{the interview series} Rita Cordeiro | cooler + wooler

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Hoje trago-vos uma criadora portuguesa que certamente não precisa de apresentações. Rita Cordeiro é a mente criativa responsável pelas marcas cooler, a mais fresca, e wooler, a mais quentinha. São acessórios originais feitos à mão, com muita cor, muito estilo e muita personalidade... leiam para saber mais!

Entretanto, o tão esperado resultado: consultem o update no final do post da semana passada, com o anúncio do vencedor do giveaway pretty little thieves! Muito obrigada a todos os participantes e... Parabéns picnipic!

Não se esqueçam de seguir {the interview series} no facebook e de reler todas as entrevistas aqui.
(Por motivos óbvios de extensão e compreensão do texto, tanto pelos entrevistados como pelos potenciais leitores do resto do mundo, a entrevista segue em inglês.)

Today I bring you a Portuguese artist who certainly needs no introduction. Rita Cordeiro is the creative mind responsible for cooler, the fresher, and wooler, the warmer one. These are beautiful lines of original handmade accessories, with lots of color, style and personality... read the rest to learn more!

In the meantime, the long awaited announcement: read the update at the end of last week's post with the announcement of the winner of the giveaway pretty little thieves! Thank you to all participants and... congratulations picnipic!

Don't forget to follow {the interview series} on facebook and to read all the previous interviews here.

Rita Cordeiro | cooler + wooler
blog | cooler shop | wooler shop | flickr | facebook cooler | facebook wooler


1. Let’s pretend we don’t know each other and I’ve never heard about Rita Cordeiro. Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hi, my name is Rita.
I like making books, crocheting and knitting nice stuff, taking pictures, listening to music and shoes.
But my all time favorite is my 5 year old daughter, Alice.

2. You are a graphic designer who creates crocheted accessories. How and when was this creative passion born?
I guess I inherited from my mum the taste for beautiful and original things and from my dad the ability to do manual stuff. That’s part of why I became a designer.
When my daughter was born I suddenly remembered of how I used to love to crochet and I got back to it. First with some afghans (granny squares and stripes), then with wooler cowls and later with cooler necklaces.

the berries

3. I confess that I’ve already tried to learn how to crochet with my mother, but I really think I don’t have what it takes! When did you learn how to crochet? Is it a family tradition?
Oh, don’t say that, anyone can learn! But it takes a lot of time and patience. In the beginning it’s really hard and it seems that you’ll never finish anything in the next 10 years. But then, with practice, you’ll get into it! The trick is never giving up.
I learned to crochet with my grandmother (father side). I was a really energetic child and that was the best way she found to get me to sit by her side for hours! Neither of us knew at that time the great role crochet would have in my life so many years later. I guess she must smile a lot and be proud about it wherever she is now.


4. You have two lines of handmade accessories: wooler and cooler. I love their names! They fit perfectly with the spirit of each one: wooler for wool models and cooler for the fresher ones.
You design and manually create each piece. How do you manage to keep creating new and original models? Would you share your creative process with us?
I’m quite disorganized, I really am. So, my creative process works in a strange and not very tangible way. Basically I have an idea and try it. And all of the process is based on persistency and many tries to achieve a result that makes me happy. Very randomly I make some sketches and swatches. I’m always working on a lot of things at the same time.

all together now

5. I love your designs and the beautiful colors you choose. Tell us about the materials you use. Where do you buy them?
I use wool on wooler and cotton on cooler pieces. I buy them mostly online but I also love buying in old traditional shops. Everytime I go somewhere (a different city or country) I always go looking for treasures forgotten in warehouses.
I also love vintage buttons and wear them on some of cooler and wooler pieces.

6. I was lucky enough to win one of your pieces in a generous giveaway, but I must say that I still find hard to choose a favorite! Do you have one? Can I ask you what’s been your best seller until now?
I know how boring and highly frustrating it is to put your energy into plannning something you don’t like. So, I try to make only things I’ll wear. Most of my models were born like that, to fulfill my personal taste and needs/wants.
I have some best sellers: serpentina, fiesta, confetti and ray. And I really like those 4 too.

serpentina O|3
assymetric confetti

7. You were already featured in so many inspiring blogs and your creations travel all around the world! What means do you use to promote your work?
Internet is the greatest way of promotion. I promote my work through several platforms: flickr, cooler and wooler facebook pages, digital newsletters, cooler and wooler shops and my personal blog.
And I’m always amazed of how quick reaching a big range of people all over the world in a question of few minutes is.
And then there are satisfied clients that spread the word and let the work talk by itself, which makes me really happy.

