The Heroine’s Journey of Isabella Monaco

What is the best thing that I love about my work?

The best part of my work is that I can trust intuition. Then, from the intuition, I can merge knowledge. It’s all about having fun and learning.

What is my idea of happiness?

My idea of happiness is those moments with my friends in the afternoon talking: starting from a subject “A” and ending at “27”. My happiness is the feeling of home. My happiness is my brother and my father when they make silly voices doing the impersonification of our dog.

What is my greatest fear?

To not feel any more at home.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?

I take everything so personally and I am not a “light” person.

Which living persons in my profession do i most admire?

I admire Marc Sadler. I once applied to a university to only be his student. I got accepted, but then I thought that I can meet him in the future. That’s why I gave away that opportunity and I came here to the Netherlands.

I admire so much one of my ex-teacher, Massimo Caiazzo. He inspired me with his lessons leaving in me a deep interest in colors and light.
Alberto and Francesco Meda, Piero Lissoni, Stefano Giovannoni. I can continue with a long list!

What is my greatest extravagance?

I never match socks. Never.

On what occasion would I lie?

To not hurt people’s feelings.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?

That everyone feels like designers. There are many people who talk more about design than they do. This makes me angry because the industrial design is to think, test and make. And many people only speak.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work?

When I started the master that I am finishing, the first semester I designed a bench. Now if I think about it, it was full of mistakes. But I remember I went to the metal workshop with drawings, bought the materials and started building it. The evening the bench was there in front of me. It hadn’t come too well and I was dirty and tired. But I thought “my idea now exists, it is no longer just thoughts”. I was very happy and from there I understood that what I do is not only my job but also my hobbie.

If I could, what would I change about myself?

I wish I could be lighter. Not superficial, but more peaceful in dealing with things.

What is my greatest achievement in work?

In the last year, thanks to my project “Sisal, more than a rope” (a project based on recontextualizing sisal fibers) I have been selected to exhibit @Munich Fabric Start and @Material District Rotterdam.

It’s not even my Graduation Project but I’ve already had the chance to show my work and I’m very happy!

Where would I most like to live?

I wish I could go back to Rome or Milan, but if it is not possible I hope to be able to live in Southern Europe. Barcelona would be great!

What is my most treasured possession?

My ring. My mother asked a goldsmith to do it when I was 15-16 years old. There is a sentence engraved on the ring that is now a mantra for me.

What is my most marked characteristic?

I am very curious. I like to ask people questions, listen to what they have to say and learn from people.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city?

If “my city” we identify as Rome, Trastevere is one of the most beautiful and inspiring places. It’s an area of Rome, 10 minutes walk from my house. Colors, chaos, historical buildings, food, smells and more.

What is my favorite place to eat and drink, in my city?

I love to have drinks with my friend in Pigneto. I have beautiful memories there.

What books influenced my life and how?

Fantasia, Bruno Munari. All the time I feel uninspired I look a bit at that book. Bruno Munari is able to bring back the child that it’s inside us and to have fun again with our imagination.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day?

Feeling Good – Nina Simone

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction?

Tom, from Tom & Jerry. Fighting to eat that damn mouse.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?

My mum and dad, definitely. My mum went through a lot but came back every time stronger than before. My dad is the hero of my life: he made me do everything to allow me to be the best version of me.

Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime?

Pulp Fiction, of course!

What role plays art in my life and work?

My parents are not artists but they have a great culture about it. I was raised with the intent to bring out my creativity. I remember my mother always telling me that I could color the sun of any color I wanted in my drawings. We would check later if the chosen color was right or not.

What do the words ‘You are the storyteller of your own life’ mean to me?

You must always try to have control in your life. Don’t be carried away by things. During this pandemic I realized one thing:

A meter and a half away are too much, imagne kilometers. Video calls are not even a hug. And all the Giga in this world are not equivalent to a kiss.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?

Claudia, my partner (in crime). She is a great graphic/type designer and thanks to her I decided to study Industrial Design. She pushes me to do what I want to do, always. Always there to support me.

Silvia, that always reminded me to follow my heart and not my head.

Chiara, that is the person that understands me the most and she is always there to listen to me and analyze everything that it’s in my mind.
Last but not least, my family.

Which people or companies would I like to work with in 2020? 

I’d like to work with Philips, Artemide and Alessi.

Also Sovrappensiero Studio and with The Ladies’ Room.

Which people in my profession who can make a real difference in my creative career would i love to meet in 2020? 

