October 22, 2021

Beyond Going Long

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Our lives do not dictate what kind of life you should live and how you should organize it

Our lives do not dictate what kind of life you should live and how you should organize it

Source: Karen Harmanova

At first she devoted herself to singing, which she stopped after a short time. She preferred to choose a company and now produces eco-notebooks, popular not only in Slovakia. I met Karen Harman, who also travels frequently.

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From opera to business

laptops under the brand Crouch Production began more than ten years ago. She claims that the diary found itself in reality. “For a while my good friend and I also owned a clothing brand, made handbags. We made a few models out of a bug screen. It worked really well, and we really liked it,” Karen laughs. She devoted herself to many activities and suddenly she did not have time for everything. “But in the end, diaries and notebooks triumphed for me. I should have had more skills and knowledge in fashion design and by that time I started college, Kroche had grown a little bit more… You can’t do everything, that’s one of the things I have to mention by myself “.

She studied opera singing and used her beautiful voice in the choir at the Nová Scéna Theater in Bratislava, but after six years she decided to leave this job. However, she does not regret it at all. “I sang on the new stage in the choir in beautiful musicals like Cats or Mamma Mia. It was a great time and an experience, but the truth is that I never wanted to live in Bratislava. Six years later, I realized I still felt the same way and it was time So, even though it wasn’t easy, I had to say goodbye to the new stage,” Karen explains.

Source: Timea Krauszová

However, she does not regret this decision at all, but admits that she is behind the stage. “I can’t say I didn’t miss her, but I knew she was so good. And if I’m not sorry, it means one thing – that I wasted five years of my life. However, I knew from the start that it wouldn’t last forever, and one day The days I had to make that decision to open the door for me somewhere else. It was worth it.”

She also taught singing at the Elementary Art School, where I also took piano lessons. She admits that it was difficult for her to leave. “It was a great job, but I knew I wanted to dedicate myself completely to my brand. It wasn’t an easy decision, especially during the pandemic. Well, I was standing at a crossroads. I knew that if I wanted to promote my brand even more, I had to devote all my time. For this reason, I confess that I said goodbye to my ‘children’ at school with a sad heart and set out on my own journey.”

Source: Karen Harmanova

But surprisingly, she was never interested in opera. However, soon she had to decide which direction to take in life. “But music and art as such are close to my heart. I love to break it down and explore it and listen to it and watch it. You would definitely agree with me that deciding what to do in life at 15 is overkill. It’s definitely okay if you want to do something different what other people expect of you.I found myself in choral singing and vocals and musicals and jazz and loved it as a casual act.I’ve really given up everything now but nowhere is written that I will never be able to return to singing one day.I don’t think it will work for me and I will continue to do it In a good project in the future. Of course, in addition to the carousel, “ Karen explains.

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She gave a stop sign with a motivational quote

Her notebooks and diaries are made of felt and are largely handmade. According to them, they are lighter in weight and last longer than regular cardboard or leather packages. The diary is never cool, he adds with a laugh. “I also use first-class materials for other parts of the product, and we print all diaries and notebooks on Munken design paper. The interiors are specific too. Unlike other diaries, our diaries don’t tell you what life you should live and how to organize it. We respect that everyone Different and has different requirements for the organization of time. Therefore, in the diary you will find a simple division and plenty of space for your own implementation, nothing more. In particular, there are no motivational quotes. “ Karen laughs.

Source: Dávid Fereník

In addition, Karin literally takes pride in handcrafting oversized notebooks. “We could save a lot of money if we made it entirely by machine, but I certainly wouldn’t want to go into it. I wouldn’t rule out that there would be such products, but with notes and notebooks, they are written directly into their DNA that we make them by hand.”

Million trees for Africa

However, thanks to the notes, it also helps those who need it most. Proceeds from the sale go to the Integra Foundation, which focuses primarily on people in need and also works to improve the climate by planting trees.

