Meet the Members - CALMAstore

Here we have one more interview in this series.
What do you think so far? Isn't it great to get to know so many creative people and who is behind so many beautiful things?
Now we will meet an artist, a creative that as so many things to share. Welcome to world of Nena and her shop CALMAstore.


Crochet necklace white lace and cork  and Rings by CALMAstore
Crochet necklace white lace and cork  and Rings from the collection i loves you CORKy by CALMAstore

Name: Nena M.
Etsy shop:

Hello! Could you tell us a little about yourself?

Hi. I'm Nena M.. It's a petit nom with which I identify very much. There was a time when I created pseudonyms, as an excuse to venture into various fields of knowledge simultaneously without losing the thread.

The name Nena had been given to me before, by a friend, and it was when I stopped wanting a family of pseudonyms that I adopted it as the main signature for my work also.

I am a dreamer and a poet, I like metaphors because they are the best form of truth (each of us realizes them his/her way) and usually I understand various points of view to the same issue. I have a super power (that's right! :) What's yours?) – I learn languages really easily. I believe everything in my way has raised that question of communication and of sharing knowledge. Not so much as a master ,but as a companion.

To me the world is one, science is art and poetry; art and poetry exist to speak of accuracy and truth. The origins are our safe harbor.

Nena M. working at the studio - CALMAstore
Nena M. working at the studio - CALMAstore

What made you choose this craft or art?

This art wasn't really a choice; indeed no art in my life was a choice but happened as a natural path. My body has known where to go and I have not contradicted because it feels right this way. I always feel so lucky when I realize this!

I come from a family of artists and people who live culture in their daily life. So Art is a natural living, it is a logical path both emotionally and intellectually.

I started by studying classical music as a child and learned at the same time the love for literature. My plan was to study music in Vienna, be a judge and be a writer…and everyone thought I would continue that path. It was when I started painting that I understood that, first of all, I would have to go through the Fine-Arts; and I'm glad! The Academy opened very different horizons and it was there, in the end of the course, that I understood what my path was. It had to do with roots and the origins.

I learned millennial arts with incredible people, studied passionate theories, between science and poetry. I had amazing experiences to date – sculpture in stone brought me stonework, religious geometry and later the therapeutic work with crystals; traditional pottery led me to work in Poland and to learn a lot with the sculptor José Aurélio in a very magical land; at Chiado I live things in first hand for more than a decade, now; the handcrafts my maternal grandmother and then my mother and paternal grandmother taught me, have completed the circle. They've presented me artisans and cute grandmothers, all very talented. With them I learn the art of sharing little but very important things; and this is something that doesn't happen in the Academy, for instance.

Crafts worked as Art make all sense to me and I'm very thankful for having been able to open my academic horizons through fire and earth. Ceramics. From the earth and back.

Holly Green Wool Necklace with thimbles by CALMAstore
Holly Green Wool Necklace with thimbles by CALMAstore

Why sell on Etsy?

Esty is a recent world to me and it was a bit like the Fine-Arts' decision – I'm glad I made it because it brought me new worlds. I learned that I love things I had left asleep like photography and design. I've been researching about the last and finding so much genius talent!... Internet brought us the possibility of knowing all this incredible work, at home. Although in loco will never be replaced by the screen, this one helps a lot.

Etsy is precisely one of the places that contribute to this state of things. When we want something handmade, we don't google it, we Etsy it!

I chose Etsy because some of my friends and colleagues were using it. I liked the layout and when I realized how many people put their work there I got crazy.

Today, one year later, I'm very pleased that my debut was on Etsy and not another platform. Not only because of what I listed but mainly because I learned a lot about selling, both online and offline, got the courage to present myself at fairs (it had never occurred to me before) and started studying marketing little by little. I realized that it is much more interesting than I thought! A unique asset of Etsy is what brings me here today – PTteam. The teams that arise are extremely important in the daily life of a small business, especially for a debutant like me. The support I've had on the Portuguese PTteam is immeasurable. We are a team of mutual support and that says it all.

Mel with two Thimble Scarvesby CALMAstore
Mel is the model for Slow Fashion made by Calma. Here with two Thimble Scarves, handmade exclusives by CALMAstore

What do you find most inspiring?

Travelling. Sometimes even small journeys, like the daily ones, put my creativity on fire.

However, I must say that inspiration doesn't come from the sky. Obviously there are things that turn my system on immediately and sometimes almost in catapult – a ballet, a bombastic exhibition, a poem, someone's walk in the street, a smile, a phrase out of the ordinary, a concert, first experiences (whatever they are)… - but the best way of finding inspiration is working.

To work in this field, one needs to be Greek and contemplate. Can you call it inspiration? It's a phase of the project. A full head doesn't create, a soul full does. For completeness it is necessary, as we know, certain conditions that do not always come together when you have unstable income. It is complicated and I don't think it is possible to create without steady revenue (you try because you feel the need but the good stuff comes when you're happy and fulfilled).

Calma Studio
Calma Studio

You were involved in the "Mentor Month" program on Etsy. What was the most important thing that you took from it?

Etsy's Mentor Month came in a really good timing for me. I rebranded and changed the image of my work and took the program to make the necessary changes in the shop. This remodeling helped me settle what I wanted from my work and the brand that introduced it. I feel much more apt to receive my clients and treat them as I like to be treated. I'm going to spoil them!

However, this wasn't the only thing it gave me. The experience of being in an online group which is focused in the same dynamic for 4 or 5 weeks, creates an energy of evolution that's very powerful; the companionship was very healthy and the experience extremely positive. I thank my colleagues at PTteam and hope in the next activity we can all meet in person!

Name a person you find inspiring and why?

I've never been much for idols, maybe because I always felt my role models were very near to me, at home and amongst friends. I really am a fan of the people I love and surround myself with. I find them extraordinary for very important human details.

This Summer I had the opportunity of – sometimes unexpected miracles happen – meeting the one I consider to be one of the best Portuguese artists ever. A lady that goes by the name of Lourdes de Castro. I found that she is a very special human being and surrendered completely to that serenity. This lady is a landmark of world Art; she worked and was related to some of the most respected artists of this time (well, I wasn't even planed when she started but I'm here now and so is she, so I can say we are all from the same time).

Her work is humane but almost nearly out of this world. It gives us that chill that even those who “don't know a thing about Art” – as I sometimes hear people say – feel. When something is good and speaks to us in a language that goes beyond the body and is intimately connected to it, we all know it is right. Lourdes de Castro makes it look as easy as breathing – a simple complexity.

The way she worked is an inspiration. I am thrilled whenever I realize how lucky I was for meeting her, being able to witness her. I hope I can give back to the world the light she inspires me.

I leave you with my translation (I couldn't find the text in English) of an excerpt of the exhibition where I met her. Enjoy :)

Nothing simple comes from simple.

Nothing happens by the action of a unique isolated cause.
So that a result manifests itself a combination of elements is necessary.

The effect isn't but a combination of multiple causes: it doesn't have any
Existence of its own, distinct from the causes that engendered it.


All photos by Nena M. aka CALMAstore.

Check the other Meet the Members interviews.


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    We are a team of Etsy sellers with Portugal in our hearts! Our members come from all around the world and our connection is Portugal. Be welcome!