We arrived at the Iris Hantverk shop for our next meeting.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Iris, it is a brand we have been carrying in our store since the first day we were open–in fact, our first sale was the concrete shaving kit by Lovisa Wattman! Iris Hantverk employs visual impaired craftspeople to create beautiful handmade brushes as they were made in the 19th century. Each individual bundle of bristles are bound to hardwood handles with wire as opposed to adhesives, and all of the bristles are natural from horse and goat hair bristles, to tampico and palm fibers.
It’s a very exciting time for Iris Hantverk after collaborating with industrial designer Lovisa Wattman to create a collection of new and refined brushes that were both functional and beautiful.
We met with Lovisa at Iris Hantverk’s Kungsgatan location.
The shop carries an amazing assortment of everyday living products along with their entire collection of handmade brushes.
I kind of like that there are multiples of everything readily available to be snatched up and be placed in a shopping basket, it just makes you want to buy it all.
They even make their own soap to sell through the shop.
We got to see a bunch of large push brooms that we haven’t been able to import because of prohibitive shipping costs.
Vegetable scrubbers so you can clean root vegetables without removing the skin, which is where a lot of the fiber and nutrients come from.
Broom root, washing up whisks.
We asked Lovisa whether or not she takes inspiration from the brushes of the past. She told us that she tried to approach designing the brushes from a purely functional stand point, and their forms come from the relationship of how the user holds and uses the brushes. Each brush sits comfortably in your hands, and brushes that need to be dried like bath brushes and kitchen brushes come with holes for hanging.
Our next stop was Café Valand, which is steps away from the beautiful Stockholm Public Library designed by Erik Gunnar Asplund.
Café Valand opened in 1954 by Magdalena Åström, and it was designed by her husband architect Stellan Åström, both of whom still work in the Café! Our one snag was that the cafe is cash only, and our cards weren’t working at the bank kiosks. After a bit of begging on our part, they graciously allowed us to pay with euros (Magdalena was heading off on a vacation and needed the Euros anyway–talk about timing!).
We chatted a little and mentioned we were from Canada, I really wanted to talk with Stellan, but his hearing isn’t very good and along with the language barrier, it just didn’t work out. We ordered some sandwiches, coffee, and some dessert and sat down to take in the space and have some much needed sustenance.
The cafe is remarkably preserved, the couple used only the best materials.
A beautiful brass and glass case for sandwiches and desserts. The teak paneling is gorgeous.
Ring for service.
A collection of pitchers and a little wrapping station.
“Please order here – dining at the tables”
The coffee here is actually quite good, a welcomed change from most of the mediocre coffee we’ve been having on this trip.
I wonder if this rotary phone has always been here?
Our last stop of the day was to meet Lincoln Robbin-Coker at PR firm IBEYOSTUDIO. The entrance is an obscure black painted facade which you might walk by without hesitation.
Inside is an industrial space featuring art, clothing, and Stockholm’s Fredericia furniture showroom. IBEYOSTUDIO’s concept is a really interesting one, not only do their offices offer PR for their clients it also acts as a space to display their work, and a place to put on events and exhibitions. The enviroment is like a high-end clothing / furniture store.
The Nara coat stand by Shin Azumi, we have one on display in our showroom if you want to see it in person.
A seating area with a Børge Mogensen sofa, and wing chair and an Icicle table.
Believe it or not, one of our favorite places to eat in Stockholm is a Czech restaurant called Soldaten Svejk, located in Sodermalm. It’s a locals only kind of place (don’t expect amazing service as a non-local), but it’s great food for a great price.
We really love the illustrations on these menus.
We’re creatures of habit so we stuck to our favourites: Above goulash soup, which is spectacular.
Juli got the pork schnitzel.
I got the scary good deep fried cheese.
After dinner we took a walk around taking in our last night in Stockholm.
Mobler means furniture, it was a name we were originally considering for our store name.
Well, next stop Helsinki!