Jun 30 2016
Gifting is a daily affair around the world; we buy gifts for our loved ones, friends, family, acquaintances, and sometimes even strangers. We probably pay attention more to the gift itself but some of us pay attention to the whole gifting experience, which includes the presentation of the gift itself.
All the way from Italy, MULTIFOLIA ATELIER di Rita Girola (MULTIFOLIA) has reached our shore and is currently now retailing exclusively with Naiise! We spoke to Rita, founder of MULTIFOLIA, and found out more about her love for paper goods and why she started a business that has a strong gifting notion.
Hey MULTIFOLIA, thank you for being part of this interview! We really love your paper goods. Tell us more about how MULTIFOLIA started.
First of all I’d like to thank you and everyone at Naiise. I am very happy and proud to be collaborating with Naiise and it's a pleasure to be part of this interview.
The inspiration for setting up MULTIFOLIA came to me four years ago, on a cold grey November afternoon, as I was strolling around looking for some stunning papers to wrap up my Christmas presents but I could only find the same old traditional stuff. So that’s when I got the idea: what if I create the wrapping paper that I actually like?
What have inspired you for the past few collections?
I tend to be pretty instinctive when I work. It’s on the basis of emotions that I choose the illustrations for MULTIFOLIA products. Joy, tenderness, melancholy, irony - when an illustration goes straight to my heart triggering a true emotion, that's when I know it’s the right one.
What do you love about paper goods and why?
I must admit that I have always been crazy about paper and all that’s related to stationery. As a child, I used to make myself tiny notebooks binding them with all sorts of yarn remains I could find in the house. I remember whenever my mother took me to the local stationer’s, I had a feeling I was in heaven!
I really can’t tell why I am so fascinated by paper. Maybe because as a child, I used to spend a lot of time alone, so keeping a diary has always been one of my favourite ways to escape loneliness. The happiest moments in my childhood, are related to notebooks and books. Somehow, I think that MULTIFOLIA is my way to relive the happiness I used to get from my beautifully illustrated fairytales books.
What's the daily routine like at MULTIFOLIA headquarters?
There is definitely no daily routine here! Upsetting the plans is our daily habit. Sometimes, I have to rush to ship some goods or I'll get a call from a supplier who wants me to check some printing process. I must admit I am often out and about in order to get everything done properly. My working day begins very early in the morning – with a good espresso coffee, of course – and ends only when I fall asleep at night!
How would you describe your style or your works/designs?
I think the most appropriate adjective for MULTIFOLIA products is “unconventional”. I love experimenting with colours, using unusual palettes, and I love experimenting with various types of paper. I like to try all that’s new on the market. Putting extremes together, mixing the digital world with tradition is also one of our trademarks.
We noticed that your products are mainly revolving around gifting essentials. How do you wish people would feel when they receive your products as gifts?
I wish to thank you for this question which goes straight to the heart of our work. With our wrapping papers and cards, we want to add value to a gift or a message. We want our papers to trigger emotions. They are so rich in colours and subjects that they can be used as art posters or they can be cut out after unwrapping to be used as a means for creative hobbies.
What's the craziest design that you have wanted to turn into a product but decided not to?
You know, before setting up MULTIFOLIA, I worked many years in the luxury textile industry and fashion is another great passion of mine, so I often tend to regard paper as textile. I remember at the very start of my MULTIFOLIA adventure, I designed a shirt and had it printed it on a special dark grey paper which has a special touch and feels and looks like textile. In my dreams, the stitching details should have been highlighted with true yarn. Strangely enough, no supplier was willing to help me. In the end, I was so tired of being labelled as hopelessly crazy that I decided to give up!
We are really psyched that you have given Naiise exclusivity to your products. How did that decision come about?
Naiise and MULTIFOLIA share the same philosophy - we both believe that design adds value to our lives, so I felt very honoured when I was asked if I wanted to work exclusively with Naiise in Singapore. As soon as I got in touch with Naiise, I had a really positive feeling - Naiise is a young, smart company and I do feel a truly positive energy coming from this business relationship, so why not make this partnership stronger?
What are your upcoming plans for MULTIFOLIA?
We are currently working (very hard indeed) on the new Christmas collection, which includes new items such as some beautiful gift bags and a very stylish diary.
Next year, we will be happy to introduce a few new designers who will bring great new creative ideas.
Any word of advice for budding designers?
Stay true to yourself and always follow your instinct. Finding your own way requires constant hard work, but if you really have something to tell, if you have a message to convey and if your art is truly something you can’t do without, you’ll definitely find your own distinctive style. Always use your art to spread positive energies and to make this world a better place.
Shop more products from MULTIFOLIA ATELIER di Rita Girola here.