[ADVERTISEMENT – THIS POST IS IN COLLABORATION WITH LAGOM HANDMADE GLASSWARE, BUT ALL WORDS AND OPINIONS ARE MY OWN.]
Championing fellow female creatives is always something I take great pride in, especially when it’s on a platform I created myself.
I launched the Nordic Notes blog at a time when in my professional life I was learning that the workplace was not always welcoming for a new mum. And like many women before me and since, I’ve gone on to craft a career that not only fulfils me personally but also fits around my personal life too.
Following a similar path to mine is the super-talented Karolina Obroniecka Perez-Maura, founder of Lagom Handmade Glassware, and I hope that this latest ‘chat with’ will not only be an inspiration to you in terms of visual design but also one in terms of following your long-held passions too.
Over to Karolina to tell us more:
Shall we start with a bit about you and how Lagom Handmade Glassware got started?
I am originally from Poland but was born in France. While my background is in graphic design, I now work as an Associate Lecturer in Product and Industrial Design at the world-renowned Central Saint Martin’s (CSM) in London.
I actually studied and graduated with a First Class Honours from this course in 2020, and it was during this time I discovered borosilicate glass. Even though it was the beginning of the Covid19 pandemic, I was lucky enough to be able to meet some incredible craftspeople who introduced me to the world of scientific glassblowing.
After graduating, I decided to take what I’d learnt one step further and bring to life my own line of glassware. I launched Lagom Handmade Glassware in 2022 while eight months pregnant with my first baby. It’s always been a dream of mine to design and sell my own products, and since then, it’s been a wild ride managing my company, raising my baby, and my university work.
Why ‘Lagom’? What is it about this Swedish lifestyle concept that inspires you?
Meaning “just the right amount,” the term ‘lagom’ perfectly reflects my philosophy of balancing beauty, utility and environmental impact.
I truly believe that less is more and try to live by this concept in both my personal and professional life. By surrounding yourself with beautiful objects of value, even though sometimes it means spending more money, it’s worth it in the long run for both you and the environment.
What makes your glassware different? Can you tell us more about how your products are designed and made?
All Lagom glassware products are handmade in the Czech Republic by highly skilled scientific glassblowers. A specialised form of glass blowing used in industry, science, art and design, it is a traditional craft not many master today given how complex it is and that it takes years to learn.
Borosilicate tubing is typically used in research laboratories and hospitals. I love it because it is very resistant, it can be used for both hot and cold drinks and ensures our products are dishwasher safe too.
The beauty of our products, however, lies in the fact that each one is entirely unique. You will find no two identical glasses; each glass is different with its own minor (perfect) imperfections.
Each of your products is named after an inspirational woman, but which is your favourite?
As a woman led business, each Lagom product is dedicated to and celebrates an incredible woman that has shaped the landscape of art, design and society.
If I had to choose just one favourite it would have to be our ‘Ceesay’ glass, named after the Gambian Activist, Isatou Ceesay. Often referred to as the ‘Queen of Recycling’, she initiated a movement called ‘One Plastic Bag’, educating citizens about recycling and reducing the amount of waste that is created.
From this she then founded a project that creates plastic yarn and forms bags out of the upcycled waste. Not only has this dramatically reduced the amount of waste in her village, but it is also employing hundreds of West African women and providing them with an income of their own.
What are you working on at the moment, what’s next for you and Lagom Handmade Glassware?
I am currently working on a couple of new products which will be launched later this year. I can’t say much about them yet though so stay tuned!
Thank you, Karolina for taking the time to chat with me, I for one wish more design brands were as dedicated to championing these issues as you.
WANT TO KNOW MORE?
To find out more visit the Lagom Handmade Glassware website.
All images by Nicola Capper. Lagom Handmade Glassware kindly gifted products in return for this post.
Enjoyed reading this post? Then read my chat with textile artist Bec Kirby, founders of Soosumsee.