PROJECT 213 A
- A story of four friends
In an old shoe factory in the north of Portugal not far from beautiful Porto sits four friends around a big rustic wooden table. The factory is a beautiful mess of creativity and the open space with the nature just around the door step allows hens to freely wander around our feet.
The foursome all come from different places of the world and carry their own set of experiences and passion for their designs, yet the four friends seems wonderfully in tuned with each other.
After being introduced to Project 213A a few months ago, I simply just had to come and see them in reality! This is their story and we can't wait to follow them on their journey.
Story by Johanna Silver
Photo by Johanna Silver
- How did you find each other?
For three of us our studies at the University of Arts in London was what brought us together, and what connected us all four was the home above a laundrette that we all lived in at some point but at different times in East London.
This is the reason this building has become prominent within our logo and the house number part of our name.
-What’s it like to work together?
We find it very inspiring to be able to feed of each others ideas and all the work we do is very collaborative. Not one piece is designed by one person alone.
-How do you complement each other and who does what?
Theresa, Jurgita and Maria comes from a design background where as Clement is from a business background. We have all had different careers in fashion, accessories, photography and business leading up to the launch of Project 213A and currently still have jobs to support this project.
Starting this project in our thirties rather than straight out of university has given us all different and valuable experiences that can be applied also to this, even if its taking a slightly different path.
At the moment we are at a stage where we all have to have multiple roles and do a mixture of design, sales, marketing as well as shipping and packing. We believe that the fact that we are coming from four different countries also brings a interesting perspective and wider understanding for the market. We also have different references we can pull from when it comes to design. Some of us are more maximalists and others more minimalistic but finding the balance in between makes us great.
-What’s your studio like?
Our Head Office is located in an old shoe factory in the north of Portugal not far from Porto.
Its a very creative space and the the location gives us the possibility to work very close with our factories and small workshops in the area.
-How do you work as a collective? -What’s it like to work in this way?
The fact that we are spread out in different countries can sometimes be challenging but the modern technology today makes it work quite well, we have at least two meetings a week at a set time and a group chat that is constantly active where we share ideas, deliveries, sales and everything in-between.
-Where do the ideas for the collections come from?
We find inspiration all over, from extensive library research to trips and by testing new techniques.
We also try to work with the talented craftsmen around the area and working from the materials that are available, sometimes the limitations that we are presented with are what sparks a new idea.
-What impact does your designs have on each other and the work as a quartet.
This project has presented us all with an outlet for our ideas and a creative environment where everyones ideas get heard equally. Its a fantastic opportunity to be able to work with friends that share the same goal to build a company to be proud of.
-What plans do you have for the future of Project 213A?
Project 213A only launched in September 2021 and we have big plans for the future. We would like to be able to further expand our product range and work more with architects and interior designers all over the world.
Project 213A is a European design house founded in 2020 as an idea by four friends linked by a common design philosophy. This Project became reality with the launch in September 2021.
The brand’s goal is to create modern as well as unique furniture and home accessories that are timeless with a commitment to work towards a more sustainable future.
The name of the brand “Project 213A” refers to a London based address where all four founders each have lived in - at different times throughout their studies.
The building is featured prominently within the logo where their home stood, above a launderette.
Each product is responsibly manufactured in selected Portuguese factories and family run workshops to provide a considerate way of production while minimizing wasteful practices.