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In Conversation With... Lagom Design
A Decade Of Balance For the last decade Lagom Design has done things in its own quiet, stylish way, ploughing its own furrow. Now, at the time when it is to mark the company’s 10th anniversary, it bizarrely finds itself in the middle of a ‘lagom’ craze, with the company’s name being bandied around as the new Scandi lifestyle buzzword. PG met up with Lagom founder Kelly Hyatt and his partner in love and business, Paula Mearns, to talk about how they have got the balance just right for 10 years. The very day that PG met up with Lagom Design’s Kelly Hyatt and Paula Mearns the Times newspaper carried an article entitled ‘Pack away the candles and the cocoa for the latest Scandi lifestyle craze... lagom’. The article in question, one of many gracing the pages of newspapers and magazines at the moment, extolls the virtues of what it describes as a ‘new craze’, the Swedish concept of lagom, a philosophy based on moderation and balance with everything in ‘just the right amount.’ The lagom ethos, proclaims journalist Kaya Burgess, is usurping the cosiness of Danish hygge, with books galore about to hit the shelves to further enlighten those inspired by the uncluttered, moderate and considered approach. Above middle: One of the designs by Swedish illustrator Monika Forsberg from Lagom. Right: In addition to the myriad of illustrators’ work that features in Lagom’s portfolio, are the paired back text-based collections, such as Cherished and PostCo. Below: One of the remarkable designs by Yago Partal from Lagom’s Zoo Portraits range.
PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE
Considering, as Lagom Design’s Collection Directory explains, that the word ‘lagom’ is thought to date back to the Vikings, it is hardly ‘a new craze’, but it is very much being talked about as the zeitgeist. “We were contacted by a consumer lifestyle magazine the other day asking for a comment on the lagom trend. We really do not see it as a trend, more as a total belief, an ethos of our company since the day it started 10 years ago,” explains Paula, Kelly’s ‘wife’ in life and business, who oversees the operations and business development, allowing Kelly to concentrate on the creative aspect. “To call
something a ‘trend’ likens it to a fashion. Fashions come and go, but style stays,” Paula adds. And Lagom Design is living proof of the latter, as its sea-facing Hove studio epitomises. “I do feel proud to be celebrating our 10th anniversary of the business. We have worked on collaborations with some of the most talented illustrators in the world and our cards and wrap are sold in many of the leading independent retailers, department stores, galleries and museums in the globe,” says Kelly, reflecting on the company he started “on the kitchen table” back in 2007. “Lagom was built on £6,000. I never wanted to borrow any money and was happy to grow the business organically, which we have, I am happy to say.” Last year Lagom had a turnover of £1.3 million, this year it is set to reach £2 million, with some exciting plans and collaborations in the pipeline. But first there is a milestone to mark, in the best possible lagom taste of course! “We really wanted to say ‘thank you’ to those who have been a part of Lagom’s growth, from the artists we work with, to the many stores we supply that we respect so much, to our production partners for going the extra mile, be it sourcing the perfect board and paper or achieving the perfect finishes on the cards,” says Kelly.
Published on May 3, 2017