Isabella exudes genuine warmth and charm. She's both creative and entrepreneurial, generously sharing what she's learned from both worlds. I know that you will enjoy getting to know her as much as I did.
In the Studio with Isabella Strambio
Italian-born, Isabella spent her childhood in the idyllic city of Imperia, a lovely coastal city next to the French border with sparkling blue water, surrounded by hills.
After spending 13 years traveling in the best design cities to work as an international interior designer, in 2016, she felt her creativity needed a boost and by setting herself a personal challenge to learn twelve crafts in twelve months she transformed her passion for anything handmade into a fully-fledged successful creative business.
Isabella quickly became frustrated by the lack of information available to those that wanted to build a business out of macrame using recycled and natural materials so she started working globally with sustainable macrame suppliers. While gaining enough experience teaching this healing, mindful art, she then became the most sought-after macrame teacher in the UK, Isabella's online students and clients come from all over the world.
With a drive to create and transform women's lives and make beautiful bespoke pieces, Isabella runs successful macrame and creativity courses both online and in person for beginners and for those who wish to transform their creative passion into a sustainable business.
Photo credit: Nadja Litau Photography and @_twome on Instagram
Where do you get your ideas from? What are the steps to creating a new project?
Inspiration can come from anywhere, but for me, nature is often the richest source of
inspiration. The natural world provides me with an endless supply of shapes, textures,
and colors that I can incorporate into my macrame designs. My background in Interior
Design is also a huge source of inspiration with trends and materials.
As an artist, I often find inspiration in my own personal experiences and emotions. I use
my art as a way to express myself, I am most happy when knotting as it’s a brilliant way
to work through difficult emotions too.
You create such a variety of items with macrame. What are some of your
I love creating my own designs for my courses, workshops, kits, and recently for my
macrame retreat. I love making large projects and adding my unique style to them,
elegant, simple and timeless. I play with textures and materials like bamboo strings
which are absolutely soft and give the piece a luxurious feel.
Some of my best pieces have been installations and commissions for interiors and private clients.
When I see your work come through my Instagram feed, I instantly know it is
yours. How do you keep such a consistent style or brand?
I worked hard for years in perfecting my style as an artist and still do.
I know this will evolve with the years but I guess there’s always something that remains
unique- a thread of my own personality and creativity.
I invested early on in learning and implementing brand values, tone of voice, storytelling
and what can make my brand recognizable.
Your pieces are so fresh and modern. Is this intentional? How is your macrame
different from what we did as kids?
The main difference between macrame today and back in the 60s and 70s is the selection of material and colors available these days.
Adding your own style to macrame is easy and I personally love using mostly natural
colors and playing with textures, keeping the designs modern and timeless.
How do you balance your creative vision with the desires of your clients or
customers? Have you ever had to compromise your artistic style for a customer
and if so, how did you handle that situation?
There’s a lot of listening in the process. When you work with clients you want them to be
happy with the work but you also aim to open their eyes to new possibilities that they
haven’t thought about- essentially educate them on how their vision could come to life.
The best projects, in my experience, are with clients that are open-minded and have a
vision and trust the artist to deliver the best work.
In what ways do you engage with the macrame community? Are there any events,
workshops, or online platforms that you find particularly valuable for networking
or sharing your work with others?
I love creating a space for community and engaging with other female artists and
creatives. When I started I didn’t have such a thing so I created my own macrame
community called ‘Your Macrame Community’. Locally I run a regular creative meetup
for women in the creative industry.
I make sure I also collaborate with other female artists and brands. This exchange is so
valuable for keeping your creativity going, keeping inspired, learning, and making new
friends. Like we are doing with our upcoming Kit Class (more on that later).
- What other arts or crafts do you enjoy making?
I love pottery, natural dying, broom making, and crochet….I love crafts and I love
tapping into my creativity using different mediums.
- How would you describe your lifestyle?
We are a creative family! It was a dream come true for me to be able to have my own
home studio and be able to work around the needs of a young family. We wanted
to live in the countryside as we love nature and at the same time, we love travelling and
going back to London to keep in touch with design and friends.
I love that I get to decide how I’m going to spend my time and where I want to put my
energies. If one morning I’m not feeling at my best and I don’t have meetings planned or
urgent deadlines, I can take my time to look after my well-being and garden.
You seem to have mastered the balance between making beautiful art and
running a profitable business. Did that come easily to you? How do you
determine where to put your energy?
The balance of being an artist and running a profitable business doesn’t come easily!
You have to put the work in!
In the beginning, I made lots of mistakes as it was hard for me to find a mentor with my
specific needs. I invested in myself and my business and grew organically as I put into
practice what I was learning.
One of the rules I share with my creative business students is to focus on actions that
will bring you business growth or money. For example, if you have 30 minutes to dedicate to your
business and you have to pick between answering an email about a possible future
workshop or updating your logo, ask yourself: which one of the two will bring me money
or business growth?
In my business group coaching, I take my students through the process of turning their
hobby into a business step-by-step sharing my personal experience and the lesson
learned so they don’t have to make the same mistakes. A shortcut to success!
I love how you desire to help other creative business owners. Can you tell us
more about that and about your Hello Creatives Academy?
I believe it is my purpose to help women to awaken their creativity and help them turn
their creative hobby into a business if that is what they desire.
As women we have so many responsibilities and we tend to be hard on ourselves. I
want to create a community of creative empowered women that can believe in
themselves and their creativity and be financially independent.
‘Hello Creatives Academy’ is the business part of my creative business and where I
share the tools that have helped me and my business with tailored courses and group
coaching. I always emphasize that each of us is different with unique skills, art,
businesses, and lifestyles, therefore there isn’t a universal strategy that can fit everyone.
I share the tools and knowledge and it’s up to each individual to take and implement
what resonates with her and fits with her business.
‘Hello Creatives Academy’ is for all those creative women that are looking for a platform
to learn how to start and run a creative business with ease and caring support.
Tell us about some of your small and big goals for the future.
There a quite a few exciting projects in the pipeline, some of which I can not reveal yet.
However, I can reveal that I’m launching my third book, Macrame Christmas, on the
31st of July.
I will also run a new free 3-day macrame challenge before the end of the year and you
can sign up for the newsletter here to be the first one to know.
I am thrilled to announce that Isabella has created a gorgeous Macrame Tree of Life Kit Class for us!
Isabella will teach you, step by step, how to create this stunning macrame
masterpiece for your home or to give as a gift. You will get everything that you need in one, carefully curated box including all of the supplies and the link to the video instruction. If you are interested in discovering more about the artful fusion of texture, design, and self-expression, get on the list for the introductory price when the kit is launched.