The passions of the Soluble team


How we enjoy our free time, what we do when we leave work, every weekend or during the vacations, tells the world an important part of who we are. We know that hobbies improve our mental health, lower stress, challenge us to grow and connect with others, and even offer us a sense of purpose. Reason enough to find the one that best meets our needs and get started. But what we didn't realize is that for the majority of the Soluble team, hobbies are actual passions.

Some of their favorite activities are very common -as well as extraordinary-, such as reading, running, or paddle tennis. But there are also surprises, such as Maria's dressage (dancing, horses, nature, who could ask for more? ), Celia's aerial fabrics, Ismael's chip carving (read on to discover this wonder), and Núria's, a digital product designer and analog photography enthusiast. There's also Anna: "My hobby is to try new hobbies.”

The activity changes, but the intensity with which they enjoy it is the same and is perceived in their words. Hobbies that connect them to the world once they switch off the computer. Or the exact opposite. Activities to disconnect from the accelerated pace of our daily routine, enjoying with expectation the process of taking pictures, finishing the film and waiting for the development to find out if it was worth it. Others are happy from the moment they get on the bike, or in the car to go diving in the sea. And many find peace of mind, serenity for an over-stimulated brain, with their hobby serving as a true escape valve. Passions that also inspire them in their work and fill them with energy. The secret (until now) ingredient in our recipe for a happy existence.

Today the Soluble team shares with the world that part of its essence, its passions for Poder Ser. Do you want find out more about them?

Celia Santos, Motion grapher. Aerial fabrics and ceramics, movement as inspiration

“If I had unlimited time, I would devote it to my many hobbies, which are much more than hobbies to me." They inspire me and give me the confidence to overcome problems in my personal and professional lives. They are what I am most filled with when I close the computer and interact with the rest of the world. But, since I don't have the time, I've concentrated on two things in recent years: aerial fabrics and ceramics. Aerial fabrics bring the body and mind together. When you are suspended in the air, you lose the concept of up and down, and you move in ways that you cannot even comprehend when your feet are on the earth. As a result, this practice gradually helps you gain absolute mastery over your body's potential. You work on strength, flexibility, and balance in the same way that yoga does, but in the air! On the other side, ceramics using a potter's wheel reconnects me with my creative kid. When you observe an expert, it appears to be extremely simple, but manipulating the clay takes a lot of patience and dedication. However, when you do, it serves as a singular stimulus for creation. The concept of producing or designing stuff stems from my professional training: I am an engineer in industrial design and product development, yet I have never worked in this field, therefore I take it seriously. I strive for the optimal mix of form and function in every piece I create. Each item presents a new challenge, and seeing the finished product after such a long process is quite fulfilling. There is a clear parallel to the motion I perform professionally at Soluble in both the textiles and the ceramics. Everything is in constant motion”.

Cristian R. Marín, Brand Manager. Padel and literature, competition and existentialism

“I have two great hobbies: paddle tennis and literature. I've always enjoyed racket sports, and the combination of training and competition adds a lot to my life in terms of regularity, iterative progress, and, of course, health. Aside from that, I read a lot. Philosophy in particular, with a distinct interest in existentialism: Heidegger, Kierkegaard, Sartre? The constant search for solutions to humanity's grand issues helps me appreciate the concerns that the individuals I deal with face on a daily basis. And, as a result, to do my part to ensure that they can be.”

Daniel Senior, Design Team. Silkscreen printing as a tribute

"My hobby is screen printing. It gives me something to do away from the computer for a whole day. For years I had in mind to make t-shirts with designs of Latin music groups. With the idea of reviving artists that were part of my adolescence and that of many Latinos. I intend to make a tribute and create clothes to wear with pride. It is very related to my work because I have to design first on the computer and then print. The project is called Bandida, I do it with a friend and a friend. The first one was of Proyecto Uno, giving meaning to the name as well, and a few weeks ago I made one of Don Omar and Patricia Teherán, one of the few women who sing Vallenato".

