A Life of No Quiet Desperation: Break Out and Do What You Love

Life Style Light Sweater Mohair Silk Fifio

A Life of no Quiet Desperation: Break Out and Do What You Love!


Three years ago I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with my life. 

In fact, I think I got stuck somewhere between my family life, and myself. 

This may sound familiar to some of you.

I had two wonderful kids, my life was pretty OK, but there was something missing. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but I definitely needed a change. 

And a change came from the least expected thing: wool.

I’ve always been a keen knitwear collector.  Since I was a child, I’ve enjoyed wearing wool garments. I loved their feel and texture. My wardrobe was bursting at the seams with all kinds of sweaters. But I was never really happy with them, as not a single one was exactly the sweater I’d always dreamed about.

Since my search for the perfect sweater was in vain, I came up with a crazy idea: how about making one?

One day, I came across the yarn I fell in love with, and I bought it.

I rolled up my sleeves, got down to work, and designed my first knitwear set: a green cowl and fingerless mittens. 

I commissioned it to a really skilled artisan. I knew exactly what I wanted, and soon I got it!  

Encouraged by my husband to continue, I decided to take a shot at designing knitwear. 

I carefully selected yarn, and started designing sweaters, scarfs, and mittens that I’d always dreamed about.  

With no experience in fashion, using only my intuition and imagination, I designed the first knitwear collection by Fifio. 

All along, I was strongly motivated and supported by my husband, who never lets me give up on my dreams and passions. This helped me, as I’m one of those people who have a really hard time believing in themselves.

To my surprise, I really got a kick out of this!

So, I started looking for, and I found the women I wanted to work with. I got in touch with photographers, make-up artists, stylists, and organized my first Fifio photo shoot. And soon, I had a bunch of beautiful photos of my knitwear. 

I did it all on a shoestring budget, and with a little help from my friends. 

In particular, I reached out to my BFF from childhood, Tomek Nowak (a talented cinematographer and commercial director), who pointed me in the right direction.

I was lucky enough to meet wonderful people and, at a certain point, I even started to believe it was so easy to become a part of the fashion industry.

But you know what? I couldn’t have been more mistaken! 

And I slowly began to learn it the hard way.

Ups & Downs

I was really encouraged by my first encounters with artisans — their work was truly out of this world. 

But “life is life,” as they say, and my cooperation with them turned out to be a total disaster on many occasions! 

I often got the impression that they just didn’t feel like working. Once they started, all I heard was complaining. They didn’t keep the deadlines, and sometimes they sent me the knitwear I wouldn’t like to wear myself, let alone sell it!

My search for new artisans was a never-ending effort. But, pressed for time, I learned how to do it really quickly. Believe me, it’s sooo much easier said than done. 

When I look back at that time, there’s one situation that I remember very well. It literally swept me off my feet!

It was just before Christmas. I was almost done with all the orders, and there was only one left to go. This was supposed to be a Christmas present: a super-light, fluffy sweater for one of my clients.  

Time was running out, the deadline was just around the corner, and the sweater was still in the making. 

Finally, I got it. The wait was over!

 And then I saw it.

I was in for a shock! To my deepest despair, the beautiful, oversized, fluffy sweater turned out to be its own “super mini” version. It was way too short, awfully felted, and totally reshaped. 

I felt like crying aloud, but I didn’t give up on that order!

With my heart in my mouth, I called my client, and apologized for the situation. I sent her a surprise Christmas gift instead, and in a couple of days, she got an express delivery with the sweater she’d originally ordered. 

Honestly, in retrospect I don’t know how I even managed to do it!

Similar situations happened a couple more times. And I learned not to treat them as the end of the world. 

Maciek, my husband, kept telling me that I should look at them in terms of new experiences, not as failures. 

He did all his best to help me with the orders when I simply wanted to call it quits. 

Now, I find it much easier to cope with similar situations.

Pracownia nr 13

Fifio is not only about knitwear. 

It’s also about the people I’ve met thanks to it. It’s about the stories I could talk about for hours. 

I now know that once you open up for people, you’re far more likely to bump into the right ones.

Over two years ago, totally by accident, I met my dear friend, Karina Krolak. She offered me to join Pracownia nr 13. A magical place in Warsaw, where wonderful artists such as Karina, Patka Smirnow, Małgosia Knopik Skibińska (MOXOS) create their art and garments. 

I remember the day I first entered this place. I was mesmerized. It was a huge, old, postwar warehouse, repurposed for a beautiful artists’ studio. I found a space for my designs, a place where life changes its pace and colors.

And again, thanks to my presence there, I had a chance to meet fantastic women.

The women who created Pracownia support not just art, but also the talented, and underprivileged. 

I have to say that it’s thanks to them that I learned what Fifio really means to me, and how I want it to be seen. 

My nomadic nature didn’t let me stay there for long, though.

I decided to take a break and spend some time at home with my family, as the family is the most important thing to me.

Fast forward a couple of months: Fifio ended up in one of Warsaw’s concept stores. 

Again, it didn’t last for long, as I was quick to realize that I was possibly the worst sales person ever! I just don’t dig selling, especially my own designs.

Even though Fifio’s spell at the concept store turned out to be a commercial failure, I met the people who would become an important part of my life.

Life Style Red Chair Fifio
Life Style Gray Sweater Fifio

At the end of the day, I’d really love my stories to motivate at least some of you to follow your dreams, no matter your age, or what you do in your life.

Pracownia Tomasz Karcz

That’s not the end of my story. There are more twists and turns to come.

In the meantime, thanks to a friend of mine, I met Tomasz Karcz, a hairdresser, stylist, and fashion designer who had a wonderful atelier/salon in Warsaw. 

To my great surprise, during our first meeting, Tomasz turned out to be one of the friendliest people in the world, and even offered me some space for Fifio designs. 

Yet, for various reasons, he soon left Warsaw and moved to Cracow.

We went our separate ways. 

And one day, he reached out to me, and offered a place for Fifio in his brand new atelier/salon in Cracow!

I was so lucky and happy. You just have to know Tomasz personally, to see what I mean.

You meet such people once in a lifetime, and it’s priceless. 

I’m really proud that he wears knitwear designed by Fifio. He’s the kind of person who sees no barriers in life, or fashion, and I really love that attitude. 

People should learn it from him. 

At the moment, designs by Fifio are only available in two places: in Tomasz’s Cracow atelier/salon, and our online store. 

I’ve never wanted Fifio to be available in too many places. I want it to be special.

Life Style Tomasz Karcz Beanie Fifio
Life Style Fifio Sweaters
Life Style Karcz Fifio

Fifio Team

Behind Fifio, there’s always been myself and Maciek. We always work together as a team. We complement each other perfectly. 

Late in the evenings, we often laugh at our beginnings. We made so many mistakes, and we had so many ups and downs!

But no matter what, we’ve never changed our vision of Fifio. 

It was meant to be special. It didn’t follow any trends. 

I design the knitwear I was never able to find anywhere. The knitwear I’d always wanted to wear myself. The knitwear I’d love to give to my loved ones as a gift.

Life Style Fifio

In the course of those almost three years, we’ve learned everything from scratch.

Maciek has learned to design our website, and he’s been mastering the art of photography. I design Fifio, look for new inspirations, explore the possibilities, and reach out to new, exciting people. 

Together, we craft the image of Fifio, so that it tells you the Fifio story. 

In fact, I started writing this blog to let you know Fifio better. To show you how many stories are behind each sweater, scarf, beanie, or a pair of mitts. 

At the end of the day, I’d really love my stories to motivate at least some of you to follow your dreams, no matter your age, or what you do in your life.

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