/EN+CZ/ The Brown Paper Movement - mindful calendars and more

10.11.2019

Luckily, we are living in the time that is quite kind to smaller businesses, artists and makers as people are more and more enjoying the diversity, and particularly the personal stories behind them. Being a maker who does not wish to become big in the business world, Olivia Chylinski, a beautiful mind behind The Brown Paper Movement, brings her little something to be a part of a bigger, sustainable picture. These small businesses, although individual and not unified in any way, constitute a significant group that has a positive impact on our consumer society which slowly wants to abandon the old ways and mass production and seeks more environmentally friendly solutions. 

"...we pride ourselves on staying small."

The Brown Paper Movement - ohleduplné kalendáře a mnohem více

Dá se říci, že žijeme v době, která je trochu přívětivější k drobným podnikům, umělcům a výrobcům, protože si lidé více uvědomují důležitost různorodosti a za jednotlivými výrobky rádi vidí osobní příběhy. Olivia Chylinski, která nemá ambice stát se velkou rybou v obchodním světe, stojí za projektem The Brown Paper Movement a svou troškou přispívá k utváření širších, udržitelnějších souvislostí. Tyto malé podniky, ačkoliv jsou samostatné a nijak se nesdružují, tvoří významný celek, který má pozitivní dopad na naši konzumní společnost. Taková společnost, která díky nim chce sama opustit staré pořádky a masovou produkci, tak hledá spíše ekologičtější řešení.

"...jsme pyšní na to, že zůstáváme malým podnikem."

Recycled paper, a beautiful raw texture and a minimalistic design of the lettering - a simple recipe for timeless products which have an an expiration date. The Brown Paper Movement mainly focuses on calendars, as simple as that. But these calendars are no ordinary pieces of stationery. Olivia makes only a small batch of them every year since she believes that "making more isn't necessarily better..." Once the calendar expires, Olivia suggests that it be flipped and used to jot down notes or simply to put down anything that comes to your mind.

"Since 2014, The Brown Paper Movement has always stood for change. From the business name to the paper we use, there is an ethos that lies behind it in sustainability and stationery going beyond the norm. Stationery that matters. Our calendars remind you to pause, reflect and take time to put pen to paper."

Recyklovaný papír, jeho krásná syrová textura a minimalistická písma - jednoduchý recept na nadčasové produkty s jasným datem spotřeby. The Brown Paper Movement totiž vyrábí hlavně kalendáře. Tyto kalendáře ale nejsou jen tak obyčejnými papírenskými výrobky. Olivia jich každý rok vyrobí jen omezené množství, protože, jak sama říká: "více nutně neznamená lépe..." A jakmile takovému kalendáři skončí využití, jednoduše jej obraťte na druhou stranu využijte k poznámkám nebo kresbám. Kalendáři tak prodloužíte životnost.

"Značka The Brown Paper Movement se snaží o změnu již od roku 2014. Počínaje názvem podniku až po papír, který používáme, vždy se držíme určitého étosu spočívajícího v udržitelnosti našeho zboží. Jde o výrobky, které s sebou nesou určitý význam. Naše kalendáře by vám měli připomenout na chvíli se zastavit, popřemýšlet a pečlivě zaznamenávat důležité záležitosti.

Every mindful soul will be happy to learn that nothing that is released by The Brown Paper Movement into the world burdens our Mother Earth. All stationery is made from locally sourced papers, which are either made from recycled fibers from post-consumer waste or acid-free cotton pulp without optical brightness additives. The protective envelopes in which the products come are made of a clear bio-degradable corn/potato starch material.

 Každá dbalá duše ráda uslyší, že vše, co opustí pomyslné brány značky The Brown Paper Movement nijak nezatěžuje naši planetu. Všechny výrobky se vyrábí z lokálně pořízeného papíru, který se buď získáva z recyklovaných vláken odpadového materiálu nebo z chemicky nebělené bavlněné drtě bez příměsí kyselin. Všechny ochranné obaly jsou vyrobeny z rozložitelného kukuřičného nebo bramborového škrobu.

Meeting someone like Olivia, though only virtually, is always such a big pleasure. You can always be sure there is an interesting story behind. Olivia was born in Sydney to Polish parents. She has a background in Interior Architecture and once worked as a candle maker. It was during this time when she became a paper addict. In 2010 she got the idea to make calendars which came out of a need to have a simple but aesthetically pleasing table calendar to record important dates and meetings.

"In both life and work, my approach is built on the idea that one's connection with spaces and products are immensely powerful tools to design life."

Vždy, když se seznámíte s někým jako je Olivia, třebaže jen virtuálně, můžete si být jistí, že narazíte na zajímavý příběh, který s takovými lidmi přichází. Olivia se narodila v Sydney a má polské kořeny. Její vzdělání zahrnuje interiérovou architekturu a jednu dobu se živila výrobou svíček. Tehdy našla své nadšení pro papírové výrobky. Jelikož se Olivii nedařilo najít jednoduché a estitcky příjemné stolní kalendáře, napadlo ji vyrobit si své vlastní.

