There is a little shop on the Vojtěšská Street near the National Theatre, dedicated to paper, where even an ordinary notebook can be a quality design item. Graphic designer and illustrator Kateřina Šachová is behind this concept. Till these days she is the guarantor of papelote studio, which is made up of five designers. You can get their notepads, sketchbooks, albums and diaries in all pastel colours, various formats, with or without a geometrical pattern. What they have in common is their simple design exempt from the kitsch you find at the ordinary stationers.
Forget about the tasteless patterns that you remember from your compulsory school years. There is no chance that papelote products would bore you or wouldn’t fit in your school bag or even a luxury purse. You can also use the services of their creative studio, which will design a product according to your wishes and ideas. What’s more, papelote regularly organise creative workshops on illustration for little ones.
Another thing that we like about papelote is their focus on producing from local and ecological materials. No wonder they won the prestigious competition Czech Grand Design Awards in 2011 in the category Showroom of the Year. Visit papelote and immerse yourself with paper that has a story.
Do you remember the first product that you made under the Papelote brand? What did it look like?
It wasn’t just one product; it was more of an introductory collection. It was inspired by my dissertation from the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague that we later presented at Designblok. One of my first products was, for example, my favourite notebook Envelopa, made from a folded envelope. Up to now there have also been notebooks Simple, whose envelopes are created by the same lineatura, which is inside.
How many designers work for Papelote today?
I often encounter the idea that Papelote is only a brand that takes designs from different designers. However, it is not the case. We are the designers and everything we make is designed by us. From our beginnings when my husband Filip and I were the only designers we have grown and now there are five of us. Besides developing our brand and new collections we also work on tailored orders.
Who stands behind your interior on the Vojtěšská Street? Do you plan to open other branches in the future?
The interior was designed by our friends – architects from A1architects. It has worked great for us, even though there is a lot more stuff inside then there used to be. From time to time it also changes for a workshop or a small exhibition. We don’t plan on opening a new space yet, but who knows.
How big is the demand for custom made products that you offer? Do you come across any interesting ideas from your customers?
The demand has been growing every year and we are very happy about it and we enjoy working on it. Customers usually expect ideas from us, but they have theirs from time to time, too. Anyway, every product is a result of a shared dialog and effort. Personal approach and a mutual trust are important for us. Without them we wouldn’t be able to do our job the best we can.
You organise illustration workshops for children several times a year. How do these workshops go? Do the children’s parents also get involved?
The workshops are only for children, even though the parents sometimes don’t want to leave. Every workshop has a theme, made up by an illustrator who runs the workshop. Some of them are more focused on drawing, others more on action. It depends on the person who runs it.
Do you have any favourite stationery shops abroad that you would get inspiration from?
I like one shop in London – Present and Correct. They combine the selling of contemporary stationary brands with vintage items that they gather from all around the world. It makes the shop atmosphere unique.
(Kateřina Šachová, co-owner of Papelote)