“With our money, we support the Million Trees Project for Africa. Planting trees helps mitigate the effects of a damaged planet. Trees will allow the Earth to regenerate better and absorb excess carbon emissions. In addition, they are service trees that give local people a job. For their farmers, trees provide A sustainable source of livelihood and decent working and living conditions. For a long time, I felt that I wanted to return to our country at least part of what I take from it and dedicate part of the profit to a good cause. “ Karen claims.

This means that from every lot sold, ten to fifteen percent of the profits go to planting trees. The Integra Foundation launched the project in 2019 and aims to alleviate the climate crisis by planting trees. Karin also proves his great concern for the climate crisis and the environment by trying to produce without unnecessary waste. It gets rid of all waste and uses it in the next production process. “Others might throw it away, and I see in it a whole item to use again. In fact, I don’t even have a basket in the studio, just a small bag hanging under the table, where we just throw away the little trash and dust from the vacuum cleaner. In Karosh’s Waste-Free Collection, we produce decorations Christmas, earrings, birthday cards, bookmarks and saucers are leftovers.” appointed.

Karen lives with her husband. Both are digital nomads. They simply do not depend on the location in which they are located and travel a lot. Half a year ago they moved to Prague and both traveled to many countries. “However, we’re not the typical digital backpacker you can follow on Instagram. We don’t live in Asia, we don’t change location every month, and we don’t sleep in a caravan. I’m now in Croatia, spending six weeks this year and I’m here for the third time. We’re also planning To live in Italy and see where the wind will take us. None of this would have been possible without our location independence. For me, digital nomadism is just about being able to travel, not necessarily using it headless while still running somewhere. The great thing is that my husband and I We were raised as equals in our family.”

Source: Karen Harmanova

He has more time for himself

This lifestyle gives her a tremendous amount of freedom and that’s what she appreciates the most. All the time is only hers and she can plan it just as she wants. “When I was employed, I had to plan all my free time for specific days, which sometimes restricted me. Now I like it when I get a call from someone who just came to Prague and asks if I have time, I can say I have. When I find cheap flights We take a short trip and don’t have to limit ourselves to weekends. I consider it a huge gift that it is possible to live in a country where I can freely decide my life in this way.”

But not everything is as rosy as it might seem to people. “We simply knew it. Often I work at night or during the weekend, because the robot will always be waiting for me. Sometimes I feel like having lunch and coffee with my colleagues, when we have all been complaining about work and relieving stress. Every job has its advantages and disadvantages, and it may My husband and I have always wanted to experience this lifestyle.”

However, it does not work like most entrepreneurs, which many cannot understand. Since he’s been so dedicated to his brand, he’s constantly listening to questions like: And what are you actually doing all day? “I wonder the world, there is still something you do in your own business. But people who have not tried it before have no chance of understanding it. On the other hand, I openly admit that I do not work like some other entrepreneurs. It is a conscious decision and I am aware of its consequences. If I work six Ten hours a day, my brand would really be somewhere else. But other values, family, time with my husband and friends and especially well-being and peace of mind are also important to me,” Karen explains.

The artist does not have a normal working day. That’s what she really enjoys about her job. “Notes are mostly sold out of my show, so the year I own it is divided into pre-Christmas and after-Christmas. Autumn and winter are demanding, lots of orders every day, I communicate with business partners, I replenish supplies in stores, answer inquiries on Instagram. …it’s fun. Out of season, it’s about budget planning, I’ve been creating new products for spring and summer, trying new collaborations and so on.” Describe.

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There is interest in its products not only in Slovakia. The diary traveled many countries. “We have many sales from the Czech Republic, where there are also products in many design stores, of which there are more in the Czech Republic than in Slovakia. What makes me very happy is that we also received one large order and several smaller orders from the USA or Canada We definitely want to fully expand into the global market in the future,” Karen claims.

Her biggest inspiration was the old diaries. He admits that this is the most beautiful thing he has. “Old diaries, memorials, and notes from my old and great parents are the most beautiful legacy I have from them. We can do the same. Write more and less and keep all the diaries for your grandchildren or great-grandchildren. Some things in our lives are truly final, but memories can last forever. None of us ever take it and it’s up to us if we decide to immortalize it. It inspires me more in my work,” Adds at the end.

Source: Karen Harmanova