About alicia icon A

ALICIA

My name is Alicia Cwiek and I’m the owner of Black Beetle Design. I’m an interior and furniture designer with passion for all kinds of arts and graphic design. I come from Poland, but have been living abroad since 2011. I’m an 2010 MA graduate of Fine Arts Academy in Wroclaw, Poland, where I have studied interior architecture and furniture design. I work mostly using Autocad, Sketchup, 3Dstudio Max, Vray, Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and Indesign. I speak Polish, English and Greek.

I’m an individualist, but collaborating with others gives me the greatest joy. I have a very strong code of values and try to follow it every day. Quality of my work is important to me – I pay a lot of attention to each task in hand. Being a perfectionist, I focus on details, without losing sight of the bigger picture. I care about everything I do, constantly continuing to learn and grow.

I love design, arts, traveling, meeting different cultures, diversity, good food, wine and coffee. 
Nature is very important to me and I care about the environment. I don’t eat meat and I try to reduce waste.

If you would like to read more about me, see the full version of my Bio below.

MY BIOGRAPHY

01 Alicia childhood photo

Childhood • 1986-2004

I was born in 1986 in a small town at the border between Poland and Czech Republic.

When I was about 5 or 6 years old, my favorite thing to do all day long was to stare at nature. Whether in the garden or a nearby forest, I could sit there patiently for hours, studying every little creature, its characteristics, behavior and interactions. That’s how I have started to develop attention, acknowledge sources of inspiration, feed my curiosity, discover the world and build respect towards it. At that point in time, I was certain I would become a gardener, botanist or veterinarian.

My school years, I spent mainly experimenting with various forms of art, which has tremendously influenced my sensitivity, empathy, passion and ability to see the world in my own way. Between the classes, stage, forest, art studio, poetry evenings, exhibitions, concerts, scout gatherings and so on; I have been searching for my identity and the ways of expressing it. In 2004 I applied for Interior Design at the Fine Arts Academy in Wroclaw and it was a decision that has changed my life forever. 

Wroclaw, Poland • 2004-2011

Leaving my hometown and moving into a big city was not only the largest step on my way towards adulthood and independence, but also the first time when I had to exit my comfort zone. During my studies, I learned all of the basic skills required to become an interior and/or furniture designer and I amplified my passion and competence in arts and graphic design. I got my MA in February 2010.

Since about 2007, I have started to gain professional experience, working for two large office furniture retail companies. At first on a freelance basis, then as a full time job, my main task was to plan our clients’ office layouts and create product offers, but soon my responsibilities grew also into office management and basic marketing. Thanks to this experience, I learned a lot about furniture industry and brands like Nowy Styl, Interstuhl, Sitag, Artifort, Thonet, Haworth and more. During this time as well, I worked on my first important interior design projects – two houses for private investors in Poland.

02 Alicia Wroclaw photo
02 Alicia Wroclaw photo

Wroclaw, Poland • 2004-2011​

Leaving my hometown and moving into a big city was not only the largest step on my way towards adulthood and independence, but also the first time when I had to exit my comfort zone. During my studies, I learned all of the basic skills required to become an interior and/or furniture designer and I amplified my passion and competence in arts and graphic design. I got my MA in February 2010.

Since about 2007, I have started to gain professional experience, working for two large office furniture retail companies. At first on a freelance basis, then as a full time job, my main task was to plan our clients’ office layouts and create product offers, but soon my responsibilities grew also into office management and basic marketing. Thanks to this experience, I learned a lot about furniture industry and brands like Nowy Styl, Interstuhl, Sitag, Artifort, Thonet, Haworth and more. During this time as well, I worked on my first important interior design projects – two houses for private investors in Poland.

03 Alicia Greece photo

Athens, Greece • 2011-2015​

My inner voice I like to call “the hungry bear syndrome”, always knew that one day I will leave Poland. This day has come on the 4th of March 2011, when I moved to my future second home – Greece. Once again stepping out of my comfort zone, I was exposed to one of the hardest, but also most exciting, valuable and important lessons of my life. 

Being in a foreign country, in the middle of an economic crisis, not speaking the local language was surely a challenge, but one that I have managed to successfully overcome. I was employed by a large international company, where my role had advanced from customer support agent to a supervisor of over 30 agents from various European countries for Sony Mobile. Since I have never done this before, it was a great learning curve and experience, which has taught me a lot about organization, reporting, managing people, clients and relations in a corporate world. 

Malta • 2015-2019

Driven by a strong need to get back to working full-time in my profession, I have decided for the third time to leave my comfort zone and move abroad, to my next home – Malta. Attracted by famous design brands like Vitra, Calligaris, Aran, Max Divani, Catellan, I applied and was hired by one of the largest furniture retail companies on the island – Vivendo Group. 

Starting as a design & sales consultant in Ideacasa (mid-high end residential furniture showroom), I was slowly given more responsibilities, eventually creating and leading my own division – Vivendo Customised Solutions, supporting the whole B2B sector (Hospitality, high-end Residential and Commercial projects). Except for consultations and occasional interior design projects, my main focus was on technical development of bespoke furniture, site surveying, creating commercial proposals, developing suppliers portfolio, supervising manufacturing and logistics, administrative works and project management

Working for Vivendo, I led or participated in over 150 projects (including 3- and 4-star hotels, offices, apartments, and more), out of which over 25 were implemented. You can see some of them in the Portfolio section of this website. 

04 Alicia Malta photo
04 Alicia Malta photo

Malta • 2015-2019​

Driven by a strong need to get back to working full-time in my profession, I have decided for the third time to leave my comfort zone and move abroad, to my next home – Malta. Attracted by famous design brands like Vitra, Calligaris, Aran, Max Divani, Catellan, I applied and was hired by one of the largest furniture retail companies on the island – Vivendo Group. 

Starting as a design & sales consultant in Ideacasa (mid-high end residential furniture showroom), I was slowly given more responsibilities, eventually creating and leading my own division – Vivendo Customised Solutions, supporting the whole B2B sector (Hospitality, high-end Residential and Commercial projects). Except for consultations and occasional interior design projects, my main focus was on technical development of bespoke furniture, site surveying, creating commercial proposals, developing suppliers portfolio, supervising manufacturing and logistics, administrative works and project management

Working for Vivendo, I led or participated in over 150 projects (including 3- and 4-star hotels, offices, apartments, and more), out of which over 25 were implemented. You can see some of them in the Portfolio section of this website. 

05 Alicia Cyprus photo

Cyprus • 2019-Current

In June 2019, closing 4.5 years in Malta, I have decided to move to my fourth and current home – Cyprus. By this time, stepping out of the comfort zone had become a standard. Initially still working for Vivendo Group, I was asked to manage introducing company’s B2B presence in Cyprus, however the process was unfortunately disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

In July 2020 I started to work on my own, freelance practice project. And that is how The Black Beetle Design was born.