Happy new year, my lovely readers and friends!
2016 was super exciting for me, as I finally started something I had been dreaming for years! I’m a big fan of minimalist Nordic and Scandinavian design, but instead of another shopping trip to IKEA wouldn’t it be nice to have a choice of something a bit different and unique? Plus, supporting small businesses and individual artists feels so right and everyone should do their bit. Why not just buy their products but also help them by promoting their work to the wider audience? There are many UK based online shops selling absolutely gorgeous homeware and accessories sourced from Scandinavian countries, my plan has never been to take over their suppliers. Being Estonian and growing up next to Scandinavia (we do like to think Estonia is actually a Northern European country), I’m pretty sure this is where my love of Scandi design comes from. I know Estonia is full of extremely talented designers whose work is influenced by Nordic style, and the idea of bringing their products to UK had been stuck in my head for a few years. But while actively researching online, many amazing Latvian and Lithuanian designers caught my eye too. Then the final idea was born – to set up an online design shop promoting all these talents here in the UK and bringing customers a fine selection of Nordic inspired design made in the Baltics.
Most of my 2016 was filled with endless hours of researching and contacting the designers I would love to work with, sketches of possible website layouts and long lists about products and any ideas popping into my head – and all of this made me feel like I’m doing something for my soul again! The first months of setting up a business were extremely exciting and none of it felt like work! Well, it definitely hasn’t been a typical 9-5 job and it never will be, but I couldn’t live like that anyway.
Design Eighty One was officially launched in August, and now has 17 designers from four countries represented.
My plan for 2017 is to bring in more designers from the Baltics but also from Scandinavian countries too. A start was already made late 2016 with greeting cards by Swedish graphic designer Marie Zedig. Very soon Design Eighty One’s product range will include more kitchenware and jewellery, and later in the year we will be offering a couple of gorgeous ranges for babies and children as well! Definitely a few more surprises planned along the way, you will find out when the time is right 🙂
2017 will be full of hard work but I wouldn’t have it any other way, I’m determined to make it best one yet!!! Thank you to my family and friends for being so supportive, I couldn’t have achieved half as much without your help and advice!
Any comments, feedback or suggestions are more than welcome, as always.