NAME: Carla Nicolas Martinez
BACKGROUND: Superior Technical of Engraving and Imprinting Techniques
ACTION/SECTOR: Industry, services, culture
ORGANIZATION: El Calotipo
My Background and Career
I began my professional career in the metal sector, in which I specialised in micro welding and welding of light structures. Then, I began to work in the production department of a telecommunications through optical fibre enterprise for 6 years, being the only woman working in the enterprise. After a while, I decided to take up my studies again, mainly focused in the Graphic Arts field. So I completed my studies as Superior Technical of Engraving and Imprinting Techniques in the Art School of Zaragoza. From then on, I started a tour in the best graphic centres, both inside and outside the national territory. Al the skills and experiences acquired during this time, encouraged me to set up, in December 2011, my entrepreneurial initiative ‘El Calotipo Printing Studio’, located in the neighbourhood of San Pablo, in Zaragoza. It is a workshop about the Art and Design of Books, devoted to the making of hand-made editions, so as to retrieve almost-lost trades, and makes this workshop a point of reference in our country, getting back to ancient imprinting processes by means of digital designs. My workshop has become in very few months, a project with international subscribers, so we are currently working on the internationalisation of the business through an online sale medium, and common projects with similar graphic workshops in the USA. I must add, that thanks to this project, I am working on the revaluation of San Pablo neighbourhood, and trying to make it more dynamic, as it is one of the most deteriorated neighbourhoods in the city.
Economic Problems: the start-up of a Business or Workshops requires an initial investment that, given the current economic situation, was very hard to face.
Personal problems: in 2011 I was diagnosed with two slipped-discs in my backbone, specifically in the superior part of my back, as a consequence of the physical efforts that working in the engraving workshop implies, the working conditions in my previous job in the hospitality sector, and the long-term stress situation I was exposed to as a consequence of the start-up of my entrepreneurial project ‘El Calotipo’. All these reasons led me to these two slipped-discs, which caused a barrier in the upper part of my body.
Keys for success: what has helped me most in getting over any kind of difficulty in the business has mainly been my family. Moreover, all the received learning and training, as well as my own personality, have helped me to success in this business; I also have to take into account the professional relationships I have developed during this time.
Inspirations: doubtlessly, I can say that Silvia Pagliano, an Argentinean engraver and my mentor, has been a great source of inspiration. Besides that, my stay in the USA and all the enterprising women and artists around me, encouraged the start-up of my own entrepreneurial project.
Competences: I learn new concepts easily and I apply new knowledge to what I’m doing in my job. Moreover, I adapt easily and quickly to the new changes there may be. I like listening and paying attention to other people’s problems, in my case, from the two persons I work with, and I think I can share and communicate any kind of information received. I love cooperating with other people when I am working, and also team work; that’s why I think the personal development that one acquires in their job is very important, because it helps you to develop as a person. When negotiation is needed, I like that all parts end up being satisfied, and if there is a problem I try to solve it as soon as possible. I think it is very important to set one’s goals while working, so as to be able to reach previously fixed aims.
Qualities: Personally, I consider myself a very active, talkative, and optimist person. Being ambitious, risky, persistent, and above all, being self-confident, has helped me a lot in my business. I like innovating constantly, and I am quite creative in what I do. Although I am a very progressive and open-minded person, I like being self-critical with what I do. Despite being a very independent woman, I can work in a team and I like doing it.
Hints & Tips
My personal piece of advice to all the women who are thinking of starting up a business or enterprise is to be persistent. If they want their idea to be carried out, they must fight for what they want to achieve, and never give up. Persistent work and daily effort, will sooner or later get a reward, and all the sacrifices made, as well as the money and time invested in it, will be worth the effort. Although it is good to get help and advice from the people around you, never let pessimistic thoughts discourage you and make you give up. If you don’t take the risk, you won’t win, and in order to succeed, you have to be optimistic and think that everything will come out well. You mustn’t let yourself be carried along by fears, neither yours nor from other, as they are only barriers, obstacles we must avoid in order to keep going forward. Fighting for what you want is essential, and you must always have this in your mind for your idea to be carried out. Not even the health problems I suffered from have ever stopped me from keeping moving forward with my workshop because I believe in it, and I think that fighting, I will be able to keep evolving and widening the scope in order to achieve success.