“ReLoved by Maja Komasa is a two-person family business. Our passion was born on the Isle of Man, where we lived for 10 years. This is where the idea of own art studio was born, where unique, one-of-a-kind furniture is created, hand-decorated and according to an idea, not a trend. We wanted to reach with our work to enthusiasts of their interiors who appreciate applied art. Every day I design and paint, Marcin prepares furniture for styling and repairs it. We are proud parents of wonderful twins Zofia and Antoni; twelve-year-olds who make our lives never boring.”
My name is Maja Komasa. Together with my husband, Marcin, I am an owner of ReLoved by Maja Komasa. I am educated as a teacher of the youngest classes and art. It was during my studies that I first encountered art. The opportunity to work with lecturers and artists who actively create and present their works in Poland made me sensitive to art, but most of all it taught me to look at it and perceive it with all my senses. At that time, I completely fell in love with the use of plastic products; their smell, discovering their possibilities, and also the fact that virtually everyone can perceive my works through the prism of their own thoughts and see various nuances and symbols. At that time, I did not know that one could find success styling furniture.
After graduation, we left for the UK. We started a family and began working until, finally, there came a point when I could start thinking about creating again. The first impetus to start painting furniture came from an antique store that I walked by nearly every day. The woman who owned it painted the furniture with Annie Sloan paints and sold their products. She used subdued colors and chose unique furniture. I was delighted with the simplicity of her execution. Even then I was already at the stage of painting furniture in my own apartment; I have always enjoyed secondhand pieces more than a newly bought one. She also conducted furniture painting workshops, which I never dared to go to, but I did buy one off-white paint, waxes, and a brush.
I had no idea how to paint so I approached it intuitively. I applied paint and waxes, then watched what was happening. My work had nothing to do with creating at this stage, I was just playing. Much time was spent looking for new furniture for painting and when I managed to sell a piece it encouraged me to make further investments. I watched all possible tutorials available online and tried everything that could bring the desired effect. I’ve always liked old, scratched furniture with a soul.
I have always taken notes, I still have some very old ones to this day. It’s funny to look back at them; so much of what I wrote down was trivial, but I didn’t want to forget about it. In those notes, I collected prints of furniture, the styles of which I liked, and studied decoupage and upholstery techniques. (It quickly turned out that they are not necessarily for me.) Painting furniture was what I wanted to focus on the most.
In the beginning, Marcin hated it when, after returning from work, he had to go straight to the furniture I had bought to grind and change it. But it quickly turned out that this was the best way for us to break away from work that was not our calling. Throughout this period, for 8 years, we tried a lot of products and styles. Some are painted to satisfy the need to create something unique while other, more commercial, pieces give us additional income. That is our eternal struggle: paint to sell or simply create.
What we created was different, but we had established our signature style so effectively that we began to get recognized. When we returned to Poland we wanted to continue our passion. However, nobody knew us here and we were drowning among many gifted people. We missed something that would make us different.
Now, in retrospect, I can see what mistake we made. We wanted to satisfy the tastes of all customers at all costs and provide many services — like selling paints, conducting workshops, painting furniture as a service — that distanced us from the pleasure we took in experimenting and creating. It quickly turned out that investing in paints is too much of a financial burden, service painting (or, rather, painting every piece of furniture white because that was the current trend) is too time-consuming, and the workshops, although pleasant, were exhausting.
When I started working at school, I had to give up everything that limited me. I could — and still do — spend my time painting when I don’t have school duties. This was the first turning point. We didn’t have to “chase” for extra money anymore but I could treat painting as something extra. The second turning point was finding The Turquoise Iris. Using a water bottle, blurring the paint, and blending it on the furniture gave me many possibilities. To this day, I remember what Dionne said about the phases of creation, that every project goes through an ugly stage but a true artist knows to keep going. So I did!