Toto. A solo brand that holds a lot more than just creating. It mixes emotions, dreams and life-changing experiences into a powerful cocktail of talent.
2 years ago I met Michaela, who took the scary, unknown leap to fly from her hometown of Liptovský Mikuláš, Slovakia, to the small fishing town of St.Ives, Cornwall. After watching IT crowd over and over again, Michaela learnt the beautiful language, and I’m not talking about the Scouse accent. Many people say she speaks better English than me! Which isn’t hard to be fair. With help from her close friend, she ended up landing a job and a place, which helped her settle in quickly.
We first met down at Porthemeor West during one of those picturesque sunsets everyone goes batshit crazy for. We spoke for hours whilst I nervously tried to not make a fool of myself. It felt like we knew each other for years as she told me about herself and how she got here, what she does and the general chit-chat that happens on the first ‘date’. I remember she mentioned how she created different things, constantly finding something that she’s passionate about and not feeling scared to give it a try.
I’m surrounded by so many talented people every day, each one an expert in their field, but I’ve never met one like Miska. For many, including myself, having the worry of receiving bad feedback or not gaining enough appreciation can really damage morale and can distract you from the reason why you’re doing this in the first place, for you.
This isn’t the case for Michaela, she just does it. Sometimes they turn out great, other times they too ‘great’ that nobody should see it, ever…
Either way, she just does it for herself. There’s no competing, no worries about how others will react, it’s just 100% purely for her own enjoyment, which is incredible. This kind of creativeness inspires me so much. It opens so many opportunities and gives me a whole new perspective of the word. There’s a quote from one of my favourite short books that my boss gave me recently, titled ‘Who Moved my Cheese’ (story of my life) which sums this up perfectly;
When you stop being afraid, you feel good.
She has taught me a lot. She’s taught me not to take everything so seriously and not to be afraid of stepping out of my comfort zone and just to be myself. I feel like I should end this sentence with an inspirational quote, she here’s one! ‘Worry less, live more’.
Although it’s been two years already, Michaela still throws up many surprises. Her talent to pick up something without any experience is extraordinary. You could give this girl a stick and a blank piece of paper and she’ll turn it into something incredible. This led me to ask her about TotoBrand, something that she holds close to her creative passion.
At first, Toto just seemed like any other standard brand starter, a one-hit wonder as many would say, but as Michaela grew, so did the brand.
It came out on its own. I started making little logos and tags on nothing and it just grew. As I was finding myself over a period of time, Toto was growing from one thing to another and it has never been the same.
Like many other brands, the main reason for their existence is to sell, I mean, there’s no point in making it if it doesn’t sell, right? Nah.
I’ve learnt that Toto isn’t a brand that sticks to one specific product or genre. It’s an ever-growing, ever-evolving brand that breathes a fresh, unique approach to word ‘Creative’. One day, Toto could be creating earrings, another day it could crafting aprons for the local baristas, there are no limits. Toto stands for the word creative. When you are a creative person, your brain never switches off, you are always looking for a new thing to try, no matter if you fail. This is Michaela in a nutshell and it’s why she’s featured on this series.
Although Michaela has this attitude, she admits she is still on the journey. Being a perfectionist, all be it a lazy one (her words) she will never stop creating, and Toto will never stop growing. I couldn’t be happier that this one flew all the way to Cornwall because she’s opened my eyes to what I was before and changed everything for the better. Alright enough with the soppy bullocks words, here’s a picture of us and a snobby quote form Michaela to finish.
I know I’m talented, I just don’t know what the thing is I should focus on. So I’ll focus on everything.