MEET THE MAKER / Shibui
At Quill we love to get to know the people that make the lovely stationery on our shelves. We source a lot of our paper goods and stationery supplies from all over the globe so rarely have the opportunity to meet them face to face. We started this feature on our journal called Meet the Maker so we speak to the people that are behind our favourite brands. This month we chat to Constantinos and Athanasios, co-founders of Shibui who are based in Geneva and Greece. We find out a little more about who makes our favourite desktop organiser...
Athanasios and Constantinos
Tell us a little bit about Shibui, what's your signature style?
Shibui was founded in October 2013 by Constantinos Hoursoglou and Athanasios Babalis.
To us shibui means design in harmony with nature, where every form has a function and every detail a purpose. Handmade in Europe by specialist artisans, our creations are inspired by a desire to make elegant, useful objects accessible to all.
Shibui products use minimal resources and natural materials, and are made to last.
Integrity, sustainability, and beautiful simplicity: these are the values of Shibui.
What inspires your designs?
Each Shibui products derives from our desire to provide simple and elegant solutions to every day needs. We are focusing on kitchen, office and home related items that users can interact with every day.
Where are you based and what does your studio/workspace look like?
Athanasios is based in Thessaloniki, Greece and Constantinos in Geneva, Switzerland where is the base of shibui. We are both Industrial designers with our own independent studios so our studios are very different as you can see from the pictures. One thing in common is the abundance of materials and prototypes…
Athanasios' studio in Thessaloniki
Constantinos' studio in Geneva
Describe day in the Shibui studio?
We start with a two hour long Skype meeting where we review products, marketing strategy and production issues. Each one of us has distinct responsibilities, so after each meeting we act on the tasks agreed. Among all, Athanasios and Constantinos also work on the new shibui products. Each year, we also try to launch at least one product developed by an external designer, so we spend a lot of time helping them develop it and making sure it fits well with our philosophy and requirements.
What's your favourite stationery item that you're using?
Athanasios: My favourite is my vintage folding ruler from E. Preston & Sons, made from solid wood and brass. It is a pure joy to use and it feels great!
Constantinos: I use every day a compact aluminium Kaweco fountain pen, I love its size, form, functionality and of course how it writes, I sketch most of my first ideas with it.
What's next for Shibui?
We are developing the brand and our main aim is to place our products in more unique shops around the world. As creatives, we can not restrain ourselves from developing new ideas but we have to be very selective on how we enhance our lines, step by step.