This article is a part of the series to discover female career paths within the creative and digital industries
Lina Marciulynaite has smile all over her face. Always. No wonder her creations inspire many. She is a 26-years old fashion designer & owner of fashion label MANTAIKOTAI. Also, the dog person. She says her credo is “Live life to the max!” – we got intrigued & so it goes.
What is it that you do daily?
Every morning when I get up, I make a plan of the day. After that, I read all messages, e-mails and make calls to all clients. Then I enjoy breakfast in bed and browsing the internet, facebook, pinterest, etc. At 10 a.m. I start to sew.
In the evening I meet my friends, go out, make dinner, be with my boyfriend and make fun.
What is your mission in life?
To enjoy every minute on earth and to see all those beautiful little things around me. Life is amazing!
When did you first meet clothing design?
I have started to sew when I was only 4 years old. I made clothes for the dolls I played with.
When I was a schoolgirl I took sewing – modeling – designing lessons for 6 years.
After I have finished studies at the university, which were completely unrelated to fashion, design or fabrics, I started working in “Mango” clothing store. I have realised that I wanted to stay in the fashion business and create my own line, which would consist of high quality fabrics, vivid colours and would make you feel light as a butterfly and free as a running river.
What is your point of inspiration?
My inspiration comes from all the things that are around me, from the environment I am in, from the people that surround me, family, friends, my beloved man, the pets I have, songs I hear, movies I watch, books I read, colors I see, from nature and so on.
Why MANTAIKOTAI? How did you get the idea?
“Man tai ko tai” – these are the words that my grandmother used to say, when she needed something. She’s not with me anymore and I long for her very much. When I needed to think of a name for myself, there were no other choices, only this one. And this word really intrigues, doesn’t it?
Who has helped you in the process?
My family, my friends, my boyfriend and some people that I know helped me a lot during this period. On the other hand, I really enjoy working on my own.
How much time did it take from the idea to the opening?
It took me two weeks, when I told at my old job in the kindergarten that I’m leaving and starting my own business. So that’s how MANTAIKOTAI started and became not only my hobby but also my favorite job, which I love so much.
What is your wish for this project?
I want to create clothes and accessories for young, wild, free people, who like to wear colorful clothes. So far everything is going well.
What are the next step – what are you focusing on right now?
Now all of my attention is dedicated to the creation of my spring/summer collection of linen dresses. I’m looking for new colors, thinking about new models and dreaming about new light dresses.
What kind of lesson have you learned so far?
It’s hard to meet everyone’s taste, especially when people don’t know what exactly they want. But it’s part of my job to understand them well and to make them happy with my creations. I learn a lot from this process and it helps me to improve myself.
How many people are there in your team?
I sew and look for materials on my own, however I have the best assistant of all – it’s my best friend Dovile who never says no when I ask her to help me. Then there is my boyfriend Justas – my wonderful adviser and critic. Also Milda who is a really good make-up artist. So that’s our little but amazing MANTAIKOTAI team.
What would be your message to other girls?
Love colors, be free and stay positive!
Please share with us the most amazing experience from your childhood.
I’m in love with robots since I was little. My younger brother once had a robot toy, totally new one. I took the screwdriver and buzzed around him for half a day so he would let me dismantle it. I promised him that afterwards I would put it all back together. And guess what? I took it apart but failed to put it back. My brother cried for a long time and I only promised him that when I grow up I’d buy him a new one. I haven’t done it yet but Christmas is coming soon…
Do you have a person you have been wanting to meet for years?
Not a person. A robot from the movie “Transformers” – Bumblebee. That is a true story that I’m crazy about them!
Who is your role model and why?
My role model is my mom. I love her simple style and her passion for colorful clothes. It’s inspiring!
Do you have any favourite artists?
I always admired Juozas Statkevicius. And I still do! Oh, those spectacular dresses!
What are your plans for Christmas?
I want to spend as much time as I can with people what I love, to ride a horse during the snowy day and to run with my dog in the forest. I want to load lots of good energy for my future plans.
What do you do on Sundays, is it the free day for you?
Saturdays and Sundays are my freedays. Every Friday I go to the country by train (mostly) and I enjoy the time being with my parents, my brother and my Lithuanian hound – Aras. Trust me, I am crazy about this dog.
Where did you study and do you think you would apply there again?
I studied geography for 4 years in Vilnius University. It was interesting, but I wouldn’t do it again. I have always dreamt about fashion design, but my parents had a strong influence on me and I chose differently. Though I have no regrets right now. I’m on the right way.
Is university important at all?
Of course it is!!! Every knowledge that you get changes your point of view on the world. You constantly improve, learn so much new things, how to make important decisions and react in certain situations.
Did you have an interesting internship?
No, I didn’t have any. Yet.
What advice could you give to those looking for dream internship?
If you really want something, reach for your dreams, hope for the best (but always expect for worse) and work very hard. Success is assured.
If you would have to pick one item of your creation to illustrate your understanding about the world and yourself, which one it would be?
It would be a navy tinted linen dress with big pockets.
Makeup & Hair: Milda Užomeckaitė
Model: Akvilė Siaurukaitė
Assistant: Dovile Jegeleviciute
Part of the series to discover female career paths within the creative and digital industries