Hi Chiara, thank you for taking your time for this interview. Your shop name sounds funny. What does it mean?
First I need to translate my name, it's something like "Celestial Omelet". It's the way an Italian poet, Stigliani, referred to the moon in one of his poems. I loved this image and the sound of the word and so I borrow it to use it as an internet nickname. Years later when I opened the shop I wanted an intriguing name in Italian and "celestefrittata" seemed perfect to me!
Tell us a little more about your shop and your crafting: What do you make and sell?
My shop is a sort of Magical Stationery Store inspired by the Harry Potter saga. I make and sell a line of 10 different hardcover blank notebooks with screen printed covers, one for each subject taught in the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. "The Daily Prophet" line is another one of my Harry Potter inspired projects: I sell screen printed, spiral bound reporter journals and pins that looks like a sort of "Press Pass". I also have a line of "Owl Post" stationery with screen printed telegrams and drawstring mailing bags. - They are the perfect gift wrap for the Harry Potter geek! At the moment I am working on a new series of screen printed stamps and mailing labels to revamp the shop.
Is there a book, maybe a commission, that you are especially proud of?
I’ll never forget the first commissioned book I made for a girl to write her novel in. It had 600 pages and a turquoise cover with one of her original drawing, her name and the title of the book. It was a challenge to bind it, 600 hand torn pages, over 30 signatures to stitch (since then I used to bind at most 160 pages notebooks). I was really pleased on the result not counting the gratification I had in creating a book that is so special for someone.
When and how did you start making books? It happened two years ago, I have no idea why. I've always loved paper and I've always been a crafty person but the only book I'd ever made was a diary when I was 16. Then I asked a friend to borrow me a book about bookbinding and cartonnage and it was love. My first books were Coptic bound, and then I discovered the hard cover binding technique, my favourite.
Do you have a job different from being an Etsy seller?
I recenly graduated in Marine Sciences and I'm looking for a job. Meanwhile I'm working as a graphic and web designer that is another one of my passions, I'm a self-taught designer but I'd love to follow some classes in the near future.
Any plans for squids, fish, and algae, or ships in your works?
Being a marine scientist is a different part of me, for now no squids in my crafts. - But who knows what the future brings? My thesis was about sea urchins and I see they are successful on Etsy. So maybe I will be adding them somehow somewhere sometime.
How does your typical workday look like?
I wake up, have a cup of coffee and check my sales and emails, then I decide what to do. If I sold something I start with binding books or with printing on my gocco machine to restock. Then I prepare the orders for shipping. After lunch I go out to work. When I come back home I check my emails again and answer my Etsy convos.
Do you have a special source of inspiration? As I already mentioned the Harry Potter saga is an unlimited source of inspiration for me, I was completely bewitched by the magical world described by J.K. Rowling and my goal is to recreate that charming atmosphere with my works for those who loved the books like I did.
Thanks for letting us in behind the scenes of your shop!
And if you want to see more of Chiara's work and dive in into the world of Harry Potter, click here to get back to her shop celestefrittata.