April 12, 2016
Interested in getting to know Lama Perin and Michelle Farrington, the two incredible women behind Paper Eskimo? They are not only the founders of Paper Eskimo, but the sole designers as well. Their passion for parties and eye for design have made Paper Eskimo one of the most unique brands in the party world.
Q: First off, the name Paper Eskimo is so unique, distinctive, and creative, can you tell us how it came to be?
Lama & Michelle: We remember one day whilst brainstorming for a brand name, discussing our childhood memories of sharing eskimo kisses with our loved ones. From that conversation, it melded with our love of paper to create Paper Eskimo.
Q: You founded Paper Eskimo over a decade ago and have been delighting party enthusiasts ever since. But there was life before Paper Eskimo? What did each of you do before you started on this party path?
Lama: I worked as an Art Director in the world of magazines and after having spent a few years at Vogue, I decided to try freelancing to give me the freedom to start a venture of my own.
Michelle: Coming from an arts background, I worked as an Art Director in advertising.
Q: That is fantastic. It comes as no surprise that you each have a history in art and design. So, how did the two of you come to meet? When was the idea for Paper Eskimo born? What was your original vision for Paper Eskimo like?
Lama: That is a great question! We met in 2003 while working together on a major advertising project. At the time, Michelle was working as a designer for Australia’s largest stationery company, The Ink Group and I was working for a publishing house while also running my own invitation business, Paris & Oliver (named after my two children). We connected immediately and shortly after, in 2004, Paper Eskimo was born!
Michelle: Our original vision for Paper Eskimo was to be a luxe stationery brand but 12 months into launching, we decided to complement our stationery with a line of designer party ware. And as they say, the rest is history! Our designs quickly struck a chord with design-conscious mums and party planners looking for something different and unique to style their celebrations.
Q: You recently released an incredibly stylish new line of party products you call The Royal Collective. From the vibrant colors to the chic designs, it is like nothing the party world has even seen before. Can you tell us about the design process? How do you go from having an idea, to having a final product?
Lama & Michelle: We usually start with a production schedule, knowing exactly what product lines we are releasing for that season. From there we develop our thoughts and ideas from our mood boards to help us begin with conceptual designs. We think of how we would use the product and what the event would look like.
After a few weeks in studio, patterns and colors start to take shape before we bring everything together to start the culling process. We look for the best pieces that will tell a story and create a strong cohesion between each of the lines.
Q: What inspires you when you design?
Lama & Michelle: We love traveling and have been to many places near and far. Collectively, we have visited over 30 countries and have seen a multitude of cultures. All these amazing places inspire our designs along with colour inspiration that takes place from the world of fashion.
Q: What design are you most proud of?
Lama & Michelle: It is hard to choose as they are all our favorites. If we had to pick, it would probably be Troppo Leaf because it represents our love for warm summer days and is perfect for both adult and kids party themes.
Q: What do you love most about parties? What inspires you to throw a party? What do you think makes a party, a “good” party?
Lama & Michelle: Australians are pretty laid back and so if there’s a gathering it will quickly turn into a party. We just love the idea of getting together with friends and family to celebrate just about anything. A good party needs good company that have common interests, along with delicious food and a good flow of drinks.
Q: What do enjoy doing for fun outside of PE?!
Lama: I have a passion for photography so I always have my camera on hand plus my new found love for off-road 4wd adventures. You will find me and my family out bush more often now, exploring some amazing spaces.
Michelle: I’m all for the outdoors, anything to get away from every day tech. I recently trekked Annapurna base camp in Nepal and now want to cross Everest base camp at the end of this year. I love visiting countries which offer a cultural contrast to my own. I always seek out learning traditional artmethods. I’ve carved stone in Africa, learned traditional paper making in Nepal and had a hand at the craft of mosaic in Morocco.
Q: What is your favorite dessert?
Lama: I just love a good sponge cake with cream. Simple and straight to the point.
Michelle: Chocolate Mud Cake!
Q: Wrapping things up, can you tell us what your goals are for Paper Eskimo?
Lama & Michelle: Our goal is to continually grow Paper Eskimo globally and make it accessible to every person in every part of the world. There should be no reason why anyone can’t have beautiful parties with stylish and affordable party ware!
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