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Monday, 22 August 2016

Made in Poland: Gliniana Kura - The Clay Hen

Dearest hearts,

You know me, when I see something lovely I need to share. Especially if that "something lovely"is produced in good old Poland and if it is handmade. When I discovered Gliniana Kura on Facebook it really brought a smile upon my face and made my day. I love illustrations and sketches and I love fancy totebags and mugs - well... Gliniana Kura combines all that and creates it's own #madeinpoland brand that you cannot help to love! Marta Jocek, the founder of Gliniana Kura, was kind enough to indulge me and answered my questions about the company, its products and its future. I have seen the products live, touched them - felt them - even smelled them (as I do any paper product...) and I have been positively impresed. I already have some favourites ;) The colors are vivid and eye-catching and the illustrations produced by Joanna are priceless. So without any further ado... let me present you Gliniana Kura (Polish translation: The Clay Hen).
Gliniana Kura - Gdynia cups can be bought online on their Facebook Page
1. Good day Gliniana Kura :) can you tell me how and when the company opened its doors to the public and why this name was chosen?
GK: We came up with the idea in the late 2012 and decided to go on and try in the early 2013.  Our first products saw the daylight at  first during St Dominic’s Fair in 2013 in Gdańsk and we got a very enthusiastic feedback and made few pivotal contacts help us develop our business. We started off with literally three different products but they would sell very well and shortly after we managed to distribute them in local souvenir shops and a local bookshop chain. When it comes to name, Gliniana Kura was used by Joanna to sign her illustrations and some other handmade stuff years ago and we decided to stick to it.
One of Gliniana Kura's Stands
2. What is the magical story behind Gliniana Kura?
GK: Not sure if there is one :) I like to think we are creating our story as we go day by day. We started it by not knowing anything about the actual souvenir market in general and Poland in particular as I (Marta Jocek) had been abroad for so many years. But there has been so many special moments and we met most amazing people along the way so these are the magic moments :)
3. Who is the designer behind the Gliniana Kura products?
GK: Joanna is solely the illustrating part of the team. Marta (myself) is looking after production and business, though during the high season we do most things together as it is all hands on the deck. When it comes to products it always a collaborative process and we decide together what we want it to look like, especially when it comes to quality etc. 
4. What are the development plans of Gliniana Kura? Have you ever thought of reaching the external market - outside Poland?
GK: We started off with Gdańsk and Tricity and just recently Kraków. We do have plans but we always adjust it to market itself so we’ll wait and see how this summer works out for us. We are definitely  looking at another cities and hoping to start another one till the end of the year but let’s wait and see :) Right now we are concentrating on Poland but we’ve already had some inquiries about other countries  and it was very motivating so who knows?
5. Where are the products currently available if someone wishes to but them? 
GK: All products are available online directly from us or in local souvenir shops and bookshops. We are currently selling through Dawanda but we are steadily working on our own online shop. When it comes to Kraków you can purchase our complete range in Księgarnia pod Globusem, Księgarnia Bona, Absurdalia in Grodzka Street and Krakuska in Szewska. 
Some of the products are also available in Wawel souvenir shop and you can get our bags and tshirts in Sukiennice at one of the stalls. We are also very happy to cooperate with INFO Krakow and you can purchase our souvenirs in  five of their branches. 
6. Have you ever thought about any collaboration with young designers who have good artistic ideas but don't have the money or platform to "show off"?
GK: We did consider collaboration in the past especially when it comes to commissions. There was a moment when we had a lot of inquiries and needed and extra “drawing” hand. I believe huge part of our story is the fact that you can see Joanna’s drawings  in all of our products and that makes them very recognisable and it is genuine brand’s DNA. As mentioned before we are still are the very beginning of the journey and there are so many different  ways for us to grow so who knows?

7. What is the best selling product of Gliniana Kura?
GK: We are really lucky because everything pretty much sells well :) But by far the biggest bestseller are the cotton bags. There currently three different designs for Kraków, each available in two colours. We are working on another one and it will also be available on a t-shirt. And Kraków surprised us by how much our Wawel t-shirts are selling - especially ladies once, so it is definitely something we are looking at. In Gdańsk, as we are much more settled in the market I would say our big posters are also another highly popular product along the bags.
Adorable mugs for the coffee/tea fans ;)
8. What are you most proud of at Gliniana Kura? 
GK: We love to see people smiling when they walk by and look at our products and they say “oh look it’s so nice”.  That’s really what it was for us at the start, create something people will enjoy, simple little pleasures :) It’s great to hear that they recognise our brand and our illustrations. Just recently customer  in Gdansk at the weekend told us she got our poster in Wawel shop and that she instantly knew it was, for us that’s really what it is all about. 
Gliniana Kura @ St. Dominic's Fair
9. If you would see Gliniana Kura as part of a story, where would this story take place in Poland?
GK: It is a story of any modern city that has rich heritage but is young and vibrant and looking forward.  I guess it could easily be the story of any city, Gdańsk, Kraków or Warsaw :)
Gliniana Kura T-shirt Sizes and Package
10. What are the products connected to Krakow that Gliniana Kura offers? What is the story behind it? 
GK: When it comes to products, they would be the same range as we do elsewhere e.g: cotton bags, notebooks, posters, postcards, mugs etc. It is always the illustration that tells  the story.  So we’ve got proud Mr Mickiewicz  overlooking the square and Sukiennice, we do have a very vibrant and opulent St Mary’s Basilica and there’s also a King running who knows where just next to the Cathedral at the Wawel Castle. And there are more to come .. :) 

You can check out Gliniana Kura's latest illustrations and homemade products online - they keep a very active and colorful Facebook and Instagram Page & they are currently building a Polish/English Internet Site for The Clay Hen ;) As said in the interview, you can buy their products in Krakow at Księgarnia pod Globusem, Księgarnia Bona, Absurdalia on Grodzka Street and Krakuska on Szewska but you can also buy them online on their Facebook Page with connection to DaWanda.

Yours sincerly,
The Twisted Red LadyBug That Was Most Pleasantly Impressed By Gliniana Kura's Story and Delicate and Eye-catching Products (I would take them all home!)