Change the world of stationery

October 7, 2016  19:08  |  Let’s talk

Easygoing - Mishmash

Photos: Mishmash archives

Minimalistic approach that is suitable for our casual lives and represents the nostalgic feeling from the past, that most of us bring with ourselves every moment until today. The smell of paper and being surrounded by the objects in an old stationery store – this image was the main inspiration for Mishmash brand creator Beatriz Barros from Portugal. As Beatriz explains, from an old love story to lost pieces of paper and vintage envelopes, Mishmash came along to change the world of stationery. It gives design enthusiasts the unique products they have always wanted, it is a dream, but only a real one. And here is the interview with the brand’s creator.

Holy Golden - Mishmash

Minimalistic, clean and modern look that Mishmash has developed is hard not to fall in love with. We know that the story behind this idea is kind of sentimental and unique. Could you share it with SwO readers?

Mishmash is an office supply brand that was born from the nostalgia of its founder. The inspiration came from her grandfather’s old stationery store, where all of her childhood, she was surrounded by the smell of paper. From an old love story to lost pieces of paper and vintage envelopes, mishmash came along to change the world of stationery by giving design enthusiasts the unique products they have always wanted.

The style that your company has is fresh and suitable for a modern thinking person. How has the idea changed over the years and has it became different in its visual form?

The idea and concept of mishmash hasn’t really changed, at least not its main purpose. Mishmash was thought and conceptualized to be a different approach to all office supplies, as we saw a lack of conceptualization and exploration of forms in this category of products. That’s still our main focus, creating disruptive/creative products that can both be functional and for daily use, but also, have enough differentiation to make people interact, experience and ultimately empower them to think creatively. The only thing that truly changed in mishmash over the last year (and the only year we actually have been doing business) was the length of our vision.

Easygoing - Mishmash - SwO magazine

Holy Golden - Mishmash

Holy Golden - Mishmash

Holy Golden - Mishmash

What does the name of your brand “Mishmash” mean? What kind of concept does it represent?

Mishmash means, literally, “a collection or mixture of unrelated things” and that’s what we are all about: we aim to relate the most unpredictable products and textures, bring it together and present you with limitless innovation. Our best-seller and the brand’s flagship, the mishmash notebook, is the best representation of it: a mixture of unrelated papers bound all together, ruled, recycled, plain, coloured and translucent paper, all in the same notebook.

How did you started your own business and how many people there are working today with you?

Our start was very unpredictable, as we had zero experience in the office supplies market and also zero selling skills. But as everything, we’ve focused on learning with our achievements and mistakes, and we manage to survive till today. Mishmash is still with the founding team: me, Beatriz, designer and product developer, and Ricardo Barbosa, marketing and communications director.

Mishmash - SwO magazine

Easygoing - Mishmash - SwO magazine

What does Mishmash have to offer today for the customer and what kind of ideas do You have for the future?

Mishmash has one thousand ideas to bring to life. We want to become experts and market leaders in the category of notebooks, but soon we will try our chances in other categories such as: pencil cases, folders, office organization and office furniture. For the future we want to be addressed as the brand that best represent the word “office”.

Mishmash service

When you are a designer the one point that is essential to keep in mind is – consumerism. What are your thoughts about it and are you giving a lot of attention to this matter?

When developing Mishmash products, we keep several points in mind: quality, exclusivity, differentiation, premium materials, form and functionality. We believe that these are the most important aspects, as we see consumerism as just a consequence of it.

Where can our readers see your works and purchase them?

Our products are available online at www.mishmash.pt, where you can get to know them and also buy them. Besides that, we are our products available in 34 stores spread over 14 countries.

Mishmash notebooks

Mishmash

Mishmash

Could you tell us about your background? What have you finished and how did you managed to connect your professional degree with that you are doing today?

My background is in graphic design and I’ve even co-founded a design studio in my first years. I have always felt an entrepreneurial drive and it was never difficult for me to make the jump between college and professional life. I literally grabbed my college degree, thought in what I was passionate about and wanted to do for the rest of my life, and founded an office supplies brand.

Over the years, what kind of lessons you have learnt while working in Mishmash?

I have learned loads of little lessons, but amongst the big ones, I have to point out that is key to have good relationships with suppliers, and also, very important, commit to our responsibilities no matter what.

Mishmash process

What is essential in your working environment? And what is important before starting your own personal business?

I can’t stand having a messy office, I confess. Before I even think of start working, I have to have everything organized and then I can find my mind in the right place. Before starting a business, I would say that it is important to have your life organized, in general.

How would you describe Mishmash?

Mishmash is a dream, but a very real one to us.

Mishmash service

Mishmash

Mishmash Naked

Mishmash notebook

Mishmash Notebook


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