I like talking to people who have taken the risk to do what they love. That’s what Kamil Mazela did, a lover of leathercraft products. He turned the hobby in the basement into a full-time job. Since January he has been cooperating with Michał Wojewodzic, who is teaching him new things in the field of hand-sewn shoes, but on the contrary – also Michał is learning techniques that he did not know before. Meet the next man with passion, the next Hero – Kamil Mazela.
At what stage of life are you today?
Kamil Mazela: In short, I am very interested in what awaits me. I constantly learn new things, and what is happening around me is for me a cosmos. When it comes to private life, I slowed down a bit – I found a wife, moved to Krakow. In my professional life, I started something crazy and I can say that I am going blind but in a positive sense. In the end, I can show others that I can do something and in the end, I was appreciated for it.
Where did you get the idea to quit your previous job and start working with Michał?
KM: Maybe I’ll start with where the skin in my life came from. My mother started to sew professionally from the age of sixteen. It’s quite funny; she had no business at the time, she sewed around in the neighborhood, and her grandmother bought the machine. She is sewing until today – continue in the same place and in the same position. Looking at my mother, she implanted this passion in me somewhere. I liked to play with the machine, which I had out of control for many times, for which I was regularly punished. Then I got a brush and my mother taught me how to clean all shavings and threads. It started with cleaning and turned into curiosity as “how to sew”. Three years ago, my grandma and my mother made an amazing gift for me and they bought the first machine especially for the skin. Since then, I have thought a lot to quit my job, make a profession from my hobby and try to earn money from it. On YouTube, I found an interesting series of films on the channel called Pasjonaci TV, where Michał appeared with his interview. Initially, when I saw him, I immediately moved on. Again, there was a confusion in the head – quit this job or not? My wife helped me with the decision, who said: “this is the best moment if you do not risk it now when?” Well, I did it. The first time I spoke to Michał on the phone, asking if he needed an employee. He adjusted without hesitating, but he decided that he could use a partner, but it all depends on my skills. At the first meeting, I brought with me a purse that I made – he was very impressed and the next day I came to his studio to work.
You seem to be completely different personalities. What does your job look like? Are there any clashes?
KM: I know that Michał cannot talk when he works. Sometimes he laughs that he’s fed up with me, because I’m pretty much talking about nature, and he likes to focus. Besides, he probably ruined me with his music. In the studio, we only listen to rap, and my leg is already jumping, although I prefer the atmosphere of the Nocny Kochanek and such things. Fortunately, I am not listening to the car yet. And seriously, it’s a positive atmosphere. Sometimes there is a rasp, sometimes there is a joke, but work full of steam and help too.
Do you feel that you have learned a lot from the beginning of cooperation?
KM: Yes, of course. Michał has a lot of knowledge, certainly bigger than me because he had time to develop. I tried to reconcile two works at once. I came home around 5 pm and by midnight I was able to sit in the basement, where I had a studio. Now I finally have the opportunity to devote ten or eleven hours a day to what I love. During this time I have learned a lot, but we also try to complement one another. I also showed to Michał things he had not met before. He keeps repeating how much he could have mistaken me at the beginning when he did not appreciate me, and now I’m constantly surprising him with something new.
If you then heard the categorical “no”, did you have Plan B?
KM: In general, I was going to start a business and devote myself to what I like to do the most, but Michał is a complement to all this. Has experience in marketing, social media, photography, where I feel completely green. If he wasn’t here today, I would certainly go in this direction, but with much slower effects.
So what is your goal: to create a good business and make good money, but to be artistically and constantly develop?
KM: I know, money is a lot of satisfaction and that’s why I do it, but it’s more important to meet a person who, after buying my wallet or shoes, will be delighted with the effect and quality of a hand-made product. Handicraft is characterized by the fact that it is unique – you will not make the second pair of shoes. Another one will definitely be better and it is great that people can appreciate it.
Do you like dreaming or do you prefer to walk hard on the ground?
KM: I think I’m definitely in the clouds. I often take up a challenge that is beyond my capabilities, and I do not seem to realize it. It is worth planning and hard to tread on the ground, but you never know what will happen the next day.
If for one day you were supposed to be a fictional character from a fairy tale, movie, TV series … Who would it be?
KM: James Bond! But only to the one Sean Connery played, who was the only one who looked like a real man. Expensive cars, the company of beautiful women, and of course the killing license.
What is the best thing that happened to you in life?
KM: Maybe I will come out for a romantic now, but the best moment in my life happened when I met my wife. We are together for only 5 years, but I just wanted to catch this moment and I just wanted to stay this way. I got to know the love of my life and already on the first date, I knew that it was a person with whom I could jump “in puddles” – figuratively and literally.
Author: Karolina Kamińska