I remember an interview I red a year of two ago with the owners of Polish contemporary Art Gallery from Poznań, called Stereo. The interview has been taken short after they moved to Warsaw to relocate their brand and open a new chapter in their careers. Not going too much deeper, they have been asked how did it happened that they have become one of the most well recognized galleries in Poland and in Europe, while being in Poznań – a city which by that time was a complete culture desert. Their answer was short and simple: ‘We made our minds that we are the best Polish gallery and started acting like one. We didn’t have to wait long for the first results”.
[Polska wersja wkrótce]
I reminded myself of this interview after reading another interview, one with the Eklund sisters – Marie and Annica, who are the third generation of the owners of a brand named Bolon. It was their grandfather who started making rag rugs produced from vinyl textile waste in the 50’. Twenty years later, their parents developed into producing awning mats for caravans. When Marie and Annica took over the company in the 90’ they become determinant to transform the firm into a fashion brand.
And while you think floors and fashion doesn’t have much in common, the first touch of Bolon’s textiles proves otherwise. First thing you notice is the bold facture and shiny surface. It gives the strong impression of a good quality and durability. I really loved the way how the patterns and strong colors makes it timelessly elegant and modern at the same time. It is festive in a mature way.
I speak from the experience. The Bolon’s products are now available in Poland at Lipova Showroom on Lipowa Street in Warsaw. I was at the reception during the opening night and had a pleasure of meeting the Eklund sisters in person.
And call me shy, Polish interior design blogger but the elegancy and luxury that they and their product represents – kind of excites me. Not because I’m a snob (I mean, that too), but because I admire this kind of freedom that allows people to create quality things with no complexes. Marie and Annica didn’t have to change anything but instead they took the risk and enriched their heritage. It paid off: Bolon’s Flooring is known and used from London, through Netherlands, Poland till South Korea and China.
To me the best part is that this method can be used even without any history and family tradition background. It takes ‘only’ a courage and a consequence. And that is a very good news for anyone with creative aspirations in Poland. We don’t need to feel bad for not having uninterrupted tradition in art, design or fashion industry. New brands, fairs and spaces are brought to life on the rights of desert roses. And that is more than fine.
I feel like Lipova Showroom will be a desert rose for some time too, even though it is situated within the fashionable context of Powiśle district with chic shops and popular pubs. Hopefully, it won’t become just another shop with expensive brands (selling Bolon along with Philips Lightning and Vitra Furniture) but a space for a meeting and inspiration. I really look forward to see it.