More Than Mentoring – meeting Katarzyna Konieczka 0
More Than Mentoring – meeting Katarzyna Konieczka

In the autumn of 2022, struggling with internet connection during our business trip to the post-apocalyptic Wasteland Weekend festival in California, we submitted our application for a competition organized by Pomorze Zachodnie – the West Pomeranian region where our company is located. The competition aimed to select one business from our voivodeship to participate in a series of mentoring sessions with an internationally renowned figure in the field of design. When we found out that our mentor would be Katarzyna Konieczka – a representative of the global elite of avant-garde costuming – we knew it was an ideal opportunity for our company, like a dream come true.

We did it: the jury recognized our application as the best. Soon, we met Kasia Konieczka for the first time. Despite being slightly nervous at first – it's not every day that you sit down with someone who has dressed celebrities like Madonna, Lady Gaga, and Jennifer Lopez – we quickly found common ground. Over the next few days, with complete honesty and trust, we talked with Kasia about all aspects of Wasted Couture: design, materials and fabrics, customer relations, social media, and a myriad of other more or less important matters.

Our mentor also revealed many interesting aspects from the background of her own business. Discovering similarities and differences – which, despite operating in the same industry, were surprisingly even more numerous than the common points – was a fascinating process. When it was time to say goodbye, we felt like parting with a friend. Fortunately, this was not the end of our collaboration!

We continued our mentor-student relationship through a series of video conferences and phone calls. We progressed with the most important threads, started back in Szczecin, discussed various ongoing matters, and most importantly, worked out the details of the project we were collaborating on. Under Kasia's remote supervision, with her advice, feedback, and critiques, Wasted Couture's workshop brought to life the costume of a fallen angel: a corset, mask, and monumental wings.

The costume's premiere took place at the Design Conference organized by the Marshal's Office of the West Pomeranian Voivodeship. With genuine joy, we talked about the course of our mentorship program and presented the audience with the tangible result of this collaboration. Speaking on stage at the Pomeranian Dukes’ Castle alongside the biggest stars of the global design world was an unforgettable experience for us. Although it was the official conclusion of the Mentorship Program, our connection with Katarzyna Konieczka had long exceeded its formal framework.

Today, we enjoy an authentic and friendly relationship with the designer whose works we had timidly admired from a distance for years. We learn from each other, support each other, and are convinced that our collaboration will soon yield more exciting results. None of this would have happened without the huge support that Pomorze Zachodnie provides to entrepreneurs developing their businesses here. We are very grateful for this opportunity – and we are convinced that it could not have been used any better.

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