EDITION: June - August 2011


Texto: Helen Howard

When I first met Beatrice and Francisco I was greeted with big smiles. Somehow they seem to exude happiness. They are good evidence that the choices we make in life substantially affect both the quality and content of the experiences we get.

Their label “Beatrice San Francisco”, which represents their beautifully designed hand made clothes is undoubtedly one of the best known in Ibiza. Every year, for the past 7 years, the company has been chosen to exhibit in the “Moda Adlib” – a high profile fashion show, attended by some “big names”, in which the government select those whom they consider to be the best designers on the island. But their success does not stop there: In 2010 they exhibited at the “Blue Fashion Festival” – an event which was intended to showcase the top 15 designers in Spain.
There is a story behind their success which is both simple and inspiring. It could be summed up in one line: they have followed their hearts! It is easy to get sucked into the illusion that in order to do well in business we must make big compromises or be extraordinarily lucky. But if one takes a closer look, one can see that in this case the benefits have probably been much greater as a result of being true to their most dearly held values.

Beatrice and Francisco, as well as being business partners, are married and have two daughters aged 9 and 15. From the moment they met they were “like magnets”. Soon after they got together Francisco decided to try his hand at knitting one of Beatrice’s designs. The first results were pretty disastrous, but under Beatrice’s tutelage, he persevered. Within one month he was knitting incredible dresses, and they had a team! In the early stages, they almost succumbed to being victims of their own success. One client bought their entire collection and they became “workhorses”. Beatrice tells how she was often working 20 hours a day and suffered from constant headaches, but they decided that no amount of money was worth this kind of sacrifice and thought about ways of turning things around. They cancelled the lucrative contract and Beatrice took up meditation and yoga. Within a short time her headaches had completely disappeared and she was much happier and more relaxed. She believes that the continuation of these practices helps her to maintain positivity and focus.
The couple also immersed themselves in other things that made them happy – Most importantly, their family life, and an extended family of dogs, cats, chickens, frogs and fish. They also have a big garden to take care of with more than 100 fruit trees. Beatrice often makes marmalade or bottles fruit or tomatoes. Francisco enjoys gardening, painting and making things out of wood and the family often spend time together in creative projects: making music, cooking or anything that takes their fancy – in fact the girls have also shown a lot of enthusiasm for the fashion business and like Francisco have both learnt to knit some pretty stylish clothes. They also model many of the clothes in various catalogues and magazines.

Despite prioritising their ideals so as to create a fulfilling life, the fashion business has continued to be successful on it’s own merits and the couple have found that they do not even need to attend trade shows – they have established enough of a reputation for clients to contact them directly. They now have a factory in Barcelona, and have reached a point where they can take time off whenever they need it. When new designs are created, it is from a place of genuine creativity and inspiration, rather than a frantic compulsion to meet the next order. Inspiration often comes from nature. Beatrice says she never buys fashion magazines and doesn’t look at trends and tendencies. Instead, she goes out jogging and walking, and it’s at these times that her best ideas come. Staying close to the ground, nature and people has been an important theme – and perhaps this is why, despite her success, she is still to be found running the company stall at Las Dalias market.

There is not a single day when Beatrice and Francisco are not thankful for what they have. They feel that staying true to the things which are most precious, and living close to nature have enabled them to create a life that is abundant with love and creativity.
In a time where factory produced goods are the norm, and corporate values seem to increasingly dictate the pace and style of peoples lives, it is so refreshing to meet people who have chosen to step outside of the “cut and thrust”, and to be reminded that it is still possible to live ones dreams.