Céline is the creator of COUTURE4CAMELEON (Sew4Cameleon). What is COUTURE4CAMELEON you might ask? It’s a brand that features on bags, purses fashion accessories and decorative fabrics. All of which is original, handmade and whose profits help support CAMELEON. Céline we have managed to get some of your precious time to respond to some of our questions:
- Who are you? Tell us a bit about yourself!
My name is Céline, I’m 42 years old and I’ve been living in Tokyo since January I went on an end of year internship in Hong Kong in 1997 and have been living in Asia (Hong-Kong, Singapore, Japan) ever since. For 15 years I have been the director of various subsidiaries for Italian and French groups. I followed my partner to Japan at the start of the year and decided to have break in my professional life to dedicate my time to Couture4Cameleon.
- How did you meet Laurence?
I met Laurence at an international school of commerce and development in Lyon; we were both in Asian Specialization. We found ourselves in 2003 in Iloilo where I benefited from a business trip to Cebu to see him during a visit at the CAMELEON Centre. It was there I met Miriam, our first goddaughter who was at the time 11 years old.
We have since had the chance to see her many times at the center, then supported her during her university graduation ceremony. I saw her each time I went to Iloilo, today she is 26, working and enjoying a stable and balanced life. We are so proud of her and her success.
Céline and Miriam in pink centre (11 years old)
Céline and Miriam (26 years old)
- When and how did the COUTURE4CAMELEON project start?
Whilst on a weekend in Bangkok, Oriane (Godmother of little Blessy) gave me the desire to start sewing. Upon returning to Hong Kong, I went and bought myself a sewing machine. I had no idea what I was doing, so I watched tutorial on the internet.
In addition to this I discovered a neighbourhood in the north of Tokyo – Nippori “The Fabric District” – where you can buy Japanese fabrics and assessories. I would come back from each of my travels in Tokyo with a few meters of fabric in my suitcase and put myself to work, evenings and weekends after work.
- And today?
This year I’ve setup a real workshop in my home, a photo studio, invested in materials and opened a Facebook for business page.
I have worked out my costs, set prices, followed up with clients… it is a full time job but gives me complete freedom in terms of creation and management.
I’m starting to be contacted by bloggers who organise contests on Facebook or Instagram in exchange for articles on CAMELEON.
- How do you see COUTURE4CAMELEON in the future?
My goal for 2018 is to make as successful as 2017, and better if possible!
- Added value from COUTURE4CAMELEON?
Gathering funds for the association, knowing where it goes and finding new godparents and donators.
- Bonus Question: have you already done work out in the field?
Dozens of times since 2003 with some notable moments like Miriam’s graduation, the 20 year of CAMELEON, sewing training for the mothers of the children sponsored by CAMELEON in December 2017 and the last time in May 2018 where I was able to accompany 2 pairs of friends to meet their goddaughter.
Sewing training with the Mothers of the children sponsored by CAMELEON
20 years of CAMELEON with Miriam and Samantha our 2 Goddaughters
Sewing workshop in the villages with the families of the sponsored children
A small selection of the products of COUTURE4CAMELEON