I love people who follow their calling and stay true to who they are without letting that limit them. So I had to share this story with you about two Swedish sisters, Annica and Marie Eklund, who have taken the humble rug weaving business, Bolon, that their grandfather started and brought it into not only the future but even the fine rooms of Armani.
When their grandfather started the business, he had been passing a factory's piles of waste fabric day in and day out and wanted to do something with it. Since then, the business has been passed to their father who evolved the business in his way by making it well known for the cotton and nylon camping rugs. Now, it's Annica's and Marie's turn to put their spin on the business. Their interests have always been around fashion and interior and so for them it was natural to take the business closer to that world. The sisters have made a lot of technological investments to the business to allow them to produce the high quality design product we would expect in a high end modern environment and they have also invested in design collaborations to pay off the production capacity. Designers like Fernando and Humberto Campana, Giulio Cappelini, Jaime Hayon, Tom Dixon, Jean Nouvel and Missoni have all worked with the brand as of today. The investments certainly must have paid off the day they got a note that Armani had used their products in his campaigns, in his private summerhouse, his yacht and all of his shop concepts.
Despite the entry into the glamorous design headquarters, Annica and Marie has been careful not to loose the warm atmosphere the brand and they themselves grew up in. For example the business is also running two guesthouses in Ulricehamn where they have their designer friends stay as they work on projects in town. Look at these pictures..isn't this how you would like to collaborate with a company? Like friends. (Who own a marvelous summer house and have a private chef on staff..that kind of friend :-))