María Losada, Design Team. Dressage, working in harmony

"My hobbies help me to disconnect from the fast pace we have become accustomed to on a daily basis and connect with my inner self, so to speak. I've always had different hobbies or ways of living, it's good for me to be very active and it helps me to achieve a full and happy life. I don't stop and I like to try new things, but they have always been hobbies that revolve around music or dance (my way of expressing my love for music), sports and animals. Lately I'm really into dressage, which encompasses all of the above. It is nothing more than dancing with your horse, at certain tempos. It requires a lot of technique and discipline to achieve an artistic figure, also when working with an animal you have to transmit a lot of security and peace, give confidence. All this within a natural environment, in the middle of the mountains of Madrid, so the disconnection is guaranteed. In a way, dressage is also related to my work, we form a team to achieve a goal and it is important to transmit support and confidence, as I try to do with my colleagues. In addition, we also aim to achieve a harmonious, aesthetic and useful product thanks to a daily dedication with effort".

Marta Factor, Activation lead. Writing and reading, endless letters

"Since I was a child, I have been reading, at first through the stories my mother and sister read to me. My readings have evolved with me, now what fascinates me the most is autofiction with the aim of representing the reality in which we live and ask ourselves about it. Also the essays about the writing process, about philosophy and about art. Reading gives me the opportunity to ask myself many questions and find new spaces from which to explore. I am a very curious person mentally, but not physically, and reading allows me to connect with other worlds without moving from the spot. When I'm thinking about an activation strategy or campaign, I find it great to read because it helps me to get inspired and to take elements from other realities and other worlds and place them in the situation of the brand I'm working with. I can be reading about a samurai and that reading gives me inspiration to work on the brand of a data management company. In addition to reading, I have a passion for writing. I started when I was 6 or 7 years old and, since then, it has always been with me. It is an escape valve and a tool to put in order all the ideas that are boiling in my head and, as we say in strategy work, encapsulate them in words and give them a meaning for me. Writing is about making everything that's in my head into something actionable, useful, accessible and, above all, something I can share with the world.”

Núria Monmany, Design Team. Piano and photography, digital disconnect

"When I was a child I played the piano for about four years. Teen years came and I gave it up. In my head I thought I had better things to do with my time... A couple of years ago I thought about taking it up again, I missed having a closer relationship with music. Now I go to lessons every week. It has been great for me, I needed some activity outside my work as a product designer that had nothing to do with digital, something analog. My level is still not very good but I'm already playing simple things and I have a list of special songs for me that I'm looking forward to learn, such as "Baby can I hold you" by Tracy Chapman. My other hobby is analog photography. When I started high school I had a subject in photography. I had always been interested in it but I had not taken the leap to take pictures until that moment. One day I was talking to my mother and I told her that I was really enjoying the subject and that I wanted to try analog photography. She was very happy about it and took out her analog camera from the back of a closet. She had bought it at the end of the 80's and traveled with it halfway around the world. Now I give it a new life with my pictures. I have had to repair it, which is more expensive than buying a new one, but it has a lot of value. I love the whole process of photography, the moment when you take a picture and you don't know how it will turn out, if it will have enough light... Today we are so used to immediacy that waiting to finish the whole roll of film and then take it to the store, have it processed and receive the photos by email a couple of days later is a process that requires patience, it keeps me in expectation and I love that feeling. I keep most of them in digital, because they take up less space and, above all, it is more environmentally friendly, but I print the most special ones".

Estela Pedrero, Brand Manager. Painting, in all formats

"I started painting when I was seven years old: charcoal, pastel, oil, acrylic... I like it, it relaxes me, I have a great time. Over the years, when I went to live in Madrid, I left a little aside, especially large paintings (there is no room for an easel in a room in a high school). I'm thinking about taking it up again, this reflection serves as a push. I replaced all this with digital drawing: now I draw on iPad, but also by hand in travel notebooks, napkins, notebook margins. With digital drawing I have phases, sometimes I draw a lot, sometimes I stop. Sometimes I have made paintings or mugs on commission. In digital I started doing portraits and people saw themselves identified and asked me for a drawing. The idea is that with minimal strokes you can identify yourself... my portraits don't have eyes".