"V osobním i pracovním životě se řídím takovým pravidlem, kdy je pro mě nesmírně důležité propojit se s místy a výrobky, abych si mohla stvořit život takový, jaký chci."

I am happy to be in touch with Olivia and since I find her such an interesting person, I couldn't really resist asking a few questions so we all get a better and more personal insight into her project.  

Dear Olivia, could you tell me something more about your personal background, perhaps how have your descent, travels and being an ex-patriate in Copenhagen influenced you both as a private and business person? 

Moving from Sydney to Copenhagen in 2016 came at just the right time. I needed a push, something to propel my design career forward. Two years before I moved to Copenhagen, I started The Brown Paper Movement. Little did I know, moving to Copenhagen would really grow the business in just the direction I dreamed of. Living in Scandinavia has really influenced a lot of things in my life, from the way we eat, to sustainable living and creating a work/life balance that I've learned to love and appreciate more than ever before. I thought I knew what work/life balance meant being from Sydney, but in hindsight, you don't really know what it is like until you actually experience living in Copenhagen I feel. In business, I've been inspired by the seasons here and they're reflected in the aesthetic of The Brown Paper Movement. There is a such a nice connection to the earth here and respecting it. The light is different too and that plays a lot on what papers I choose to use. I'm also constantly reminded of the ocean, salty skin and hair when the year draws to a close and family and friends back home are at the beach in the warm sunshine, while we only see maybe 2 days of sun in December in Copenhagen.

Since you make it quite clear you wish to stay small in the business world, what makes you want that?

I guess the notion to stay small more implies the idea to not mass produce in a world of such mass production now. To also research and know each of our suppliers well and make sure we are supporting local businesses, this is something we are always working on and haven't found the perfect equation yet. Our calendars are also made to order, and now our cards too I make in limited quantities, what I can achieve after a working day. 

Where do you see space for potential growth business-wise?

I see the business growing in the paper goods market a little more, such as cards, planners, diaries, though not the type you see often.. paper goods to help you be more mindful, more present in your everyday, have gratitude and practice this too. Furthermore, producing our calendars out of my home studio and at a business that cares and respects sustainability as much as we do. We are on the look out for where to go next, without turning the business into a mass production one where we have to have sales yearly just to clear stock. This isn't my intention. 

In what way has the Instagram community helped you? On the other hand, have there been any drawbacks to presenting your project on Instagram?

Instagram has been such an incredible platform to grow, connect, develop and be inspired by the community. I have really been able to resonate with my end customers there, make friendships from these and stay in touch with my retailers more. This is so important to me, the human side beyond the screen. I love to develop the connection on there and where possible, visit and make face to face contact with those I can. I recently had a wonderful stylist come forward and want to meet me, this was just so special. We connected immediately at a cafe and built a nice foundation for hopefully collaborations in the future. 

Drawbacks, well I find it hard to continue posting content and am therefore SO grateful for my community who love to share their calendars with the world. They continue to inspire me with the next paper colours to use, and what products are on demand for the coming season. Some of our calendar have developed out of a need, and I really love this. It takes me back to my school days, where we had to find a need and develop a design solution for it. I relish that I can continue doing this in my business and also career. 

With your background in interior architecture, how do you approach your own home? Has your education ever played a role in that? Do you like a particular style?

When I moved to Copenhagen, I also moved out of home, so it's only really occurred recently that I've been able to create a beautiful home to live in. We've chosen natural materials and support local artists in any way possible. Currently, embracing a Scandinavian style yet, with pops of colour and warmth bringing me back to my sunny Sydney roots. Terracotta, hues of mustard and pistachio green have been my favourites this past two years.

A simple, yet tricky question - what inspires you?

Living in Copenhagen and travel. When on holidays I'm drawn to new colours and new landscapes. My relaxed eyes and calm mind soak in all the exciting colours and textures. On our trip to Puglia in August I was drawn to the red earth contrasting with the dusty stone buildings and landscape. As for living in Copenhagen, the light is so different to that of Sydney and it very much depends on the season it is. Sydney in June during the winter, the sky sheds burnt orange and deep yellow sunsets. Though a lot of the mornings in Copenhagen be it winter or summer offer a crisp, white light with what seems like perfect colour rendering. No wonder the Danes do subtle, minimal and monochromatic tones so well. Combining both the background of Sydney with the current lifestyle in Copenhagen, both equally inspire. 

Last but not least, could you give away something about your future plans with The Brown Paper Movement?

I've always said a range of mindful notebooks and planners are in the works to complement the calendars. The business really needs to grow in the direction of further sustainability goals and new products to complement our love for paper calendars. It really boils down to what our customer is looking for and meeting them with a beautiful design on one of our treasured papers. We are also currently enjoying the momentum and are always in dialogue with our customers for future plans with the aim to deliver something wonderful soon.

Thank you so much for your precious time, Olivia. 

All photographs (if not stated otherwise) are mine a cannot be used without my consent.