Members Spotlight

Silvia Chiteala, co-owner and fashion designer

Now Co-owner of a fashion design studio from Romania
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Hey, I’m Silvia! Being part of the Upstairs Community, I discovered a lot of storytellers who are not afraid to be vulnerable – a quality I value above everything else in others. Because only when you open up and share your biggest insecurities, flaws, dreams – that’s when you can establish a connection with others. My favorite part of this little corner of the internet is the members’ essays. I have discovered intimate things about people I have no connection to in real life, and that’s a powerful thing.

Find me on my website, Instagram

My superpower skill

My superpower has always been resilience. You can always focus on the bad stuff, but that would get you nowhere. No matter what happened in my life, I’ve been a positive person and found beauty in all sorts of places. Life is unpredictable, and you’ve always got to be prepared to land on your feet. Some of us had less-than-perfect childhoods, so we had to work on being resilient from a young age. You fall to the ground, you get back up and fight harder ‘till you see the light.

What influenced my career 

This is gonna sound cheesy as hell, but what influenced my career the most was Laura — my best friend and my ’business associate.’ In the beginning, we were a couple of twenty-somethings with zero real-world skills but with a genuine feeling they were gonna succeed. That was obviously based on nothing but naivety.

So, basically, we had to learn everything together and influence each other every step of the way. Maybe our biggest luck is that we grew together — just a couple of outcasts with a delusional conviction they were gonna change the way women dress. We wanted to bring color and madness into everybody’s lives because these elements made us happy.

Favorite way of slowing down to enjoy the moment

When I’m really anxious and can’t ‘get out of my head’, I go out and drive for a while, which soothes me and slows my brain from hyper-ventilating. It’s my guilty pleasure because it reminds me of childhood when things used to be so much simpler. Our dad used to take us out for a drive — my mom, my brother, and me — and it was our family time and the best time of the day.

The last time you talked about a mistake you made 

The last time I talked about a mistake was last week – the pandemic forced us to take some really tough decisions — some of them good, some of them bad. At that time, they seemed perfect, but after a while, we started to question them. However, as an entrepreneur, it’s really important to face that paralyzing fear of taking gambles. You can never have all the facts straight, and nothing can guarantee your success, but it’s important to take leaps of faith. Some will work, some will be painful lessons. But if you don’t try, you’ll definitely not make it.

Working with different people

Having an international alternative brides shop gives us the opportunity to talk to a lot of people from all corners of the world on a daily basis. Being in contact with people from different cultural backgrounds and different fields of activity forces you to get out of your comfort zone and puts things in a different perspective. The thing I love the most about it is that the amazing stories we hear from our awesome collaborators and clients fuel our creativity and are a source of constant inspiration.

One professional tip that you learned the hard way

When selecting a team member, the most important thing we search for in a candidate is to see the kind of person they are. You can always learn a new skill or perfect your abilities, but a difficult person can ruin a perfect environment. So, human quality beats perfect skills.

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