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April - 2014


Paul Smith chooses Wonderable

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Wonderable’s Souvenir vases are a perfect eye-catcher in any shop, public space or home. Moreover, people tend to see them as a link between art, design and fashion. This year, famous fashion designer Paul Smith chose the vases to decorate his newest concept store in London Mayfair. And they were sold out very quickly! Hopefully the Souvenir vases will cheer up more Paul Smith stores soon! 

To see Paul Smith showing us around in his newest Mayfair concept store London, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Eaz5WdskAE.



Golden Noodle

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We introduced our Golden Noodle lamps from Bhubaneshwar, Orissa, India! Loyal Wonderable-watchers may remember that we announced this development 2 years ago already... Well, it took us a while to turn a traditional technique in a remote province of India into design lamps.

Every item is constructed first in ‘noodles’ made of beeswax, then covered with clay on all sides. A built-in reservoir in the clay contains pieces of old brass. The clay package is fired to make the wax melt and flow away. When the temperature rises, the brass also melts and fills the space left behind by the wax, thus taking the shape of the wax.

This ancient technique is called dhokra. Once the artisans lived as nomads using local beeswax and clay wherever they offered their services, collecting old metal pieces to turn into kitchen utensils or Hindu god statues. Now the artisans have settled, but production is mostly still organised per household and done totally by hand.

And here we are, two years later: the lamps look great, are well received, are shown on Trend Events and pictured in magazines. Our next step is to increase production capacity with the artisan families and their community, to meet the demand of our clients that is far bigger than the artisans can handle at the moment. We love this luxury problem. Please bear with us, we are going to solve it and new stock is arriving this month!



from Coca-Cola bottle to KRNWTR carafe

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How does the tap water in your place taste? Is it healthy and safe to drink?

Here in Amsterdam we all think we have the best water in the country. Better than Rotterdam ;-). But more important and proven: at least as good as any bottled water. And did you know that in the Netherlands alone 500.000 plastic bottles are thrown away every single day?

These are just a few reasons why we love our new collaboration with KRNWTR (Dutch for ‘TP WTR’) andGoodtoGive. Together with Bolivian glass makers we are developing a carafe and glasses for water. To encourage people to drink water from the tap. At home, in the office, in a restaurant, at events.

Just in time for any December gift giving the carafe + glasses will also come in a nice gift set, with a newspaper on water issues included. Also containing stories about the making in Bolivia out of used Coca-Cola bottles.

Want to give or use the carafes? Then get in touch with us and order before end May if you want to start promoting tap water within this year. Drinking tap water you can start doing today!



Trendsetting at the fairs

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2014 started with an intensive period of exhibiting in fairs: the international furniture fair IMM in Cologne and the home accessories fair Ambiente in Frankfurt. At both fairs we met our dearest existing customers and inspiring new contacts. As a result Japanese Elle Deco readers will get to know us and Wonderables will be available in Saudi Arabia soon!

A variety of Wonderables were selected for the ‘trend fora’ at both fairs: see the unexpected combination of a green hand embroidered Knots cushion with the black leather Horse cushion and the natural Beadnikcushion on a grey sofa at IMM. Our Hallelujah lamps did their eye-catching job very well in a colourful trend theme at Ambiente. We hope many have been inspired by all these stylish settings.

We will also be visiting Salone del Mobile in Milano this month, please get in touch with us if you are interested in meeting us there. See you at the fairs!



Februari - 2014


Come and visit us at Ambiente Frankfurt

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Januari - 2014


Come and visit us at IMM Cologne

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September - 2013


Come and see us at Maison&Objet

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August - 2013


Come and see us at Tendence

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June - 2013


Chulucanas' tricks

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Chulucanas, Peru: Carla traveled to one of her favourite places for experimenting with craft techniques. Named after its place of origin, the local ceramics are typical for 2 age-old tricks: meticulous polishing and smoking with mango leaves.