Ismael Barros, CEO and cofounder. Working with wood, gaining peace of mind

"My relationship with hobbies is very particular. I have always liked to do everything and try to do it as well as possible. I am lucky to be very curious and have had many interests since I was a child: I have studied music, I have drawn, I have played basketball, handball, I have swum, I have cycled a lot... But what I always liked above all was designing. It was my hobby for many years and, little by little, it became a profession. While on the one hand that's wonderful, on the other hand you're left without a hobby overnight, devoting all your time to what you love to do, and that means devoting all your time to work. After years of trying to put the pieces in place, although I have never given up sports or self-care on a mental level (training in psychology could be considered another entertainment), I have recently returned to give hobbies the importance they have to feel cared for and, in my case, not have the feeling that I only work. I was looking for what to do. I started with ceramics and then I discovered wood. I do everything from finer things, such as chip carving, to carpentry work or carving useful objects (spoons, bowls...). Chip carving is a type of wood carving where geometric patterns are drawn with a knife. Working with noble materials, with my hands, without screens, drawing geometries and creating pieces that are pure ornament, gives me a peace of mind that I am still discovering. It isolates me while at the same time it connects me with basic and important things for me. It oxygenates my head to return to the real world with more energy and focus". 

Jonathan Martínez, Tech Team. Gym and running for a good start to the day

"I started about six years ago. I used to be a fairly sedentary person, but during a medical checkup I was found to have fat in my liver, and with my age that was not very normal. So I put myself in the hands of a nutritionist and started doing sports. Obstacle races, Spartan Race with mud and water, running and going to the gym. With the pandemic I left it a little aside, although at first I got to run 10 kilometers in a corridor of 8 meters, but the motivation was gone quickly. A few months ago I decided to go back to it and now I'm preparing a half marathon for next year (the Rock'nRoll of Madrid, in April), so it has re-entered one of my habits almost daily, that the body needs rest. It gives me a lot of personal satisfaction to surpass myself with every challenge I set myself. Many times I train at six in the morning to start the day fresh, but other times, after a stressful day, I go to the gym and it helps me to disconnect".

Julia Vallina, Tech Lead. From professional soccer to padbol, kicking stress

"Since I was a little girl, I've been kicking the ball around. All the summers, all the breaks of my life, I dedicated to that. I played for 13 years in a women's team, in Oviedo Moderno. Five of those years in the First Division (from 2008 to 2013 approximately) and as many in the Second Division. I left because of the lack of support and incompatibility with work. Then I returned for a couple of years, this time to futsal in the Second Division and the same thing, I left again because of the sacrifice of hours and travel. During my time in the First Division, every 15 days we would get on a bus on Friday at midnight, we would spend the night traveling to reach our destination: Huelva, Barcelona, Valencia, Madrid. It was all very sacrificing. I have continued to reduce the size of the court and now I dedicate myself to padbol, a fusion sport of soccer, paddle, some volleyball and tennis. For me it's a time to disconnect and get rid of stress”.

Julio García, Business developer. Diving, underwater happiness

"Water activities are my thing. My relationship with water comes from childhood, my summers were hours and hours on the beach, watching and following fish. Once I got lost on the crowded beach because I was just following fish. The sea is my environment. I have done scuba diving, freediving, snorkeling... but mainly what I like is to be in the water. Specifically underwater, because sports on the water are terrible for me, I get very dizzy. I can't dedicate as much time as I would like to, besides now with a baby at home there are other priorities, but on my vacations I always do it. When I'm diving I totally disconnect, even before entering the water, when I get in the car I go into diving mode. I only think about my breathing, about controlling the times, about what surrounds me in that world. I hope it can become more than a hobby. I think one day I'll live in a place where I can make a living from diving all year round”.

Laurent Dietrich, CTO y cofounder. Cycling, a sustainable ambition

"I was a big bike freak when I was little. From the age of 14 to 18 I spent all afternoon on a bike up and down. When I started, I wasn't in shape at all and it was very difficult, but as time went by I got better and better and I think that continuous improvement got me hooked, plus I was losing the extra kilos I had. I loved skidding, climbing impossible slopes.... I thought about walking or running and I got bored. But on a bike I was -and I am- happy. I've always been a road cyclist, but now in Lanzarote I'm more of a mountain biker. It allows me to disconnect from the day to day, do a little exercise, which never hurts, and set myself challenges. I sign up for races a little crazy, the next one will be in Fuerteventura in October and it's crazy because of the lack of preparation I've been doing since I became a father. But I like to prepare myself to reach and overcome that challenge. Not with pretensions of making the best time in the world but a bit of healthy competition is always there. What we at Soluble call sustainable ambition".

