First of all thank you for taking the time to read this little autobiography.
I am María Irene. I was born and raised in the city of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, a country of happy people, since Dominicans will always give you a smile, positive people, since Dominicans will always tell you that everything is fine, and especially working people that get up day by day to fight for their dreams.
I grew up in a family of artists and entrepreneurs. My mom is an Architect with studies in Fine Arts, so I grew up in the middle of workshops from stained glass, oil paintings and ceramics. My dad, on the other hand, studied accounting but is an entrepreneur, so I also grew up in the middle of organizing warehouses, making orders, and visiting clients. So it is not a surprise that I have thrown myself on this journey of entrepreneurship.
I studied architecture at the PUCMM Santo Domingo. At the end of my studies, like many graduates, I did not know very well what to do. I was looking for a job and sending my CV everywhere but I did not find anything. At the same time I applied for a Master in Canada or Argentina. One of my best friends moved to Barcelona to make there a master and she convinced me to apply there as well. I prepared all the documents and sent my application.
After a few months I received the email that I had been accepted at the IED Barcelona to do a master’s degree in Sustainable Product Design, Innovation and Management. So don’t be surprised when you see (someday) some products designed by me in the Flott & Fesch online store.
Anyone who has visited Barcelona knows that architecture and design are lived and breathed in this city, from Cerdà and its urban plan to any restaurant in the Gracia neighborhood. Everything is designed! Having lived in this city sparked my creativity and my way of seeing life and things forever.
I arrived in Germany in December 2013, with a suitcase full of dreams. Without knowing much about the German culture and without high expectations. The idea was to learn the language, but then I fell in love with the country and i wanted to stay.
In 2014 I started working as an intern (because I was not allowed to work) in a small architecture studio, it was my first job in Germany. I could hardly speak German and my boss was very patient when he had to explain some things to me. Since the studio was very small, I couldn’t be hired, so I had to find another job.
In 2015 I started working for another architecture studio. It focused on the design of soccer stadiums, amazing, isn’t it? After a while, however, I realized that I couldn’t identify myself with soccer stadiums, so I wanted to change the subject.
In 2016 I switched to a modular construction company. For those who do not know what this is, it is a construction system where a building is built almost entirely off-site, in an industrial plant. I still work there, this means that Flott & Fesch is not my main job.
Later I started to design one of those dreams that I brought to Germany. I began to design and create the Flott & Fesch project. It needed until 2020 that I decided to launch Flott & Fesch, even though I had the feeling that it was still not perfect. But I accepted that it will never be perfect, because it is an ongoing process and it’s better to start than waiting endless time.
So basically Flott & Fesch was born from one of those dreams that I brought to Germany in my suitcase. It is born from the desire to create and connect more with people and their culture. So i hope to go knocking door by door and that you let me be present in your homes with my design ideas or products.