Every polishing lady in Chulucanas owns a toolkit containing a wide array of smooth natural pebbles and shampoo bottle pieces. They are used to rub the clay endlessly, until it is super-smooth. The ceramics owe their brilliant shine to these ladies, their toolkits and their perseverance.

The smoking of the ceramics is an intruiging process. The fired clay pieces are placed in kilns filled with dried mango leaves to get between a soft tan and a deep black roast. Look how Wonderable’s Black Mango vases are being smoked.

Carla did many experiments, trials and silly tests together with the ceramic artisans. With every failure she learnt more about the process and its possibilities, eventually leading to a huge set of very promising swatches. They have turned into a set of vases already! To be expected in September, contact us if you want to pre-order.



Old and new 'dutch'

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De Bijenkorf, the Netherlands’ most exclusive department store, celebrates the re-opening of the wonderfully renovated Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Thousands of people passing by their shopwindows every day, can see details of famous Dutch old masters’ paintings combined with Dutch design. Our Thai Blue vases blend in perfectly. The Delft Blue inspired photoshoot in their magazine features another Thai Blue vase, in tune with fashion. Another proof of how terrifically well traditional goes with modern.



The return of the Black Mango

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After an absence of over a year, our popular Black Mango vases will make a come-back this fall. Additionally, Carla has been working with the maestros ceramicists on an elegant tall version to complement our swinging low vase. This has completed the current family of Black Mango vases: two shapes in two colourways. Available from September. Contact us for special prices if you pre-order before mid-June!



March - 2013


Recycling noodles

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Remember our last story from India? Something about recycled brass noodles and lost wax? Carla is on a trip to India to continue the story. The product development is advancing to the next level and we hope to present you the new ‘Dhokra’ lamps by the end of this year. Curious? For now some pictures of wax noodles being turned into lamps. More details coming soon.



Spring is in the air

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Although snow storms keep coming in the Netherlands, inside at Menno Kroon's shop we had bright Hallelujah colours, spring flowers and Souvenir vases. If you want ideas on how to use your Souvenir vase not only as a decorative object but as a fabulous flower vase, look at Menno Kroon’s examples. He does magic with all things floral and is famous for it in Holland and far beyond. And look at the lamp he chose to match gorgeously. Ready for spring!



In the mood for lighting

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A good atmosphere, whether in private or public spaces, is determined for a great part by lighting. Our Wonderable lamps are made of materials with extraordinary characteristics such as bamboo, stone and paper, and are great creators of atmosphere, each in its own way. Curious how this can work out? At IMM Cologne various furniture brands used Wonderable lamps all over their stand. Colourful and eye-catching Hallelujah giants as above Machalke's bar, stylish and mysterious Taj Mahal drops as in Team 7's living kitchen. Inspiration for everyone.



Februari - 2013


Come and see us at Ambiente

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Januari - 2013


Come and see us at Heimtex and IMM!

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November - 2012


upcycling versus jobs

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Wonderable’s popular Souvenir vase was created last year to give new life to dead stock of ceramic trinkets. Which we liked as a way to re-use materials, upcycle old stock and be sustainable. As a result of the huge success of the Souvenir vase the stock of figures was nearly finished this summer. But the love of our clients for the Souvenir vase was far from over.

 

Wonderable’s popular Souvenir vase was created last year to give new life to dead stock of ceramic trinkets. Which we liked as a way to re-use materials, upcycle old stock and be sustainable. As a result of the huge success of the Souvenir vase the stock of figures was nearly finished this summer. But the love of our clients for the Souvenir vase was far from over.

Dilemma. Is it unsustainable to make thousands of new figures and continue making vases? Does the story loose its strength when we produce new trinkets? Do we prefer to stop and say NO to all those people who want to order vases? If we continue, do we tell the dead stock story is no more?

We decided to create new miniatures to create more jobs. All Wonderables are hand made by fair trade producers. Our aim is to create jobs for crafts people in developing countries. So let’s do that. 

