By Ariadna Mateu (Co-Founder, Innovalley.us)
Editor’s note: Ariadna Mateu is co-hosting Founder Friday Barcelona on November 4, 2011. FREE RSVP for Founder Friday here.
“What did you do as a child that made the hours pass like minutes? Here is the key to your earthly pursuits.” — Carl Jung
The best path between two points is not always a straight line: in fact, we often have to take many turns before going back to the beginning convinced that there’s is no better starting point.
I don’t remember making an entrance to the world of entrepreneurship. By the time you have to start thinking about what you want to be when you grow up, I had no idea one could become such a thing as an entrepreneur. Back then, all I wanted was to become a jewelry designer. Everyone in my family was aware of that, since I constantly made bracelets and rings for them using the tinfoil my mom used to wrap up my lunch! When I closed my eyes, I would picture myself in my own atelier, surrounded by pretty things and all of my favorite people.
I never decided I would be an entrepreneur, nor a businesswoman: I found myself being it one day, because I always knew I wanted do things my way. I love walking and getting lost (it is the funniest way to discover new things) and hence I took many directions to take sips of other possible lives: as a pianist, copywriter, creative in advertising agencies, translator…
While working in big companies, I felt that there was something missing: I felt uncomfortable, as if I had only 9 fingers instead of 10 to write on an old typewriter: it would be hardly noticeable and I probably would get used to it, but clearly there is a finger missing.
I realized what was wrong — I barely had time to do what I really wanted to do because my projects and ideas would not fit exactly fit into other people’s structures.
That’s how I decided to start my first company, Haiku Studio, a creative space to carry out all the adventures that come into my hands. Then came Innovalley, an innovation company focused on smart apparel based in San Francisco, where Haiku Studio, in addition to being a founding member, acts as a creative department and designs innovative products for it.
Since I am always creating things, I finally found a perfect place for the tinfoil “jewels” I imagined as a child: the Internet. My online store “Corazón de galleta” gave room to my childhood dreams: the best starting point for any company.
If I had followed the fastest path, it probably would have taken me to a creative department in an advertising agency, but I’ve always preferred to take the more picturesque route, even when sometimes it is uphill or full of trees that block the view. This is the kind of path that took me to Imagine Creativity Center: a project led by Xavier Verdaguer, one of the three founding partners of Innovalley, in which I participated in its first edition this past July as its Imaginary Director. It was a fantastic opportunity to share everything I’ve learned along the way and to keep on walking / running / jumping / falling and learning to rise gracefully with the best company: among friends.
Editor’s note: Got a question for our guest blogger? Leave a message in the comments below.
About the guest blogger: Ariadna Mateu is Co-Founder of Innovalley, a smart clothing innovation company. She is currently the Imaginary Director of Imagine Creativity Center in San Francisco. Ariadna co-founded of Haiku Studio, an innovation and design studio. She began her career as a creative copywriter. Ariadna designs, manufactures and sells creative jewelry and accessories through her own brands “Corazón de galleta” (creative jewelry) and “de pura madre” (products for babies, kids and moms).