What we did in 2016...


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Wow, 2016 is already gone! I know, for two months already, but wow it went fast! Many things happened on a both personal and professional level and guess what, Pointer was a part of it all! I will try to summarise the most important events as this is the first blog post in more than a year and a half. From now on I will not neglect this noble duty and taking the risk that most of you have been following our news on social media platforms, here I go!

Last year was for me graduation year. Besides the project challenge, the real challenge was to combine my academic activity with my business plans. Luckily for me, I got to spend 2 months out of these painful 10 in Italy. I therefore took Pointer on an amazing red wine journey, tasting some of the most amazing drops of Piemonte, Lazio, Umbria and Marche. I met many wine producers and proved once more that the wonder glass is useful even when you go to check how the vines looks like. 

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After Italy, there was not a lot of time left for Pointer and I simply had to focus on getting my diploma. But somehow, by sheer luck, I got my first corporate order. Started with 5 sets, then 5 more and all of a sudden one day they wanted 120 crystal sets, completely customised for their business partners. It was blissful to work for them and I was amazed to find out they had randomly found Pointer simply laying in a sand box in a bar, in Australia! They later googled until they found us. 

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After handing in my thesis and enjoying the glorifying moment I could call myself an architect, faith had it that I was selected as one of the finalists for Creative Business Cup - the Romanian preselection. I benefited from some intensive trainings and learnt how to pitch my idea in front of investors. Did not make it to the final round in Copenhagen, but I surely learnt a lot. Immediately after this, I finally went back to my relaxed lifestyle, going for a picnic everyday, travelling the undiscovered corners of my home country, eating grapes from my grandparents' vineyards and basically sticking this beauty of a glass in all the soils I could find. I slowly shifted back into a Pointer working mode and chose the crystal glasses for the new Pointer collection, then prototyped the new glasses and photographed them in different landscapes. Before even starting to think about the future, I took one last holiday to Sicily and gave Pointer the opportunity to chill on some of the most amazing beaches of the Southern coast, but also to face the challenge of Mount Etna. Ah, forgot to mention the most amazing part of it: the red wines on this magic island!

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I later on accepted the invitation to deliver a speech for TEDx Romania, in Brasov. Took it really easy until I realised I had to deliver a draft, so that's when I started to panick. Speaking in front of an audience in Romanian was kind of scary, as I hadn't spoken academic Romanian for the past 4 years. Before I knew it, the lights went on, I had the head mic attached and I had to go in 3, 2, 1. It was probably one of the most beautiful moments in the past 10 years, a moment to reflect on my adventures, decisions, memories and future. I will tell you more about this episode in a future blog post and by that time I hope we will also have the video! Soon after, I exhibited Pointer at ZAIN, a Romanian design festival. I met many amazing Romanian designers, hanged out with people I didn't see in years and shared our experiences and challenges as young entrepreneurs in the oversaturated design industry.

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While I was home I also managed to get myself into a crazy plan with my lovely friend Ioana and her fresh Fab Squad project. This is a topic that also deserves a separate blog post, so I will just say that we organised a hell of an event in her studio, aimed to introduce to the world the new Pointer Crystal Collection and also the new Pointer website (which is still under construction, of course ...). It was my first Pointer event in Romania and I was really happy to showcase my product at "home". Many people from the wine industry joined, as well as bloggers, friends and my beloved parents. Besides the lovely wine evening, Ioana and I had a lot of fun working together and what can I say, her talent and the magic behind her lens resulted in hundreds of fun photos of Pointer and I. 

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In the middle of everything, I can't clearly remember when and how, I applied for a programme tailored for young entrepreneurs called Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs. The purpose of this scholarship is to help young entrepreneurs gain more experience and directions to further develop their business. As I had already decided I need a break from architecture, I took a leap at it and applied for several product design studios in Berlin. After a long search, I completely clicked with Ilka Brand, aka Lapaporter, a leather accessory designer based in Berlin and the decision was made: I was going to move to Berlin in January. I'll come back to this topic later on.

Yes, I call it a full year. As always, many ups, many downs, but never too little enthusiasm. 2016 might have been one of the most complex years of my life so far, but after all, I say that about every year. 2017 is already rocking it so I am really curious what kind of blogpost I will write in December later this year.

Thank you, 2016! You were amazing!

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Fab cover, dinner and footer photos by The Fab Squad | Ioana Dodan