In the town of Lille in the north of France, a web designer specializing in niche WordPress themes has just recently hit an important milestone. Possessing a speciality for creating website templates aimed at particular occupations and uses, Wolf-Themes has crossed the $1 million sales threshold to become one of Envato’s latest Power Elite authors. So we thought we’d take a moment to get to know Constantin, the man behind the brand.
Here’s the transcript of our interview. It’s been edited lightly for clarity.
Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from, what do you do for a living?
Hey, there! My name is Constantin, I’m 33, I live in Lille, a city in the north of France with my girlfriend, our cat and our dog and making WordPress themes on Envato is my full-time job since 2012.
Tell us one thing about you no one else knows?
I need like one bottle of Tabasco per week. I love my food spicy. For me, it isn’t spicy enough if the person next to me doesn’t have his eyes full of tears just because of the smell. Also, no meat and no fish for me, so I’m all good with Indian food.
Is there anything unusual or special about how you work?
Not really. I work at home in my living room with the dog next to me so I don’t feel alone and when I need a break I can count on him to walk me. I usually wake up around 8 o’clock, drink a coffee and eat something and start working until I’m starving. Usually, after lunch, I take a couple of hours to do sports, like running or going to the gym. Then, I go back to work until I finish what I wanted to do for the day.
Sometimes, there are periods when I like starting later and coding late at night. I like that feeling to be awake and working when everybody is asleep.
Is there anything unusual or noteworthy about your life experience?
Actually yes! I worked in many different jobs but I have always been passionate about music, especially metal. I started by doing graphic designs for CD covers and shirts for bands and learning to code by making custom myspace layouts with CSS, back in the good ol’ days. It was fun! One thing led to another, and I learned HTML, CSS, and later PHP to be able to code real websites. One day, a band asked me to do a WordPress theme for them and that’s how I started doing what I’m doing today.
Why are you doing what you are doing? What do you love about it?
I love being my own boss. I like to organize my week the way I want so I can decide to go running or take a ride on my Harley anytime I want. Sometimes it can be overwhelming to work alone at home, so I really need to go outside to see people, spending time with my girlfriend and my loved ones and take a breath of fresh air.
What’s your most memorable client/customer story on Envato?
I don’t have a particular moment in mind. But there is this awesome feeling when a customer is 100% happy with his new website and thankful for it. This is very encouraging. What I like the most is seeing awesome websites built with one of my themes. These are the kinds of moments when you’re the most happy and proud of what you’re doing.
What’s the most challenging thing about your work?
I think the most difficult thing about this job is being in competition with the whole world. You always have to be better and better. To be honest, it can be exhausting sometimes.
Name a few people who inspire you and why?
I couldn’t be able to name someone in particular. Anyone can be a source of inspiration for me. Today with the internet, every day you can see someone talented doing their thing with hard work and dedication, be it in the arts, sports or any other domain. There are so many amazing people in this world. No matter what you’re interested in, you will always find people with the same passion as you who can inspire you. I love to watch these videos with people doing amazing stuff, like traveling around the world with a motorcycle, breaking world records or things like this and thinking, “this girl or this guy can do this”! That’s beautiful and amazing.
What is your advice to other creatives regarding how to create a successful portfolio?
Work hard, but work smart. Spend time developing tools to improve your workflow. It will save you time later. Think ahead: how can you create a feature that you will be able to reuse for something else later? If you have to write the same piece of code twice, you’re doing something wrong. Hire someone to help you with support as soon as you can, so you don’t have to spend half of the day doing it. Be innovative and always take the best for reference.
Apart from yourself, who is your favourite Envato marketplace author, and why do you like them?
When I started on ThemeForest, Orman Clark was one of the first to become a Power Elite author. I couldn’t imagine that one day I would hit the $1 million in sales too! That’s amazing.
What do you do in your spare time?
As mentioned earlier, I like sport. I practice Penchak Silat once or twice a week (it is an Indonesian martial art), I run alone or with my girlfriend and go to the gym regularly.
We’re not far away from the beach, so we often take rides with the motorcycle. I also love riding my Harley alone or with a few friends on weekends.
I’m a big fan of cinema, especially horror and sci-fi movies. A Saturday night watching a good movie or playing Alien Isolation or Outlast and eating pizzas with my two brothers is a good Saturday night for me.
How do you feel about your achievement of becoming a Power Elite author?
I feel happy and proud because I stopped school early and I had to learn absolutely everything by myself. I couldn’t imagine when I started on the Envato marketplace that one day I would hit the Power Elite Author milestone. I have the feeling that this is a big achievement but also a new beginning.
I want to thank Laur, the support person who helps me a lot with the support forums. I want to thank everyone at Envato and every single customer who purchased one of my themes. I wouldn’t be there without them.