Lucia Gomez Bequio, 32, from lovely, tiny Montevideo, Uruguay (South America) is a happily married, coffee lover, roller derby player, designer who loves to travel and create beautiful things. Now living in Hove “but I’m leaving soon, after Christmas my husband and I are going to Uruguay, a bit of travelling around South America and a month in New York. We want to see how being nomads works for us for a while, before settling down in Brighton for good.”
Why did you move?
“Almost 3 years ago I met William my awesome hubby online, he was living in Vienna (Austria) at the time, but he is English. We fell in love and I decided to move to Vienna from my home town. We got married and stayed there for a year, which was fantastic, but then we thought Brighton was a better place for us, closer to family and easier for me, as I don’t speak any German.”
How would you describe your business?
“Wuni is all about colours, patterns and embroidery. Right now I’m only making jewellery, which is fascinating and a new world for me, but I have plans to expand onto clothes and bigger accessories.”
How did you build Wuni?
“I’m still building it and learning something new everyday! I’ve been doing crafts and sewing for more than 10 years, selling online for about 5, with different brands and products. I’ve always loved embroidery, but the new trend of figurative embroidery didn’t really excite me so I thought, how can I take this trend and make it more exciting for me? So I started designing. That was a long process, and right after I had some samples I was pleased with, I opened my Etsy shop.
My husband helped me with the brand logo and design and then I built it from there. I also applied for the Brighton Etsy made local market and got in, which was super exciting and a big motivation to be productive.”
What were your influences and who were your inspirations?
“Embroidery is very present in South American traditional culture, so for me is not something new at all, but I wanted to bring the feeling of traditional handmade and give it a modern twist. I always gravitate towards detail, I love work that takes a great deal of patience and time but I developed my own way to do embroidery where it can be very expressive, it’s not so much about perfect stitches but more about colours, shapes and patterns.”
Where would you like to see yourself taking your business?
“To be honest, I don’t see myself building an empire, that’s not what I want. I just want my business to be successful enough that I could dedicate fully to it, make a living and maybe collaborate with other creative people, but I want to keep making my own production. The other thing I’m really keen on trying is how to manage the business while travelling around the world. Let’s see!”
What makes you passionate about your business?
“Recently a future bride ordered a customised bracelet to go with her gorgeous wedding dress. She loved it and I’m so happy to be part of her special day. I think when people understand the work it takes to make my pieces then they will always feel special wearing them. For me, handmade objects have a priceless value, and they can become little treasures. I love to be able to make things like that.”
Where do you sell?
“At the moment only on Etsy – WUNI Shop”
Have you got any other hobbies?
“Yes, I play Roller Derby with the fantastic Brighton Rockers!! It’s like my most favourite thing ever and I’m planning to visit different leagues around the world while travelling, mainly cause I can’t be off skates for too long or I get really grumpy.”
If you could be an animal, which would you be?
“Ideally I would like be a beautiful, long and stylish cat, but realistically I think I’d probably be a fluffy chubby big dog, cause I love to be around people, and am quite clumsy.”
What effect would you like your work to have on the world?
“I would love my work to help people appreciate more handmade objects. There’s too many extremely talented people out there making fantastic stuff. Etsy is a very good way to find some of them, and every time you buy something from a small business you’re helping someone make what they love.”
What makes you happy?
“So many things! Big and small things, but to name a few, my family and friends, coffee, roller derby , cats, breakfast, comfy trousers, red lipstick, chocolate, the sun and of course, embroidery!”
What is one of your greatest achievements?
“That would be following my heart and deciding to move continents for love, despite my own fears and insecurities. I’m proud I had the guts to do it and so far, it’s working great!”
What do you love about Brighton?
“I love the quirkiness of Brighton. You can find amazing characters on the streets on any given day, it’s so free and unique.”
What would be your inspiring message for humanity?
“Don’t panic! These are hard times, but crisis are good opportunities to rise and change direction. Let’s be strong and united. Love spreads fast.”
Anything more that you might have planned for the future, events, markets, upcoming promotions?
“If you read all this article you definitely deserve a promo code for my Etsy shop, enter BTNJOURNAL at checkout and get 15% off towards any purchase. Thank you!”
LET THE MAGIC CONTINUEEEE!