8. What is creating for you: a profession, a passion, a necessity, a life style or a hobby?
There’s a little bit of all those things, a great mix of everything, I can’t separate them anymore.

mola pop bangle

9. Would you share with us a regular day at work?
I don’t really like routines, I had too much of that for too many years so I don’t have a regular day. I work many hours a day, and usually have my computer on so I can listen to music or watch a movie while I work.
My working day usually starts early and ends late in the night.

10. Would you give us a glimpse of your working space? Describe it and tell us what you love most about it.
I work at home in the room where I also take my promotional pictures and where my computer is.
My working space is the yellow room, as we call it. The walls are mustard yellow and in the afternoon I have sun, which feels really good, especially during the winter.

bm #27
loop O|3

11. Do you think that the time and place where you live have great influence in your work? If you could live in any place or historical era of your choice, what would it be and why?
The place where I am at the moment doesn’t influence me. My work is portable, which is cool because I can take it anywhere and just do it. I’m most influenced by pictures or colors than by the place I am at the time.
I like the 60’s and 70’s, when people made and worn their crocheted colorful clothes and accessories. I think I would learn a lot if I had some kind of time machine!

12. You have a beautiful blog: I love the words, the music and the photographs you share… and I also share with you the passion for shoes! What else are you passionate about?
I’m passionate about lots of things, which can turn into a problem because I sometimes can’t concentrate in what I should.

mola O|3

We are both Portuguese, so I don’t resist asking: what are the main problems you face being an artist in our country, Portugal?
We’re in the middle of a huge economic crisis and now things are worst than ever, but Portuguese artists weren’t never supported as they should/could be. Burocracy rules and self-employment is still a very hard thing to do.

14. What advices would you give to someone who would also like to become a designer/artist?
Work hard, be original, don’t be afraid of redoing things or reject ideas until you’re totally pleased with what you’re doing.

sneak peek

15. What are your plans for the future? And your most unrealistic dreams?
I think my future plans are my most unrealistic dreams: to have a physical shop where I could sell my work and also design books and cd covers and sell my favorite shoes brands. Always with a cool soundtrack.


Now some quick question and answer game so we can find a bit more about you and your tastes!
Tell us one:

book: any by Virginia Woolf
music: if you knew (by Nina Simone)
movie: there are many movies that I love but I remember the huge impact “the idiots” had on me.
personality/artist: Sonia Delaunay
color: I’m a colorful person so I love colors in general, but I have a crush on mustard yellow.
object: camera
animal: lambs and lamas
drink: I love water and fruit juices and Indian lassi
food: italian, asian and mediterranean and ice cream
season of the year: summer, but I also like autumn
travel destination: japan
piece of clothing: shoes, of course!
secret: you really don’t want to know, or maybe you do. But I really can’t tell.

Thank you for adding lots of color and style to this series, Rita!


  1. Thanks for this interview ! I am a fan of her colorful work !

  2. Adorei ler mais sobre a Rita :)
    Sou uma fã incondicional do trabalho dela, adoro as cores, os materiais e o design.
    Obrigada às duas!

  3. lindo =))))))) tudo lindo ;)

  4. What terrific photos! The color is really wonderful!!

  5. Such talented work, I wish I had the patience to crochet (have tried but not with a success). We had a pleasure to have her at Handmade Europe's interview series a while back, great to learn more of Rita here!

  6. Adorei ler esta entrevista. Sou fã do trabalho da Rita, tanto do crochet como das fotografias!
    Sempre cheia de cor!

  7. Thank you for introducing me to the work of Rita Cordeiro - what a great artist, I love her work and her use of colour and crochet. She is a brilliant designer, and her work has brightened up my week! I am going to go and check out her blogs now :) Great interview, very inspiring. Katie. xxx


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