Welcome to the creative sanctuary series. A new series here on the blog where I get to talk to inspiring creative people about their work and how they got to do what they do. I get to peek into their studios and find out what their 5 essential things are that make their creative space a true sanctuary.
I’m kicking off this series with paper and textiles designer Jurianne Matter. You might know Jurianne’s paper boats and angels. What started out as a loving tribute after the passing of a very good friend turned into a way for so many people to honour their own loved ones.
Keep on reading for a chance to win the latest paper creation by Jurianne Matter.
This giveaway is now closed!
How it all started
Jurianne started out studying new Greek language and culture at the University of Amsterdam, but as she says she was more interested in the beauty of the design of Greek lettering than anything else. In the early nineties, Jurianne decided to do more with her love of design and enrolled in what was the very first interior styling course in Europe at Artemis in Amsterdam.
Jurianne had a few different jobs during the years. At one point she started her own company partnering with 3 other interior stylists. The company offered fair and event styling concepts. After that Jurianne spend a few years working as a stylist for IKEA. It was during these IKEA years, that she began experimenting with paper design in her free time. Jurianne always had a passion for paper, packaging and design. She began making and selling mini paper buntings that ended up being featured in interior magazine VTwonen and got her noticed by a larger audience.
Jurianne’s Sturdy Ships and Sweet Fleet where born out of an idea, she had when she was thinking of a way to pay tribute to her dear friend that past away in the 2004 tsunami. She and her children made a few of these paper boats for a memorial gathering they held as a family in the south of France. Back then the boats were called Little Wish Boats. They wrote messages on the boats and set them to float on a stream. When Jurianne saw all the little boats floating along, she knew she had to share this beautiful experience with others.
It was a challenge getting the funding for that first run of Sturdy Ships. Banks did not see the value of backing the idea. Jurianne eventually found a backer in her circle of friends and the first run of Sturdy Ships was a huge success. The second run followed within months. Jurianne says “My company floats on boats” (“mijn bedrijf drijft op bootjes”). Jurianne feels that the friend that passed away, who was one of her biggest supporters must have a hand in al the success of her business in those initial years.
Most awesome work related experience so far
There were many highlights: meetings for new collabs in London, the first time attending Maison & Objet in Paris. But attending the NY gift fair (now NY NOW) in New York a few years ago was really special one. It was an awesome experience that Jurianne got to share with Irene Hoofs, founder of Bloesemdesign and Koel Magazine. Jurianne and Irene connected through Irene’s Blog, Bloesem. Irene featured Jurianne’s work on her blog and the two ladies developed a friendship in the years following. Jurinanne credits Irene for opening doors for her especially, when it came to the international market.
It was a whirlwind few days being in New York City for that tradeshow. Jurianne had her own private tour guide essentially seeing as Irene had lived in the city for a few years prior and knew all the ins and outs. There was not much time to see the actual city apart from out of a taxicab window or that one visit to the High Line Park in Chelsea. The absolute highlight of that trip was having a meeting at the Martha Stewart offices.
Jurianne loves the pictures, she receives from people, showing her Rite Boats and Sturdy Ships in action carrying little lights honouring loved ones. This, she says, is the single most important reason she made them. To give others the opportunity to pay tribute to their loved ones in a meaningful way.
Jurianne works out of her home studio. Most days Jurianne works there alone, but she has a trusted assistant Kim, who helps out with the daily concerns of the business and during tradeshows. At the moment Jurianne is working on projects for Engel and Ompak. Projects that we will hopefully see next season.
Live Pinterest board on the wall
A clean and tidy workspace & a big pot of thee
Relaxing music & candles
Clipboards with current projects
A nice view out of a window with lots of green
Heim tiny house giveaway
Jurianne is giving you the chance to win your own Heim tiny houses village containing 12 houses. You could use the Heim tiny houses as decoration or as an advent calendar. The only thing you have to do to win a set is leave a comment below saying that you would like to win it. The giveaway will close on Sunday 5 November. Open to The Netherlands only.
I want to say a huge thank you to Jurianne for her time and the lovely conversation.