The Chinese believe that everyone, animal and person, comes to the world with their fate predetermined – their own tao. If that is really true, then Bárbara’s meeting with her destined tao happened when her father, Alberto Pimenta Machado, Villafelpos’ founder and CEO of, invited her for dinner (“we need to talk”, he said), on an early summer day in 2018. It doesn’t take a lot to guess the conversation topic…
t the table of Cafeína, her father was straight to the point. Although he is in excellent shape (attested by the fact that he surfs, does yoga and goes for long bicycle rides), Alberto is now closer to his 60s and since he was a little boy he got used to never look back – unlike most people, who spend 90% of their time thinking about the past and 7% about the present, leaving only 3% to prepare up for the future.
“He began by saying that he was already 56, that he had just invested a lump sum on several looms and needed to know how the future would be like. And he reasoned I had to go and work there”, recalls Bárbara, 27 years old, who was then comfortably employed as a lawyer at Montalvão Machado & Associados, in the team handling Millennium BCP.
She went to Law School by process of elimination. During high school, having attended Garcia de Orta, her first choice – Economics – was hindered due to her tough relationship with Mathematics, and she ultimately went to Law School to enrol in a general degree, which started as a second-hand solution but then became a passion.
“Back then it didn’t even cross my mind coming to Villafelpos”, she confesses. Bárbara had started her professional life as a teenager, working as a hôtesse in congresses, events and in shopping malls.
Having graduated in Fiscal Law from Universidade Católica, Bárbara completed an internship at Montalvão Machado & Associados, where she remained as a lawyer.
“It was a tough decision, since I really enjoyed what I was doing”, explains Bárbara, who had the whole summer of 2018 to ponder about the challenge. She went on holidays to Mexico with her boyfriend. Upon returning, after much thinking, she told her father ‘yes’. “I was completely free to choose”, she clarifies. After all, the Chinese might be right – she found her tao.
Villafelpos wasn’t completely foreign to her, for she had experience in handling the company’s legal matters. In October, she started a succession plan, expected to last four years, determined by a specialized consultant. “I wasn’t thrown into the deep end”, she explains.
She started in sampling, to learn about the products. Now she’s in the design department. During spring, she will move on to Planning, and then the Sales Department. Everything was planned thoroughly so that by the autumn of 2022 she will be ready to take the wheel of a home textile company that is striving to achieve half of their turnover (13 million euro) with their own brands.
Bárbara is shadowing her father (who handles purchases) in meetings with thread suppliers. Last year she debuted at Heimtextil (“I’m loving it. My expectations weren’t great, but the fair has taken me by surprise”, she revealed). She still works in Law, providing legal counsel in fiscal cases, bankruptcy or family and custody cases. To continue working as a lawyer with these side jobs was agreed upon with her father – but she knows one day she will have to forfeit that part of her life.
“It’s completely different from what I was used to do, which was sitting down reading and writing. Here everything is more dynamic, we have to be 100% alert. I’m adjusting my brain to this sort of activity. However, if there is one thing practising Law has taught me was to fear nothing. When people tell me ‘you have no idea what you’re getting into’, I give them the cold shoulder. I don’t regret my decision. I know I will make it”, wraps up this lawyer, who was 26 when she found her tao.
Family Lives with her mother and works with her father. She’s the eldest of four children Training Bachelor degree in Law from U. Lusíada and a Master degree in Fiscal Law from U. Católica Home Flat in Leça da Palmeira Car Mini One Laptop Dell Smartphone iPhone 8 Hobbies Every year she enjoys a week of beach in the Algarve. This year she plans on going through the Sorrentine Coast, from Naples Golden Rule “Wanting is not enough. One must have plenty of willpower”