We are excited to share the Accida story with our community!
It was such a pleasure writing this article with gorgeous Violeta Gordana from Accida, a new gift and homewares store in Bolton Street, Eltham. The store is full of interesting and well made exclusively ethical products for yourself, your home or perfect as a gift. Violeta shares more of her story here, her ups and downs, her interesting background and how it has moulded her into the wonderful person she is today with zest and passion for artistic ethical products and the people who make them.
Tell us about you, your background, previous work and experience.
I have such a varied CV, from being a hospitality consultant to ecommerce and being a quintessential Melbournian, juggling that with a creative career.
I have always had an interest in sculpture and artisan crafts, this is mostly due my fathers influence.
He was a sculptor in Romania and was taught Engineering by my Grandfather who lead the school. I recall spending much of my childhood with him playing in his warehouse as he would build inventions and injection moulds, just him and I (and maybe the one floating apprentice). The work was mesmerising and the huge machines and tools fascinated me. As the day would draw to a close we would return home to paintings, pictures and sculptural puzzles that he would have prepared for me. Always nurturing my creativity and teaching me how things function.
This brought my interest into sculpture and production. With much support and encouragement from my mother, I attended art school at the tender age of 17, though most my education came later after some maturity and is owed to a colourful career as an artists assistant, which then lead to mentorships in galleries and artist management. Word somehow got around and organically I began to get all sorts of commissions in memorials, commercial sculpture and prop production.
With my experience thus far I know one thing to be true, that I am absolutely in love with the creative process. I find myself steering more towards curation as a focus. Having full control over a concept and space, I naturally want to facilitate local makers. My goal is to elevate ethical. Show that there is a kinder way to live and that with mindful purchasing one can have beauty and meaning in all objects surrounding you. Especially during those daily rituals that we so often neglect. Art can be everywhere.
In summary, what does Accida offer and how is it different?
Accida offers exclusively ethical. A curated collection of functional crafts and lifestyle goods. Only selling what I have personally tried and tested, with longevity and integrity in mind. The concept is one that is all inclusive with the aim to showcase a variety of goods that all can partake in and appreciate.
Taking inspiration from Wabi Sabi philosophies, the range is inspired by nature and imperfection. With this, we offer Kintsugi services as part of closing the loop and keeping in line with our ethics.
I work closely with many local artists and businesses including a few that are currently listed with Nillumbik Connections such as Bubbles, Bears and Other Wares who is creating a custom line of soap and scent for us. Emine Handmade is also one of my artisans and I am her exclusive retailer.
What inspired you to start your own business?
After working for some brands in Fitzroy, I saw how my curation had influenced their image and how much joy this brought us all. I felt true job satisfaction and purpose.
Sadly one of these interior brands eventually closed their Victorian store, leaving many artisans behind in the process. I saw a need for representation and sought a way to fill this gap myself. Though they have influenced me and vice versa, I owe it to my experience with them for showing me a lifestyle that is slower and more mindful.
How did you come up with the name, branding etc?
The Pandemic hit and my production work had taken a stand still, so I saw this as an opportunity to take the risk. What more could I lose? With full support from my partner Chris (Blackstar Photographic Services).
Accida (ah-key-duh), is simply just a play on the word accident. Wabi Sabi philosophy talks of imperfection and impermanence – the beauty of things ageing though time. Even celebrating things that have broken by mending items with resin and gold (Kintsugi).
It was at this time I was also diagnosed with Adrenal Cancer and was promptly seen to for surgery. A year of being probed, prodded, carved and medicated to the nines.
After being exclusively online during recovery, I came to find some new normal and with the support and encouragement of Andrew at Earthbound Bolton. I decided to take the plunge and open a store that was available nearby friend, Cass at Enodota Spa.
Feeling a new energy and invigoration – even though chemo has been throwing me about – I mentioned to Ros at Here for Ya Mate that I wanted to build up stamina and ride to work but that my push bike is still too much. She loaned me her eBike. The next day I broke my leg. By dismounting on a steep hill. Very dramatic!
Can you share your biggest challenges and your most rewarding moments with us?
My health journey. I have never had any major health issues prior to this passed year. I saw myself having four seperate procedures. By being open about my journey, I have had it revealed to me the struggles that others have faced. We all have our own stories. One thing that I aim to debunk is the stigma associated with the topic of cancer and how it is so important to be heard when you are most vulnerable.
These experiences have been humbling and awoken me to my truest values.
Has your business evolved over time?
In 2018 I developed the concept of what I wanted to create. One year later I had a website built with my very own products listed for sale. The year following, a second website was developed with inventory expanding and having a focus on other makers. This year, 2021 saw my bricks and mortar store come to life which I am thrilled about.
I suppose it was a tad risky to open during a pandemic….with no resources…during treatment.
I just believe in the makers so wholeheartedly that I so desperately desire to see the vision of Accida to come to fruition.
Knowing what you know now, what, if anything would you do differently throughout your journey?
I have gained so much from my mistakes that this alone is invaluable. Humans are incredibly resilient and there is always a solution to a problem.
How can our local community best support you and your business?
By connecting and making frequent contact. I want to meet you and show you around. Introduce you to the work of our local talent, which is always rotating and oh-so-inspiring.
Tell our readers one thing about you that we don’t already know.
In 2018 we were living in a 1920’s cottage in Ivanhoe, we realised we had a rodent problem and we didn’t want to poison them, just scare them away, so we adopted a rescue cat. Only to later find her befriend them all! Furthermore, this little cat has well established herself as our obsession as we love her as our daughter. Ms. Morgan Le Fay. We wear a lot of black, it was only fitting that she wear the same!
Also, my partner and I also work at Escape Room Melbourne and have done for many years. It’s a hilarious place to work. Always exciting for us both as there is always something new to be fixed!
Accida will be open to the public on the 20th of November. Currently hours are Mon-Sun 11am til 4pm and products are available online for pick up or delivery.
Thank you Violeta, we loved getting to know you and can’t wait for your doors to open!
Thank you for reading, we hope you loved learning more about this beautiful local business. Feel free to leave a comment for Violeta below.
Click here to see other local businesses listed within our online directory.