Cristina Elena Stancu
Graphic Designer and business owner

Once upon a time, there was a girl named Cristina. She was born in the city of Constanta in Romania, founded by the powerful Queen Tomyris, almost 2000 years ago. Cristina as a little girl loved clothes and handicrafts. She used to hand-sew clothes for her dolls using pieces of her own garments, and throw “fashion parades” as her parents were off to work.

Illustration: Barbara Kaucher

Cristina loved creating and drawing, so as a young adult she studied product and industrial design. Her talent really shined through: known brands like Coca-Cola, Mondelez, and Nestle asked to work with her.

Still, Cristina felt something was missing: she wanted to travel and see the world outside Constanta.  She met a Finnish boy who told her about his city Turku, next to the sea like her own town, where she could feel at home. She travelled there many times and fell in love not only with the Boy but also with the colourful wooden houses, the evergreen forests and the beautiful archipelago, which reminded her of her hometown Constanta. Soon after Cristina decided to pack her suitcase and move to the North, this time permanently, to be closer to her loved one and to pursue a better design career.

She was excited to find new projects in the new place.

Forming connections

She could not predict a pandemic: she was forced home, like the rest of the world, making it difficult for her to meet people and start building the network she needed. Nevertheless, Cristina decided that the pandemic would not stop her. She started exploring the companies she was interested in. She participated in webinars and workshops called Empower Wednesday and learned ways to find a path to working life in this new country. She talked to people virtually in her new unexplored town, trying to make as many connections as possible. Still, this was a bit lonely work, sitting home and cuddling her cat.

One day her hard work was rewarded: She was noticed on LinkedIn and asked for an interview and a test project. After the successful process, she joined the creative company, LM Someco, as a graphic designer.

A new community

While pursuing her career as a graphic designer, the grown-up girl from Constanta reconnected with her childhood hobbies. During the Nordic long winter evenings, she started building on the idea of making her own brand of clothes, custom made and printed with her own illustrations and patterns.

To make it happen, she had to learn a lot of new things. How to build an e-commerce store, and how to communicate with her target audience. Finally, she has made it. Now Cristina has an online shop, Print N Stuff, her brand of on-demand clothes and accessories. Her clients are not only from Finland but also from Europe.

Cristina is now able to meet face to face with her new friends from the international community in Turku. She encourages those who have just arrived to pursue every opportunity and believe in what they do, even if it takes more time than expected.

During the summer days, Cristina enjoys walking along river Aura, until she reaches the sea that reminds her of her home Constanta. From her new home in Turku, she continues to pursue her creativity through graphic design and through her new online business.

Text: Lucia Vuillermin
Illustration: Barbara Kaucher


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