Member of the Month - Fulana Beltrana Sicrana - The Interview

Bene and her Fulana, Beltrana and Sicrana Dolls
Bene and her Fulana, Beltrana and Sicrana Dolls

Name: Fulana Beltrana Sicrana
Etsy shop:
Site/blog: under construction

1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Ciao! My name is Benedetta but everyone calls me Bene. I was born in Pisa, Italy, 33 years ago and I live in Lisbon for almost 10 years now! Besides my brand, I work as a professional contemporary dancer and translator.

2. How and when was this creative passion born?

I have always created things. I really like to explore materials, to learn handmade techniques, like knitting, crochet, patchwork, sewing… I have always had some kind of small working spaces where I was experimenting ideas and where I was collecting wool, beads, fabrics, laces, paper… So, I believe Fulana Beltrana Sicrana is, in a way, a dream come true to create my own personal project.

3. Did you study for it or for something completely different?

Well, I have studied languages and contemporary dance and actually I wouldn’t say that it’s something completely different. Translation, performing art and making dolls involve a creative process, a transformation, an exploration… and they sometimes complement each others.

Music lovers edition - Mini Fulana, Beltrana and Sicrana

4. Is this your fulltime job or do you have another job?

As a freelancer, I have many jobs! So, I would better describe it as a rollercoaster! Intensive hard work periods and some more manageable ones when I definitely invest and give, more and more, priority to Fulana Beltrana Sicrana.

5. How did this project started?

The idea of creating my own project started more or less in the spring of 2011. I wanted to create a fabric doll and first came the name – Fulana Beltrana Sicrana – I knew the Portuguese expression and its equivalent in Italian and in others languages and I immediately liked the concept of creating three types of dolls that people could, somehow, recognize. So, I decided to associate their name to a specific hair color - Fulana has dark hair, Beltrana has red hair and Sicrana has brown hair...and last but not least it emerged their look, mainly inspired by the 60s and 70s and by vintage fabrics that I’m collecting over the years.

Fulana, Beltrana and Sicrana Dolls by Fulana Beltrana Sicrana
6. What inspires you?

The main inspiration is definitely the 60’s and the 70’s especially regarding music and fashion. Most of the things I like and that inspire me come from those years and vintage is something that, for sure, characterizes my taste!

7. How do you choose your materials? And where do you find them?

I have been collecting vintage fabrics that, mostly, belonged to my grandmother, great grandmother and mother and now, also to my friend’s grandmothers…! I’m really interested in the story behind these fabrics, mostly remnants textiles, kept in some boxes and, sometimes, already cutted to become dresses, skirts, blouses but that, for some reason, they have never been used and to which I can give now a new life.

The materials also vary depending on the ones that I have available and on the collaborations that I have been developing, among which, with Melanina design, a label created by the designer Joana Sobrinho and, most recently, with “Loja da Burel”, for whom I’m creating dolls exclusively made with the fabrics that are designed and produced by the Burel Factory.

At her Studio - Fulana, Beltrana and Sicrana
8. Could you share a typical work day?

Well, as I said before, it depends on what I’m working on!

But I would say, I wake-up around 9 o’clock, I check my emails, my etsy shop, my facebook page… and if I have rehearsals I pack my things and I go to the studio, if I have a translation I keep my pajama on and I start translating, otherwise I go to my atelier and work on my dolls, either sewing and filling new bodies, selecting fabrics, working on details, photographing the ones who are ready…

9. What is your favorite part of your work and work tool? Why?

Each doll is unique and made one-by-one and, especially for the clothes and accessories, I do not normally sketch and I cut each piece of fabric in the exact moment when I’m creating them. So I would say that, my favorite part is the act of the creative process itself, since the moment I start cutting the fabrics until I see their faces looking at me, with their own special and unique personality! My favorite and essential work tools are needle and thread!

Mini Fulana, Beltrana and Sicrana
Mini Fulana, Beltrana and Sicrana by Fulana Beltrana Sicrana
10. Why did you open an Etsy shop?

I have started selling my dolls in some Lisbon shops and one of the owners told me about Etsy and after visiting the website and getting to know a little bit more about the community and the way it worked, I have decided to open my shop and to give it a try!

11. What do you think are the benefits of belonging to a team like the PTteam?

I think it’s really interesting and important to belong to a community of mostly national crafters and designers that you can actually meet personally and with whom you can share advices and information, collaborate and, why not, become friends.

12. What do you do to promote your work and shop?

I promote on my facebook page that for the moment is my official page until the website is ready. Once in a while, I promote through the Search Ads on Etsy. And I promote personally, introducing the brand, giving my business card… I believe that the indirect promotion is also very effective and interesting: like interviews, features, collaborations, people who had already buy and promote…

La Dolce Vita by Fulana Beltrana Sicrana
La Dolce Vita by Fulana Beltrana Sicrana
13. What advice would you like to share with fellow artists or crafters?

I would say to believe in what you are doing but to be able also to adjust and to listen to good advices, feedbacks... To be persistent, professional and mostly, to really be passionate about what you are doing.

14. What do you find most inspiring in the country you're from / Portugal?

The light you have in Lisbon is something unique. It gives the city a brightness and colors that you won’t find in many places in the world and if, one day, I would move somewhere else, it would be definitely something I will miss. I think this is one of the most inspiring things, because every sunny day surprises me and touches me as if it was the first time I would walk around the city.

Mini Sicrana Mergulhadora (The Diver) by Fulana Beltrana Sicrana
Mini Sicrana Mergulhadora (The Diver) by Fulana Beltrana Sicrana
15. Where do you see yourself and your project in 5 years?

Even if I plan, life is full of surprises and unexpected projects but I would say that I will still live in Lisbon and travel for work and keep developing my brand and, why not, having a working place of my own where collaborations and showcases could also take place!

16. What would you take with you if your house was on fire?

I could say many romantic things but I have to go with my laptop!

Quick fire questions. Your favorites:

Book: “Her”, Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Movie: “Dolls”, by Takeshi Kitano
Music: Otis Redding
Artist: Christian Boltanski
Food: Portuguese, Italian and Greek
City: San Francisco
Country: Portugal :)

All photos by Bene of Fulana Beltrana Sicrana.


  1. Great interview!

    Nice to know something more about you Bene and and your creative work!

  2. Já te conhecia, Bene, mas fiquei a saber ainda mais coisas interessantes! Parabéns!

  3. So nice to get to know more about Bene!
    For example, I didn't know she's a contemporary dancer, which seems to me an amazing creative area. And I love that diver doll, so cute :D




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