And we did. With the orders of several good clients we manage to have a team of about 10 people in Thailand producing Souvenir vases (filmpje vimeo) continuously now. Not only our good old standard size, but now also huge ones, and fully white ones. More versions to love, let us know if you can’t live without one anymore. 



wonderables touring the world

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We are sending our Wonderables around the world in every direction. Thanks to so many new resellers who enthusiastically start with our products. To name a few: 


Going west: Anthropologie, USA. With their 175 shops they kept our Souvenir vase production team in Thailand busy over the summer.


Going south: La Grange Interiors in Johannesburg, South Africa is a stylish interior store and the first in Africa to sell Wonderables.


South-East: NanKai Deco in Taipeh, Taiwan is introducing all Wonderable lamps in Taiwan and Popcorn Interiors in Melbourne is doing the same for Australia.


Around the corner: the Dutch Ceramics Museum ‘Princessehof’ in Leeuwarden has selected Wonderable’s Thai Blue vases, which are inspired by the history of Delftware and 400 years of global trade and cultural exchange. The vases are at home in this museum on the history of man and ceramics.


All directions are seen from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, the centre of Wonderable’s universe. Hope we are getting conveniently close to your coordinates. See our stores if you want to check.



vietnamese by nature

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Carla went to Hanoi with plans for new cushions, inspired by the over 50 ethnic groups in Vietnam who all, once upon a time, expressed their identity in a clothing style all their own. Some of the old materials and techniques are still available, others are dying out.

Together with the textile experts of Craftlink she worked with organic ash-bleached hemp from the Hmong people, with beaded weaving by Ta Oi people and with local horn and shell varieties. She learnt amazingstories on the origin of these traditions. The first outcome of this collaboration are the new Centre Piece cushions: rustic fabric with delicate shiny pieces connected by intricate embroidery patterns. Natural beauty to adorn a sofa, a chic addition to Wonderable’s collection. Now available.



September - 2012


Come and see us at Maison&Objet

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August - 2012


Come and see us at Tendence

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May - 2012


Wonderable @ DepARTmentSTORE 4 Utrecht

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April - 2012


FAIRS: selling and inspiring

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Ambiente Fair’s trendwatchers created in Frankfurt four atmospheric Trendworlds and used Wonderables all-over the place to get the feel. We were seen in Dark Attitude and Electric Romance, although they did not see us fit Radiant Modernity.

An exhibition meant to inspire professionals, hope we did!

The reactions inspired us: so many requests and orders from retail buyers on the spot.

IMM Furniture Fair in Cologne was the place for us to meet a new type of shops and lots of interior designers. It was a great first time participation for us here. To be continued!



wonderables in real life

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We love being surrounded by Wonderables in our office/showroom every day, but we get really excited spotting them in real life outside our showroom. It broadens our view to see our items setting the scene or adding a touch to totally different spaces. Maybe yours as well, so here are some examples we want to share with you.

If you have Wonderables in your personal home, in your shopwindow or in a restaurant you decorated, then please share images with us on facebook or send them by email. We hope to build a great collection so as to give back ideas to the real world out there.




Teresa Martins’ TM COLLECTION

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Portuguese Teresa Martins designs clothing with beautifully crafted details, combining materials and patterns in unexpected ways. Finding a true soul mate in Carla she asked to join forces and develop products for her collection together. These lanterns are a first result, combining Teresa’s refined Indian fabrics with a Vietnamese lacquerware base inlaid with mother-of-pearl in the same flower pattern as the fabrics. The bases are made by ‘our own’ Mai Handicrafts in Vietnam. The intricate lamps are for sale through TM collection.




December - 2011


best wishes for 2012, hope to stay in touch

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We wish you happy holidays and all the best for 2012! Hope to see you soon in the new year. 

As we are busy preparing for some new adventures (such as exhibiting in the International Furniture Fair in Cologne for a first time!), here are some opportunities to see us, and our collection:

 IMM Cologne(link), 16-22 January 2012, stand 3.2 E052

 Ambiente Frankfurt(link), 10-14 February 2012, stand 11.0 A30A



hello architects and interior designers!