Ada Fàbregas, Design Team. Theater and musicals, freedom of expression

"My hobby runs in my family, my grandparents, uncles and cousins also do it, and also in my town, Centelles, there is a lot of theater culture. Climbing on stage is like a door to freedom of expression without judgment, because in the end who is getting up there is not you, but a character. It's like a roller coaster. Also, from time to time we do musicals, which require more rehearsals, they are much more spectacular and we have to combine rehearsals of text, dance and singing. This hobby has a certain relationship with my work because, in the end, I am moved by everything that is art, in all its forms.”

Andrea Martínez, Activation team. Puzzles and gardening, in the quiet of home

"I do puzzles. As many as I can get my hands on, although it's difficult to do puzzles with more than 2,000 pieces because they don't fit on my desk. For me, doing a puzzle is like meditating: it directs my attention to the present moment and, if I really immerse myself, I enter a state of clarity and calm. Plus, after a full day in front of the computer or cell phone, any activity that requires attention and touch helps calm an over-stimulated brain. Puzzles are something relatively new to me: I used to do them as a child, but as an adult I brought them back during the pandemic, because I needed something to do at home that didn't take up too much space and that helped me calm my anxiety. My other big hobby, besides reading, is gardening, but on a mini scale. I live in a small apartment with very good light but no balcony or terrace. I would love to have a garden or a vegetable garden and give free rein to the gardener in me, but I am content with my indoor plants. Touching the soil and getting dirty is fun, and for some reason we stop doing it when we grow up. I like to get lost in soil whenever I can. My three hobbies are calm, peaceful activities that I can do at home, where I like to be”.

Anna Bohigas, Design Team. Sewing or climbing, hands on work

"My hobby is to start hobbies, and if they are a bit "granny", all the better. Sewing, crocheting, tapestry, drawing, playing guitar and piano, singing, cooking... whatever my body asks me to do and YouTube suggests. I love starting projects and learning new things, getting away from the computer and using my hands to create things. Whether I finish any of them is another story.... The last sewing project I have in my hands is to make a little hat for my niece for the summer. And I'm also enjoying climbing a lot lately... and petanque".

Javier López, Tech Team. Walking routes to clear the mind

"I'm trying to change my habits, with the idea of disconnecting from so many screens and having a clearer head. I've already done some walking routes, in the area of Duruelo, Segovia, of about 8 kilometers. It's great when you share it with friends. They influenced me and now that I've tried it, I'd love to go on a route every weekend. What gets me hooked is the different atmosphere and the satisfaction of completing it, plus the scenery you find along the way. Now, as soon as we can, we'll do a new route, much longer and with higher elevation”.

Andrea Alonso, Tech Team. Singing and playing guitar as a safe haven

"One of my main hobbies is music, and spending time singing and playing guitar has become a refuge from storms of harmful thoughts. It's one of the best remedies I've found to change my focus and distance myself from problems (not forgetting them, but seeing them from a different perspective). I guess what got me started was the desire to be able to perform the songs of my favorite artists. I play a lot of folk pop and have written a few songs. But what really got me hooked was the learning process, slow and frustrating, but precisely for that reason one in which the small achievement becomes very evident and brings great satisfaction. I find, in this sense, a certain similarity with the world of programming, where a small advance can be accompanied by that wonderful feeling of being able to solve everything".

Emil Iosipescu, Design Lead. Rowing, connected to the sea

"I have been rowing for a year and a half. I have always had the desire to do a water sport but until now I had not had the opportunity. What I enjoy most about this activity is the connection you have with the sea, in addition to its high degree of technique, which requires a high degree of concentration while practicing it. In particular, I love it when the paddle enters the water and produces a 'clap' sound repeatedly, making it a very therapeutic moment".

Thank you for sharing your passions with us, Solubles. You’re a true inspiration to keep on conquering freedoms, one hobby at a time.