When I see a paper goods company that has a Danish name, excuse me if I get a little excited. There are few things I love more than stationary. And if it’s Scandi stationary? All the better! So upon finding HJEM, I couldn’t wait to talk with Creative Lead and Founder Emma Richmond. Based in France and the Swiss Alps, her designs are drawn from that landscape with the clean lines of Scandinavian interiors. Here’s our interview; read on to find out why HJEM is where our heart is (sorry, I couldn’t help it. I’ll go now).
Tell us about the inspiration for HJEM.
The inspiration for HJEM came from wanting to create a sustainable lifestyle home wares and paper goods brand, characterized by collections which are graphic yet timeless and functional.
I’m passionate about design which are simple; aesthetic but affordable. I believe what you’re creating should make you feel good but also be good for the society which is why we chose to manufacture all our products in England or France using sustainable materials and production methods.
From a creative perspective, I’ve drawn a lot of my inspiration from nature fused with functional design, based on my new French/Swiss Alps lifestyle. After over 20 years of living in London and Paris, the diversity of the raw yet beautiful alpine landscape was like a huge breath of fresh air.
What was the process of starting HJEM like?
Previously I trained in interior & spatial design at UAL London and then went on to work as an Art Director in London and Paris. That taught me an amazing amount about communication. Coming back to my roots to create my own interiors brand was natural for me. The process really started during a long weekend in Copenhagen; I started to talk about my ideas for creating my brand with my husband and everything fell it to place. It’s a lot of work but great fun. I love what I do. After 15 years working in design agencies, now I climb mountains to shoot photos for my collections!
Tell us about your most memorable moment with HJEM.
HJEM is still very much in it’s infancy. So far, it’s been the initial launch a month ago and all the amazing positive feedback we’ve been getting, especially from clients. I’m really looking forward to doing our first design fair and establishing the brand further.
What is your perception of Scandinavian style or aesthetic?
We love it! I’ve always felt very in tune with Scandi style. As an Art Director, I’ve worked for several Scandinavian agencies and brands in the past. The modern, clean graphic lines of the Scandi aesthetic are completely in synch with my minimalist design language.
Do you agree that HJEM is a “Scandi Dandy?” Why or why not?
Yeah, lots of monochrome and craftsmanship: that’s a very Scandi vibe. HJEM is obviously Danish for “home.” I love the name; it would be would be ‘toppen’ if HJEM was considered to be one!
What’s next for HJEM Products?
We’ve got several design shows planned for 2015 and we’ve been looking into doing some pop-ups in Switzerland, London and France. Currently selling from our web shop, we are also looking to develop with selected retailers. We are really excited about developing other lines in new natural materials like wood and ceramic. We are also busy planning our next collection for Spring summer and we will be out this winter climbing more mountains for our photo shoots. We are definitely keeping ourselves out of trouble.
See more on HJEM here.