Bergslagsgatan: Granliden Mittens….Small is very Beautiful
Beautiful businesses come in all shapes and sizes, some engaged in simple and some in complex tasks. But to coin and phrase, it ain’t what you do it the way that you do it! This business is beautiful because if its sheer, crystal clear simplicity and its incredibly minimal impact. Based around the traditions of family and rooted in memories and place, this beautiful business is a STB…a super-tiny-business.
These micro businesses can be found almost everywhere, busy making tiny differences, being beautiful in their own quiet way. No trumpets blasts and triumphal annual reports or corporate excuses, this is a business built around simple heartfelt pleasure of craft and design. Being lyrical, one might suggest these tiny businesses have the impact of a flutter of a butterfly wing in the grinding corporate landscape…more significant than we realise.
Bergslagsgatan is based in Gothenburg on the Swedish west coast, and is the creation of artist / designer Klara Bothén. Bergslagsgatan is the label under which all of Klara’s creative and artistic work is contained. Formed around 2011, it emerged when Klara decided to join a craft market in the local town. This is a micro business comprised of one person…Klara; and this is a micro-business of one product… Granliden mittens. Regardless of size, this beautiful business is already attracting attention, such as coverage in the Swedish Elle Interior magazine.
What is so fantastic about this beautiful product is that these mittens embody the story of a family, its memories and special times as generations grew older. This product is deeply embedded in place not just metaphorically, but literally too. As Klara explains…
I suppose what makes my business special is that (at least so far) it is built around one thing – a place. In my artistic practice, which is tightly bound to my design work, I am researching ways of expressing the identity of this particular place – a part of my childhood surroundings in which the spot where the wool was dyed is included… And I grew up in a family where knitting is part of everyday life – I like to make that kind of connections. I would say my work and my business is site specific, in the way that everything I make is in some way inspired by this place and the people who has been living there.
So far, Klara has only one product – the Granliden Mittens. The incredible, vivid colours capture a moment in time. Made from vegetable dyes, these mittens are made by and embody a family working, talking, joking and remembering together. Perhaps more poignant than any photograph, what makes this so special is Klara’s willingness to share the mittens with us all. As Klara says…
“These are hand knitted from wool that my mother and grandmother vegetable dyed at our summer place in 1982. It all started when two big boxes of this wool was handed down to me, and I wondered what to do with such a beautiful material. I had already tried out a pattern for mittens, and it just went together so beautifully with the vegetable dyes. I enjoy clean, simple design along with materials that has a story behind them. There is a nice balance to it, somehow”
These mittens are precious. Thanks to Klara for sharing them with us. You can visit Klara’s weblog and shopping site at http://bergslagsgatan.bigcartel.com/, maybe drop her an email. I am sure she would love to hear from you. You can also see more of the work produced by Klara at http://www.klarabothen.com/