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Archiproducts surprised us by publishing part of our collection on their portal: an international search engine for interior designers and architects. And guess what: over 1000 product views within 2 days! All professionals!

It makes us curious which portals interior designers and architects frequent to source new items and find inspiration. Internationally. The further away from the Netherlands the more ignorant and curious we are. Are you a designer or architect using and loving certain portals? Please tell us, so we can meet at your favourite place in the future.



“no two things are ever the same” : stylish sporty spice / sporty spice embroidery

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The Sporty Spice classic bowling bags are covered in tens of thousands of transparent beads. Depending on the light, the bead layer can glitter or let the underlying black-and-white pattern show through. The racing stripes and leather handles and piping toughen up this elegant bag. The lining of the larger models features compartments for documents, pens and a mobile phone, making them perfect for business use. The small evening bag, meanwhile, is ideally suited for stealing the show.

The extravagant richness of India’s textile tradition is made tangible in the Sporty Spice bags. Beads are hand-embroidered over a silkscreened pattern in a workshop near Kolkata, India. The owner, Mr. Heera, is a master embroiderer himself, trained in an atelier in Delhi where haute couture sarees for catwalk shows are made. Embroidery is mostly done by the Muslim community in India and a typical men’s job. Mr. Heera is eager to do challenging complicated embroidery and transfers his skills to his employees.



The golden duo

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Carla and Ton (our investment partner) appear in FD, the "Financial Times' of the Netherlands. The interview series features entrepreneurs and their investors and is called 'Golden duo'. Need we say more to make you curious?



November - 2011


Sample sale 27 Zondag November

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Op zoek naar originele cadeaus voor de decembermaand? Wonderable haalt uit alle hoeken en laatjes unieke monsters en vergeten voorraad tevoorschijn die we aanbieden met kortingen tot 70%! En wie heeft er nou geen prachtige tas, lamp, vaas of kussen voor een zacht prijsje nodig? Of iets moois om op reis van te genieten: boxo doet ook mee in de sample sale.

Kom langs op zondag 27 November tussen 12.00-17.00 en shop-shop-shop...!

PS: als je bij ons niet uitgeshopt raakt, kun je door naar de fair sample sale van sieraden en accessoires bij a beautiful story in Amsterdam-Oost!




develop, do business

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Prosperous communities in developing countries, that’s what Wonderable strives for. Are we in development aid? No, we’re in business. We believe in the growth of small crafts producing companies, where people earn a good living selling the craft they excel in. Thus they make their families and communities prosper.

The small crafts businesses Wonderable works with would love to make special designs also for your company or organisation. They can do customised items as per your wishes, from the application of a simple logo till exclusive new designs. If your organisation is not into selling things, think of corporate items for employees or clients, gifts, adornment for your premises. 

Wonderable links those crafts businesses generating jobs and income where most needed, to businesses that support a more balanced world. Are you a supporter of developing by doing business? We would be happy to make the link for you.



Wonderable busy bees

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Wonderable is spreading its wings ever more. Since the two professional fairs in August and September in Paris and Frankfurt, we are working very hard to satisfy our retail clients with their ordered products. From our new introductions there the Souvenir vases and Hallelujah lamps have already become real bestsellers! 

Soon after the fairs we have opened our doors for our Amsterdam neighbours during the ‘Noordwaarts’ weekend. People loved to see and touch the products in real. Children also enjoyed to play our ‘no two things are ever the same‘ - memory game. 

And there was more: Carla travelled to Cologne to exhibit Wonderable’s collection in the studio of Claudia Warda, together with other interior labels such as zweiTnuTz, Lotuscollection and Ko-J. Cologne has considerably more Wonderable fans now!

Going more international, an exhibition in the Bulthaup centre in St. Petersburg, Russia, shows our Thai Blue vases among other Dutch design products.

