Venezuela, a gorgeous country known for its beautiful women, happy people, where the sun is out all year long; is also the birthplace of great entrepreneurs who carry and develop their charm, charisma, talent and creativity all around the globe...
In this case it was in Paris... Mmmmm, my lovely Paris… Where I had the opportunity to meet an spectacular Venezuelan lady; a hardworking women, full of  big dreams, fabulous ideas and an infinite passion for what she does: Design and create unique handbags as she calls it her CAP ANTI-COLLECTION.
Meet the wonderful CAMILA ARBELAEZ…

Camila, tell me about you. How did you end up in Paris?

I was born in caracas-Venezuela 23 years ago, but I lived in San Antonio de los Altos. During my adolescence I always showed great interest for creating accessories and for business. When I was 14 years old I made necklaces to sell to  my friends' moms and aunts… Actually, the best thing of doing business when you are a little girl is that you do not get a 'no' for an answer. When I was 17, I moved to Canada, and after I turned 18 I came to live to France. First, I lived in a small town called Belfort to later come to Paris to study acting. After a while I realized it was not my thing; so I decided to study International Business; and I began to create my handbags at the same time.
¿Which have been your most precious experiences here in Paris?

Living alone, starting a life, building a future from zero in the personal and professional level. All of those things have kept me grounded. On the other hand, the fact that I study in French has given the wonderful opportunity of being able to fuse my Venezuelan and Latin American roots with the European culture. I have had the chance to share who I am while absorbing other people's cultures. Also, being close to so many amazing things (artists, painters, music) has greatly enriched my professional path and my brand: CAMILA ARBELAEZ PARIS or CAP.

Tell me about your handbags and your work as a designer.
My handbags and my work are the materialization of my desire to leave a footprint, to share my vision, to create, to offer something different for the modern women; and of course, to represent my country. I want my bags to be that KEY ACCESSORY that reflect the personality, mood and style of the woman that wears it. I design so every woman would have a design that she can feel indentify with. I also would like to be a source of motivation for those young Venezuelans and Latin Americans to follow the way of their dreams wherever they are.

On what are you working now?

Right now I am focus on developing my online store CAMILA ARBELAEZ PARIS; and working on some colaborations. I also participate in collective  events and activities for new designers and artists.

Who or which are your main sources of inspiration?

I get very inspired by art, by my favorite artists such as Mondrian , Magritte, Frida Kahlo, Banksy, Diane Arbus, Anders Petersen, and so many others. That is why living here in Paris is so fantastic; I am constantly exposed to marvelous exhibitions of famous painters, photographers, sculptors... This helps me discover more about color, shapes, figures. And, of course, my parents are one of my main sources of inspiration. I admire them. They are for me an example of the perfect combination between passion for work and passion for life.
What would you tell to those young Venezuelans with big dreams just like yours who are living and going through this country tough situation?
Time is a privilege for us; so why not start to work for our dreams NOW? If we make a mistake we can start over; or if we accomplish any success, we have the chance to make it a bigger one. There an avalanche of new great talents (artists, architects, musicians...) in Venezuela. We can easily see it in blogs, Facebook, Instagram... Venezuelans have a SPECIAL SOMETHING; that is why we need to be ready to show an give who were are and what we have. Tomorrow is uncertain, we must act today.
Dear Camila, thank you for the example you are setting. It has been an honor talking about a Venezuelan like you.
Keep it up Venezuelans!

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