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Interview with ShoutoutLa

We had the good fortune of connecting with Natalia Pehlivani and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Natalia, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
After a health issue I encountered during my late teens, I decided to develop skills and do something that I could use my creativity on a daily basis. For me, doing so is therapeutic. I feel that arts in general are some kind of medicine to my soul; an out of body experience that I want, so I want to prolong this feeling for as long as possible. Discovering the power of arts and what using my creativity can do to my psyche, it seemed as a natural career path from then on. Coupling the personal with having a social impact with my work is the best combination I can think of. My vision is not only an empowerment of the woman experience, to break stereotypes about the family body, but also to invent an alternative, a feminine language which does not adhere to old binaries.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I feel that what sets me apart from others is that through my work I can uncover personal hidden stories, that which global mass consumption culture has deterritorialized. The connection that I have built through the years with my customers is more personal, they share with me their stories, their concerns, their thoughts on what it feels to be a woman in today’s world. For me, craft feels comfortable as a way of giving meaning, which previously deemed part of a folk culture, domestic and inherently feminine. My career until the last two years, I feel that it was in baby steps. Not until I found my team, the people I work with now that I am confident that we can achieve bigger things together. It wasn’t easy, I had difficult days, somedays I was questioning myself and what I did. I overcame the challenges through working even when I didn’t believe in myself. Little work every day. Also receiving the love & support of my customers made me confident to carry on my vision. Without them i wouldn’t be able to achieve anything. The lessons I have learned, is to work little by little every day, even when you don’t feel like it, even when the conditions don’t feel appropriate. Also, to know your weaknesses and leave control to other people for that part. And the most important is how crucial is to do this thing out of love, to have passion for what you do. I would say about the name of the brand, the part natty was how my grandfather was calling me as a little child and i was enjoying it, it was really sweet and I wanted to keep that memory in this way.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would recommend spring time in Cyprus. The scenery is beautiful during spring, the beaches are quiet this season and you can enjoy them to the fullest. We will begin our trip from the mountains in Troodos, there are some beautiful natural trails in this area with great views. Then we will continue with Paphos, the historic birthplace of the Greek goddess of love and beauty. Paphos is blessed with a beautiful coastline. First beach on our way is Aphrodite’s rock which according to the legend she was born of the sea foam here. Also another favorite beach in Paphos is Baths of Aphrodite. There we will have some delicious local fresh fish, straight from the little boats of the local fishermen. On another day we will take a roadtrip to Pomos, the view there reminds me of some photos I saw of Big Sur in California. And on our way back we will stop at Argaka’s pier and watch the sunset. On the next day, we will visit the capital of Cyprus, Nicosia which is the last divided capital in Europe. We will first check the remarkable new Eleftheria Square that was almost finished recently and it is a design of Zaha Hadid’s office. Then we can walk in the old city which is enclosed within Venetial walls and check all the small & cool shops & cafes there. After all these full days of exploration we can enjoy an authentic hamam experience at the Omeriye Hamam. If she/he has some more days then we can also visit Agia Napa and check the stunning sea caves there. We can even have a swim at the turquoise crystal clear water there! On our way back we can stop at Larnaca and wander through the picturesque old town and of the seaside promenade. We can also venture a bit from the city centre to see the Larnaca Salt Lake (which is home to migratory flamingoes in the winter months!) Cyprus is a small island but has so much to offer to visitors and it is very much worth exploring. I could add so many other things to do but we will fill up the interview.

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