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Brazil and its textures

Brazil and its textures

Brazil is where I was born and raised, although it doesn’t feel like home anymore. It’s been almost 18 years since I left it for my NY adventure. But going back is always fun, especially for my kids, who absolutely love everything about this place.

When you grow up in the midst of tropical/subtropical vegetation, the alpine scenery seems exotic to you. Now that I live near the alps, going back to the Brazilian jungle has the opposite effect on me. I’m truly fascinated by its fauna and flora. So much so that I feel like a tourist in my own country.

Taking the train down from Curitiba to the coast, was never in my plans while I lived there. But this time around I decided to give it a shot, despite the 40°C/ 104°F heat.

The train goes through Serra do Mar, the most preserved area of the Atlantic rainforest, and arrives at the colonial town of Morretes. During the trip the train passes through 14 tunnels30 bridges, mountains and beautiful falls.

The density of the jungle and the variety of species is impressive. You forget how green and humid these landscapes are.
Once in Morretes we strolled along the colorful façades from another era. The Nhundiaquara River is a scenic tree lined river that intersects the whole city. The origin of the name comes from the native Brazilian Tupi-Guarani language. Nhundi (fish) and quara (hole). Along the river banks you can contemplate beautiful tropical birds and the jaw-dropping vegetation.

The local culinary is delicious. The typical local dish is called barreado, which is slow cooked beef in a clay pot, served with cassava flour, rice and banana. It tastes a bit like Texan barbecued brisket.

All the tropical patterns and colors added so much to our trip. I couldn’t get enough of these textures I once totally disregarded. I guess the nostalgia factor always makes everything more magical then before.

After two weeks in the summer I came back to a grey Geneva in the middle of the winter, missing the lively Brazilian colors terribly. They got me so inspired I’ve started a new personal project I’ll be hopefully sharing more about in the next few months.

Happy new year to all!

Kickstarter campaign, a first

Kickstarter campaign, a first

So back in March I had coffee with a friend and he told me he was launching a watch on Kickstarter. It was his first watch ever. He’s an architect who has a thing for watches, vintage car and airplanes. He showed me the prototypes and I quite loved them. Very minimalist, nicely designed, beautiful colors and genuine Italian leather straps.

Brainstorming with @direnzo_watches this afternoon. I see great things in your future 👁🔮👍🏻

A post shared by Clarissa Patrianova Valaeys (@clareeeesssa) on

I was really impressed he was able to do all that on his own, while working full time as an architect in Geneva. He took night classes to learn the principles of watchmaking, spent time designing them whenever he could, found vendors to produce them and made it happen with no one’s help.

That proves that when we put our hearts in what we do, nothing can stop us.

Since I’ve been working in the watchmaking business for quite a while now, I had the urge to help him launch his baby, and during 6 months we worked countless nights and weekends to create his Kickstarter campaign.

It was really exciting and challenging at the same time, given we had almost no budget. But we found other passionate people to give us a hand. Seems like everything falls into place when it’s a great project, with great potential.

Matt Goodman, a British filmmaker with whom I had worked in the past, agreed to be the director. Jennifer MacLeod, a Canadian producer with tons of experience helped us immensely with the cut/s, behind the scenes content and much more. Juan Ortega, another architect friend and fierce triathlete, kindly accepted to be our model. Mariano Godoy, created the track for the film and is coming up with a playlist for Direnzo’s community. Sergio Godoy, the founder and designer of Direnzo Watches, was our 3D designer, social media photographer, community manager, stylist, makeup artist, you name it 🙂  We all did our share with much love and dedication.

I’m very happy Direnzo has reached its pledged goal in 4 hours only on Kickstarter, and is still selling great. The campaign is ending in a few days. It is quite an achievement for a micro watch brand in a sea of other brands, specially in the era of smart watches. But I guess there will always be room for new exciting and stylish brands such as Direnzo.

I’ve learnt quite a lot during this whole process and will be involved in the creation of a new Direnzo model very soon.
Read more here.

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We don’t always get to choose our clients or projects but I’ve been rethinking my career and making a few changes in the way I work.

I’ve always wanted to make a difference, to help others and fulfill my life’s purpose. I know it sounds cliché but it’s the truth.

I’ve recently started creating mood boards about what I want to do in the next few years, thanks to a dear friend who gave me this brilliant idea. Besides I’m a mood board freak. All my projects start with a mood board, so why not plan my life that way?

Apart from my goals, wishes, plans, I wanted to have more work-life balance.

My mom is a social worker. She taught us how to care for others since we were little. But there are so many ways of giving back and what I’ve tried so far hasn’t really resonated with me.

I have always helped friends and family with design needs but it was little favors here and there. Nothing that impactful that could change their lives or mine,  and I wasn’t as dedicated as I should have been. I figured they shouldn’t complain if they were not paying.

