Cristina Re is one of those women you can’t help but feel envious of with a creative streak which has lead to a successful brand of stationery, fashion, lifestyle and gourmet foods. The creations are feminine and high quality, and the Australian designer will inspire you with her journey and attention to detail.
I was lucky enough to interview Christina, and her answers only make me love the brand more:
Tell us a little bit about your brand, Cristina Re….
The brand ‘Cristina Re’ is all about inspiring and delighting people with beautiful decorative patterns featured on elegant designs.
From designer Lifestyle, Bath & Body and luxurious Stationery, my products are artistically beautiful and of the finest quality. I am committed to creating collections that tell a unique story and provide the ultimate sensory experience as well as the idea of offering luxury goods at an affordable price and available to all who love the brand.
Where A Girl Goes is my concept store that combines all of that beautiful design and luxury with the High Tea experience. Whether you are celebrating a birthday, a wedding or friendship, High Tea at Where A Girl Goes will be sure to delight and inspire. Perfect for bridal showers and hens parties. The store inspires and takes you on a journey from the moment you step inside. It’s where a girl goes for high tea with friends, to spoil herself and her loved ones!
Would you say it is a reflection of you?
Of course, I always had a strong desire to be recognized as an artist and personality. Sometimes I feel too close to the product and business and take it very personally and emotionally when I receive challenges or feedback that I may not want to hear. Luckily I have a very big following of fans and great respect for my work so it’s always been positive to be recognized as the woman behind the brand. I guess you could say that the attachment pushes me to strive for more.
How did it all get started?
After graduating at Swinburne with an honours degree in design and photography, I worked as a photographer’s assistant for a wedding photography studio. After only a short period of time, I started my own business with a vision to offer brides a more feminine and fashionable approach to wedding photography. At the time, I was one of the only female photographers around, as the industry was very male dominated.
It seemed to me that part of my success was due to the fact that many women felt much more comfortable with a female photographer who seemed to understand their needs, and new how to bring out the best in them on the day. I liked to make them feel like fashion models, understanding that every women wants to be beautiful on their special day.
My main focus was to offer a unique experience, which encompassed offering everything from the photography, to customised wedding stationery and wedding albums with a designer touch. The response and demand for my invitation creations was overwhelming. It was then that I discovered a niche in the industry for beautiful and contemporary DIY stationer, and it started there.
How do you feel about people comparing you to Martha Stewart?
I am not surprised that many people have compared me to Martha, as Martha Stewart has often been seen as the queen of craft and decoration, and I have been best known for my creative work in this area, particularly in the wedding industry. I see it as a compliment as she is an extraordinary business woman, even though I feel that I am also very different, as I am predominantly a designer and illustrator with a desire to turn ordinary objects in extraordinary works of art.
Have you always been creative with a passion for beautiful things?
Yes, my love for beautiful design started early when I indulged in collecting paper note sets, cards and stickers with pretty patterns. I then began drawing all over my school diaries at a young age, which is when my artistic talent started emerging.
From a young age I always enjoyed making treasures out of everyday objects and creating unique handmade gifts for friends and loved ones, which lead to my for craft.
My encouraging and insightful parents soon embraced my creative abilities and sent me to art school in Northern Italy at 13, where the classical art and timeless romance of the culture influenced and formed. It has been an endless journey from there and I am now challenged in my work to transform the ordinary into extraordinary. I can’t help but see an opportunity everywhere to bring a little decoration and fabulousness to everyday objects. On that note – I must also admit that I have a compulsive desire to create, collect and colour coordinate everything around me. Less is never more!
Your range has many different components from stationery to fashion, what would you say is your specialty or one true love?
I would have to say my one true love is my Bath & Body range, in particular the Lychee & Rose fragranced Candle, Soaps and Diffuser from the Love and Lustre Collection. That is my ultimate because I have always appreciated beautiful perfumes and it’s something I have always had a passion for.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I love to draw inspiration from nature always, my designs always include floral patterns and animal themes in particular. I always look to fashion in Europe, Asia and America to ensure I am up with the trends, and then reinterpret ideas that inspire me into unique ideas. Being unique is very important to me and I am constantly driven to create new and beautiful things that people love to collect simply because they appreciate fine things.
Being unique is very important to me and I am constantly driven to create new and beautiful things that people love to collect simply because they appreciate fine things. I also draw inspiration from the return to classical elegance and sophistication in fashion trends. Attention to detail and an emphasis on decoration and embellishments create romantic and glamorous designs that sparkle and shine.
How would you describe your style?
Artistically elegant and feminine fused with rich, beautiful, decorative patterns.
Who is the Cristina Re range targeted at?
The Cristina Re range is targeted at every person who has an appreciation for beautiful objects, who wish to indulge and rejoice in the spirit of giving and receiving and for those wishing to express the ‘artist within’. If you can imagine it, you can create it.
What is one quirky fact we wouldn’t know about you?
When I was younger I used to train as a dancer as well as a martial artist. I achieved close to black belt status in taekwondo after 5 years of training, 6 days per week.
What’s next for the brand?
Where do I start? I am a big dreamer and visionary, an overachiever and love challenges, so I see the development of many diverse and unique lifestyle product ranges to expand the Cristina Re offering.
I love telling a story in every collection that I release, so I look forward to creating new and unique ranges that set the trends and continue to inspire people.
I love to write and plan to launch a collection of lifestyle and inspirational books that I have been working on for many years, in particular through collaborating with well-known inspirational people in the industry. Furthermore I have plans to work a little more in the television industry with an aim to host my own show and take creativity to another dimension… stay tuned!
What does being a woman mean to you?
Being a woman to me means making the most of the special feminine traits that we have been given, including the ability to use our intuition and inner wisdom to guide us through life’s path. I feel we are responsible to use our gifts to heal, nurture and love the planet and others as well as ourselves.