Isabel Araujo-Chirila’s Story on Great Customer Service and Stylish Fashion Accessories
Isabel-Araujo-Chirila is a customer service representative for the Yardi Call Center. In her free time, she creates wonderfully colored accessories inspired by her multicultural background. Born in Columbia and raised in Romania, Isabel worked in Barcelona for a few years. There, she worked in a call center doing the quality check for the sales department. It was a great opportunity for Isabel to develop her customer service skills by being in contact with Spanish customers.
The vibrant city of Barcelona also inspired her to start working on handmade jewelry. Later on, she added purses and bags to her list of creations and now she uses her free time to make and send beautiful fashion accessories to clients in Romania and in other countries. We asked Isabel to tell us more about her time abroad and the beautiful items she designs.
You have a very interesting professional background. You’ve lived and worked in Barcelona. Tell us a little bit about the time you spent there.
I have lived and worked in Barcelona for three years. For me, it’s one of the world’s best places to live. I believe I had a great opportunity to learn new things about the Spanish culture, but since Barcelona is a multinational city, everybody has a different background. I had the opportunity to work with people from all the Latin American countries and the most important thing that I’ve learned from them is the joy they bring to everything that they do. I’ve also learned a lot about art and that environment inspired me to start creating things.
What was your job in Barcelona and what skills did you develop?
In Barcelona I worked in a call center doing the quality check for the sales made by the employees that were in direct contact with the final customer. It was the first time that I did that kind of activity and I believe it helped me develop my customer service skills and have a closer contact with the Spanish customers.
What inspired you to start working at Yardi Romania?
Before joining Yardi, I was working on an online fixed-term project from home. As I had gotten used to working in a very active environment and I had acquired the experience of different multinational companies, I saw Yardi´s offer as an opportunity to start a new professional experience.
What do you like most about working at Yardi Romania?
The first thing that comes to my mind is the healthy work environment. I worked in other multinational companies, but nowhere did I feel that people are such an important asset, as I do here. I believe this is the most important thing, as well as the first element that makes me recommend the company to anyone looking for a job. The second positive thing that I appreciate is that the team is very young and motivated, and this makes it an active workplace.
How did your passion for handmade accessories start?
I come from a family of creative people. I believe that I’ve always had this passion, but I only began doing something about it when I was living in Barcelona, after I finished a design training. My first intention was to learn how to create shoes, but it takes lot of practice and a lot of money. At the request of a friend, I started making bracelets and from there on, after watching all kind of tutorials online, I started making aluminum rings, earrings, bracelets, necklaces, etc. I’ve also developed other models, from different materials: paper, wood, resin, etc.
I began making purses after seeing some on sale in a store. They were made out of magazine paper, so I tried to do one myself. I was very happy with the result. After designing the first ones, I came up with the idea of making single-colored purses, so I made some for myself. With the help of my friends, people started seeing my work and the first requests came up.
Each one of the pieces that you design are unique. What inspires you to create a new design or a new drawing for the bags that you make?
When I create a new bag, the first thing that I think about is the person who will use it. If I have the opportunity to meet the person, it’s even better. It is very important to me, because I can see the future owner´s personal style in each purse. This way, I can create a personalized product. Depending on the request of colors, picture or drawing, I suggest different ideas and the person chooses the best option.
You have many requests for bags, even from outside Romania. How long does it take to create such an item?
This depends on the model I´m asked to make. For a very complicated project, I might need two or three weeks.
What was the most complicated or special order that you got from a client?
I like to say that nothing is too complicated to make. All the projects that I’ve made until now were special and this is due to the fact that each one has its story.
How long did it take to create the designs that you are doing now, to pick the right materials in order to have resistant and beautiful bags?
Every time I try something new, I need to make a couple of bags using a specific method. I can say that with each project I’m learning something new, I make my own “tips and tricks” for some of the steps, in order to work faster or to obtain a special effect and I really believe that in this activity this is the only way to discover new things, through the “trial and error” method.
Would you say there is a connection between your passion for handmade accessories and your job at Yardi Romania?
Regarding my passion for handmade accessories, the most important step is to create the product and for that I need a lot of patience. When speaking to the direct customer regarding the final product, most of the times it’s a negotiation. I expose my idea and the customer has to agree or bring more details in order to reach the desired result. The work at Yardi is, I believe, what I do best as an employee, but my handmade work is, first of all, a passion and after that, a business.