I don’t even know how I end up thinking about something; my mind connects things I see with memories or new ideas so fast that is impossible to track their journey. But I know that nature inspires me a lot. I’m a huge fan of the sea; I can stare at the waves coming all over again during hours. Also walking through the mountains (or now between the dunes in the Sahara desert) helps my mind fly and dream big.
Some of my best ideas come when I’m taking a shower or driving my moto. Other places in which I draw inspiration are Pinterest and Instagram.

At Handmade Loves we have recently had the discussion about “What is handmade?” Since you do a bit of both digital creation and illustration, what does handmade mean to you?

For me, handmade means a small production made with your hands. It can combine something made by hand but also with technology. For example, my paintings are made by hand but to digitalize them I need some kind of technology. Or if you work with wood and you use a machine to cut it; if that machine involves the use of your hand, that’s still handmade for me.
But then, when I think about clothes, kids sewing in Asia for worldwide companies crosses my mind, and it is hard to say that’s handmade. That’s why I feel like small productions versus mass production helps define handmade.

Where do you see your business taking you in the next 3-5 years?

I’m currently living my dream: working every day in projects that I adore and traveling around the world. In 3-5 years I would love to scale my business in a way that I can get more free time to spend with my family and friends.
I’m currently working on some online course ideas to share everything I’ve been learning during my freelance and handmade entrepreneur: SEO, online marketing, getting featured in the media, social media for businesses, and am excited to see where this leads me.


Website: heartmade.es

Instagram: @byheartmade

Handmade Etsy Shop: byheartmade

Downloadable Etsy Shop: designforhandmade

Pinterest: byheartmade

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