« Ever since I was a child, I have carried a deep passion for handicrafts, particularly the ancient arts and crafts, which seemed to speak to us through time, of ancient civilizations. I am fascinated by the idea that our roots can reach so far back over the centuries and yet be connected to us, extending further still into the future through new creations. This connection gives me the feeling that I am a part of a whole and not just a mere individual » - Marina Vaptzarova
Marina Vaptzarova is a Nepal-based company founded and led, since 1993, by French designer Marina Vaptzarova-Shrestha. With a particular focus on designer journals, Marina Vaptzarova specializes in designing and manufacturing sustainable luxury products, exclusively and carefully handmade using Nepal’s artisan traditions and its finest craftsmanship. These products include designer journals and notebooks, luxury guestbooks, sketchbooks and lifestyle products some of which are adorned with finely hand carved brass or silver elements.
In 1976 Marina Shrestha, a French architecture student from Paris decides to travel east. Discovering various lands and cultures, she finally succumbs to the Himalayan charm and, in 1980, settles in Nepal. With a deep-rooted passion for authentic living traditions, she recognizes the prestige of ancient artisan traditions still surviving in Nepal and is especially captivated by the numerous qualities of daphne paper. With her natural flair for creativity Marina launches, in 1993, her first paper designs after converting her garage into a genuine workshop. She surrounds herself with a small production team and devotes her time to finding new ways in which Nepalese traditions can be applied. In 1994, Marina opens her first workshop in Kathmandu, which is at the time named Marina Paper. Over the years her relentless inspiration has blown her designs far beyond the paper sphere, and the brand is re-baptized as Marina Vaptzarova.
Her passion for innovation and quality has led her to design an eclectic range of exquisite books that reflect the timeless elegance of her unique vision blending traditions and trends. Her journal designs are distinguished by their appealing textures and bold color assortments, an exclusive palette personally developed by Marina.
The world of Marina Vaptzarova consists of journals and lifestyle products that express the emergence of a new definition of luxury: sustainable, of high quality, made carefully and slowly in a small manufacturing unit that won’t grow in size – only in creativity.
As the world evolves, luxury takes on a new meaning. In today’s industrialized world, this new luxury is more personal and more intimate. It is and must be respectful of nature’s flow, of the artisans and of the end client. This luxury is the exclusive manufacturing of handmade products, with an elegant design, that are sustainable not only because they are made of organic and renewable materials but also because they are made slowly, with care and in small quantities - much like limited editions.
“One generation after another, countless hands have engaged in so many different creations. This is how I believe we can share and interact with the world: by connecting through time and through cultures, involving different artisans and their traditions in the same product until it reaches its final owner. Only handmade products withhold this vibrant quality of living things.” - Marina
Marina Shrestha, the designer behind Marina Vaptzarova, believes in the importance of preserving a balance with nature and within us through authenticity, joy and connecting with our roots. She believes in the beauty of very high quality handmade products, with all the small imperfections that make them unique.
Marina Vaptzarova believes in preserving the link to our roots, returning to the fundamentals: the human touch, ancestral knowledge and nature. With these simple tools, it is possible to create fashionable objects that withhold the authentic quality and beauty of living things. Marina Vaptzarova combines different traditional materials of Nepal to create sustainable luxury designs in the hopes of upholding Nepal’s cultural heritage, its economy and enhancing the prestige of Nepalese craft, and therefore showing that high quality and luxury products don’t only come from artisans in the west, but can blossom anywhere in the world with dedication, care and know-how.