And last but not least, we supported Dutch NGO ‘niños de Guatemala’ to collect money to build a school in Guatemala. We donated our ‘Sheer Seurat‘ to their auction in famous restaurant Fifteen in Amsterdam. The plate generated a good price for the kids in Guatemala.

Yes, quite some action these past months!    



De Bijenkorf

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Some hectic days in the warehouse last week. Dozens of Thai Blue vases were unpacked, checked, labeled, packed and sent. And now Wonderable is available at De Bijenkorf in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and the Hague. We have spotted them already on the interior department. Check it out!

For our non-Dutch fans: we’re talking about the best department store in the Netherlands and being a Dutch label you somehow HAVE to be at De Bijenkorf. So, we are.

Is De Bijenkorf too far away for you? We are glad to tell you the nearest shop that sells our new Thai Blue vases. We are busy shipping them also to Germany, UK, Norway and ....... Soon also to you?

NB: take a look at our new video on the making of the Thai Blue vases!




September - 2011


BEZOEK ONS TIJDENS NOORDWAARTS!

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Dit jaar doen wij mee aan de open dagen op de Zamenhofstraat: Noordwaarts 6. Tijdens dit weekend stellen wij, samen met 75 van onze creatieve buren, onze showroom open voor publiek. Als binnenkomer ben je welkom in Museum de Noord (Zamenhofstraat 28-a), waar een overzichtstentoonstelling plaatsvindt van de deelnemers. Kom genieten van kunst, fotografie, mode, design, muziek en lekkere hapjes.

Speciale Noordwaarts actie: elke twee uur een snelle-beslissers-aanbieding bij Wonderable onder het motto: 'no two things are ever the same'! Volg dit op facebook!    

Wonderable vind je in gebouw 150, op de derde verdieping, unit 309. Tot komend weekend!



August - 2011


What's in a number for you?

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Each of our Wonderables is unique, as they are all made individually by hand. That is no news. New is that we start marking every piece of several new items with its own number. So imagine: your particular vase will not only be recognizable for its elegant irregularity on the top left, but also for its number 099 for example. And you may have received it as a present reminding you of the year ’99 when ........ 

We are curious to know if you are interested in purchasing or giving a present with a specific number whithin a numbered edition. Please tell us on facebook. Which number? Why? Because if you do want it, we will make it happen!



Showtime

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With upcoming shows in Frankfurt and Paris within a month there is no time for stage fright. We better focus on getting ready in time. On our to do list:

  • preparing new product introductions. How many? What items? Can’t say, as we are still working hard to finalize details in time. Today we progressed well: the boxes in the picture arrived and we can’t wait to show you the new items we unpacked.
  • making new promotional materials. Labels and flyers that act as silent storytellers in shops. Improved presentations and information for retailers. And too many other ideas to finish before the shows.

We look forward to meeting you there, these are our showtimes:

Tendence, Frankfurt 26-30 Aug. 2011, hall 11.1 stand B18

Maison & Objet, Paris 9-13 Sept. 2011, hall 7 stand C91



July - 2011


No dip!

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More important: NO stickers! It's hand-painting we want on our Thai ceramics, not pre-printed tattoos. To see the hand of the master-painter, to enjoy tiny imperfections. No two hand-painted vases are ever the same. This was a new concept Wonderable’s Thai ceramics producers have to get used to. They normally satisfy their customers with series of perfectly identical items, but are much more proud of their expertise in traditional hand-painting.

Carla, together with the producers, experimented more. With dipping on top of the painting and even double dipping. We expect the new vases with these special effects before the fairs in August. In the meantime Carla came back full of energy and ideas from her Thailand trip. Certainly no dip for her!



Souvenir from Thailand

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Full of inspiration Carla Peters is designing products to expand the existing Wonderable collection. Here is a sneak preview for Wonderable fans.