Marc Sadler, Jasper Morrison, Ross Lovegrove

What project, in 2020, am I looking forward to work on?

To finalize my graduation project and see it real. Wait for it!

Where can you see me or my work in 2020?

I’ve been invited to Material District Rotterdam, but now due to the Coronavirus, I still don’t know if it will take place in June. And then the Graduation Festival at The Royal Academy of Art, The Hague.

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me?

That I’ve always been a product designer and I will always be. It’s not a job, it is a hobbie for me and I will always create things.

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story?

Marion Dupuis (Industrial Designer), Isabelle El Masry (wonderful illustrator and interior designer), Sara Shala (Interior designer), Elena Genesio (Industrial Designer), Alessandro Celli ( Dreamer and Industrial Designer).

How can you contact me?

Here follows a message of Peter de Kuster, founder of The Heroine’s Journey 


Are you a creative leader or creative professional looking to develop your business skills and storytelling?

Amidst today’s uncertainty, it is more important than ever to reconnect with yourself and others, develop your creative business, and build your story. Dive deep into your unique business style and areas for growth with the coaching of Peter de Kuster.


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    You are a creative leader or creative professional  who is interested in developing yourself, your business, and your story.

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    You are aware that there are no quick fixes. Learning is a journey that works when you are fully committed to it. Coaching can bring awareness and help you navigate, but in the end it’s you who is in charge of your growth.

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    You want to learn more about how to resource yourself, learn about blind spots, and get feedback.

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    You are curious and want to engage in online learning.

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    You are motivated to work in-between sessions on yourself (e.g. working on homework assignments that will help you develop new storytelling, skills, and behaviors).


The Heroine’s Journey Coaching is all about your development. To make the most out of your sessions, we ask you to prepare topics to work on with Peter. These topics can serve as a starting point for further in-depth exploration with Peter.

These coaching topics typically resonate with the creative leaders Peter works with:

How can i tell the most powerful story possible about myself and my creative business?

How can I handle self promotion and marketing of my creative business better?

How do can I stay authentic and with focus when having difficult conversations with potential clients?

What are my creative values and how do I align these with my business values?

How can I manage my time and energy better?

How can I radiate confidence to my clients while feeling anxious inside?

How can I steer myself towards creative excellence without becoming rigid?

About Peter de Kuster

Peter de Kuster is the founder of The Heroine’s Journey & Hero’s Journey project,  a storytelling firm which helps creative professionals to create careers and lives based on whatever story is most integral to their lives and careers (values, traits, skills and experiences). Peter’s approach combines in-depth storytelling and marketing expertise, and for over 20 years clients have found it effective with a wide range of creative business issues.


Peter is writer of the series The Heroine’s Journey and Hero’s Journey books, he has an MBA in Marketing,  MBA in Financial Economics and graduated at university in Sociology and Communication Sciences.

individual coaching for leaders


The Heroine’s Journey Coaching online sessions last 50 minutes and the fee is Euro 189 excluding VAT per session. The Heroine’s Journey Coaching is suitable for people at any stage in their career.


Who can sign up for The Heroine’s Journey online coaching?

Creative leaders and creative professionals who wish to improve their business story and develop their business skills and mindset.

Should I choose 1:1 coaching?

Our The Heroine’s Journey experiences in world cities allow you to learn not only from the coach but also from your peers. For the small group coaching (1 – 4 people), we have selected important, relevant topics that we find regularly come up for creative professional: purpose, storytelling, creative confidence, self promotion, time & money and resilience.

If you would prefer to work alone or on a different topic, individual coaching is a better fit for you.

What language do we speak in the coaching sessions?


Can I buy coaching for my organization?

Yes, you can! We support many organizations around the world with their coaching needs. Please contact us for more information.

Can I bring my own topics?

Yes, for individual coaching you get to choose your own topic.

Are coaching sessions confidential?

Yes. Peter will not share anything that is discussed in the coaching sessions.

Where will the coaching sessions take place?

Sessions will take place online (as per the times we live in) via an online tool like Zoom or Skype. Peter will let you know.

How do I sign up?

Send Peter a mail to to start booking your coaching sessions.

How do I pay?

After you send the mail, you will receive an email with a link to pay.

How do I book and reschedule sessions?

Once we’ve received your payment, Peter will contact you and book your coaching sessions. He will also support you with rescheduling sessions if needed.

What is your cancellation policy?

Individual coaching sessions can be postponed up to one week before the session.

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