But I’ve recently accepted to have parallel projects to help someone or a cause, that can benefit from my services, but can’t necessarily afford me. That’s the part of my mood board where work overlapped with making a difference. And so far these projects have come to me naturally. I have a few already lined up. And they’re all really exciting!



I want to introduce you to Ashok Sharma, our amazing tour guide in India. He’s been doing this for the past 25 years.

We were there earlier this year. It was the most unforgettable trip of your lives. He was able to accommodate all our requests, including stopping several times in the middle of nowhere for pictures, asking a family of gypsies to stop their camel caravan so we could meet them, getting custom-made clothing delivered to the restaurant we were eating at, etc. He surprised us day in, day out with unique experiences and his generosity.

He showed us anyone can be a tour guide but only a few can be extraordinary.

And that’s what I’m applying into my life. Anybody can do what I do but I want to excel because it doesn’t only fulfill me, it can make a real difference in someone’s life.

I grew up in Brazil and have seen lots of poverty, but India takes it to the next level.

Ashok was born in Kanpur, a large industrial city on the banks of the Ganges River. He had a tough childhood but he was given the opportunity to become a tuk tuk driver very early on and he’s been driving tourists ever since. He studied, he had a hard-working mom who till this day is his biggest inspiration. He lives in New Delhi with his family of 10.

He said he hopes he’s fulfilling his dharma (true life path). I’m sure he is.

Ashok reached out for help a few months back and despite my limited time I decided to lend him a hand with what I do best, branding and content creation.

Usually when I travel I take way too many pictures. In India it wasn’t any different. I normally post them on my @nouvellepatrie account to keep track of my travels. But this time around I’m glad I’ll be using them to help Ashok’s business reach travellers like me, searching for a tour guide like him.

So lack of time should never be an excuse. It’s always a matter of prioritising.

Check back soon for a sneak peek of the work I’m doing for Libera Tours India.

Blog Virgin

Blog Virgin

Hello there, my name is Clarissa, some call me Cla. I’m thrilled to be posting for the first time on my blog.

I’m the founder of ContentPlate, a special place where we hunt for inspiration to tell beautiful and meaningful stories to elevate brands online.

Here’s a bit about me so we’re not total strangers anymore. I’m originally from Brazil, I lived and worked in NYC for 11 years, in France for nearly 6 and moved to Geneva, Switzerland in September 2016. So it’s been 4 countries so far and I’m hoping to have a few more under my belt during this lifetime of mine.

My maiden name is Patrianova, which means New Country in Portuguese, my mother tongue. I guess this name has somehow lead me to learn languages and have a taste for travel.  We can probably say it’s part of my personal brand, and I take branding very seriously.

I’ve been a content creator since I learned how to draw pictures. I’ve always communicated through images better than through words, hence the delay on starting a blog. But they say you get better with practice, so I’m giving it a shot.

I was that kid who stares out of the window and doodles all day long in class. Perhaps traditional education wasn’t for me, but back in the day alternative schools weren’t so common and known to the public. But I was really lucky my parents were sensitive to my uncanny creative nature. They made me try almost everything artistic there was in town: drawing, painting, dancing, tap dancing, music, crafts, screen printing, etc. I wrote, casted, styled, performed and designed the program of my first (and only) play at age 9 in my parents’ living room. The entire neighbourhood attended and apparently it was a smashing hit. I used to write songs with my cousin, draw greeting cards to everyone I knew, style all women in my family and take pictures of nearly everything I found interesting, much before digital photography and social media existed. My childhood was an atelier of endless creative possibilities.


That is why I decided to become a graphic designer. The term graphic design was fairly new to me but it seemed to include mostly everything I loved: information, typography, photography, composition, form, color, purpose all in one.

After college I moved to NYC to continue my education at the School of Visual Arts. I found my first web/graphic design job at a small shop called Vox Advertising & Design and became an art director in advertising a few years later. My last job in NYC was at the Brooklyn Brothers where I had the chance to work with amazingly talented people. This experience helped pave the way for my future creative challenges once I moved to France.

Starting all over again in a different country, in a different language was quite intimidating. But little by little I got new freelance gigs and finally started working for one of the biggest names in watchmaking in the world (can’t mention the name but you’re free to guess).

Now that I’m in Geneva, Switzerland, I get to start all over again. Every time we move we have to start fresh and although it isn’t always easy, because we need to prove ourselves over and over again, it is an exciting challenge and it makes us dare so much more in every aspect of our lives.

I’ll be posting more about this new chapter and the exciting work I’ve been doing since I’ve moved to Geneva. Some of my work is confidential (bummer) but some is not. So hope you’ll relate, get inspired, inspire me back, comment, rant, etc.

Follow me on InstagramFacebook and Pinterest if blogs are not your thing 🙂

See you soon,


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