One of our novelties will be the extraordinary vase ‘Souvenir’. Unsold Delft Blue souvenirs, made long ago by our Thai ceramics producer to be exported to souvenir shops in Holland, get a second life on this vase. Ha! Finally they are coming to Holland.

Want to see the vase in real life? Come to our showroom in Amsterdam or visit our booth on Tendence fair in August or Maison&Objet in September.



Wonderable @ home

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From today our Wonderables are not only available online and in stores, but also at ‘home parties’’. Here you can touch our designs and give them a closer look. Together with BeGood& Wonderable comes at home, for you to familiarise yourself with our designs and get to know the stories behind them. Other brands sharing Wonderable’s mission (to contribute to economic prosperity of craftspeople in far away lands) are on show as well.

The first Begood& home party was successful! Over 50 curious friends, relatives and neighbours visited founder Jack Stroeken’s home.

For now the home parties are only available in the Netherlands. But if you feel like organising such a cool event in your country, contact Jack Stroeken of BeGood& at jack@stroeken.eu.




June - 2011


Boxo and Wonderable

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Boxo recently launched a cool & stylish collection of travel accessories. Wonderable’s designer Carla Peters and Sandra Smit, founder and owner of Boxo, together developed this collection of stylish toilet bags, cool passport covers, outstanding jewellery rolls and practical travel bags. Age-old craft techniques are combined with Western design. Each piece takes you to the country of origin. By its materials, the technique used or its colour, and by the design of the star: it’s the boxo logo’s asterisk that makes you recognise every boxo item.

The collection is available in various stores in the Netherlands, including the Bever stores. For travellers outside the Netherlands: buy online!

www.boxo.nl



Lost what?

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Bhubaneshwar, Orissa, India. The place where Carla worked last week on new Wonderable products with artisans who master lost wax casting of recycled brass. Every item is constructed first in ‘noodles’ made of bees wax, then covered with clay on all sides. A built-in reservoir in the clay contains pieces of old brass. The clay package is fired to make the wax melt and flow away. When the temperature rises, the brass melts as well and fills the holes left behind by the wax, thus taking the shape of the wax. Lost wax gives way to brass noodles.

This ancient technique is called dhokra. Once the artisans lived as nomads using local bees wax and clay wherever they offered their services, and collecting old metal pieces to turn into new art.

We are developing new dhokra Wonderables, another life for this tradition not to be lost. You will be the first to know when they are for sale.



On track: Wonderable’s first ‘Shop in Shop’

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Invited by the renowned store Van Duivenboden Interieur located in the centre of Haarlem, Wonderable presents it’s first ‘shop in shop’. A surface of 15 square meters in the store is dedicated entirely to Wonderable’s assortment. In this pilot shop in shop we aim to achieve a turnover of € 2.500 per square meter per year. That’s ambitious, as it is 3 times the average in furniture retail. We are on track!

www.vanduivenboden.nl




May - 2011


3 minutes of fame on Dutch News Radio!

Radio 1 Journaal (our 'Dutch BBC') interviews Carla Peters on how she builds and finances her start-up Wonderable in times of crisis.

Listen and learn a bit of dutch:

 




April 2011


Wonderable breaking through in Paris!

Le Bon Marché

The oldest and most chic department store in Paris, Le Bon Marché, dedicates an island in the home department entirely to Wonderable. On 12 m2 a selection of our exclusive Wonderable collection is shown. We keep company with fellow brands like Hermès, Gucci, Comme des Garçons, Vitra, Cassina and many others. Wonderable is also present in the shop window, the web shop and in the luxurious Le Bon Marché home catalogue. We are so proud!
www.lebonmarche.fr




Sentou

Sentou, the leading design shop in Paris, shows our Wonderable lamp "Hallelujah" in their windows. Sentou tells us they are approached regularly by the design press and stylists who want to know the story behind the recycle lamps and use them in photo shoots. Not only the press loves the lamps, trendy Paris does so as well. And again we are proud.
www.sentou.fr

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