FABELAB is one of those aesthetically pleasing, marvellous brands that make you dream of transforming your home into a whole new design.
Once you enter the FABELAB website everything is mesmerising and everything is a must have! It truly is a magical brand that can very much change a mood, a home, a way of living.
We were honoured to talk to Michaela Weisskirchner- Barfod, founder and designer of Fabelab, to see how she thought up such a brand and what continues to make her tick!
Michaela is an Austrian architect living and working in Copenhagen. She has embraced Scandinavian design principles, taking inspiration from the stories of people around her, her background as an architect and stage designer, and her two young girls who continuously push for imaginative and purposeful playthings.
LEMON: What is your favourite childhood story book and why?
MICHAELA: All About the Bullerby Children by Astrid Lindgren, Momo and The Neverending Story, both by Michael Ende. All three are books where children are using their imagination and go through adventures that are both crazy and magical but also somehow relatable. As a child I loved to immerse into these fantasy universes or the cosy childhood life in a small community as in the Bullerby Children and even Momo. My vision for Fabelab has always been to give kids and their families freedom to decide what and how to play. To challenge their imagination and creativity and tell their own stories.
LEMON: What is your favourite book as an adult and why?
MICHAELA: Unfortunately I don’t find a lot of time to read and if I do, I read business books or stories about other entrepreneurs. Though, I still love the three books from my childhood and love to read them to my two girls.
LEMON: As a child, what was your favourite toy?
MICHAELA: I played a lot with dolls. But not so much in a “caring mother” or role-play way. I created, crafted and designed for my dolls. Dolls in all sizes. I made furniture, clothes, houses, shops, schoolbooks, food etc. for them. And I made all these things from what I had at home: paper, fabric scraps, matchboxes, boxes, thread, wood scraps. I built up my own world for them. This passion for interiors and creating “worlds” led me to become an architect and stage designer and eventually founding Fabelab.
LEMON: Where do you get your inspiration for your collections?
Michaela: Everywhere. Things I see in nature, when I see my two girls playing, clever design, beautiful architecture and great stories. The whole universe of Fabelab’s designs and collections have their origin in the “Land of Fabelab”, an imaginary place with landscapes that form the habitat for all Fabelab’s creatures, teddies and dolls. The Enchanted Forest, the Lucky Ocean, Rainbow Valley and Dragon Mountain – From these landscapes, I draw inspiration for stories and toys and ultimately all collections’ colours.
This season we are exploring the Orchard just underneath the Happy Fields with scented fruit trees, blooming flowers and buzzing bees. Wild Strawberry Fields in clay and ochre, delicious strawberries scattered on an old rose bedding. The big Strawberry Blanket and Strawberry Storage Bag lets us feel like miniatures in the secret world of bees and bugs. Delicate peaches in soft tones lets us dream of warm summer nights in the south… Buzzing bees in beautiful honeytones, yellow and ochre, combined with cool monochrome shades dark grey and unbleached… Let’s protect the bees, without them we would not have this blooming world of flowers, fruits and vegetables! We also meet a little cheeky Badger, a shy Fawn and a dotted colourful snail cross the path. Another creature with colourful dots is our Beetle, minding his own business…
LEMON: What are your dreams and aspirations for Fabelab’s future?
MICHAELA: My dream is to develop Fabelab even more into a brand that cherishes storytelling and creativity, growing the brand commercially but keeping our core values of sustainability, quality and genuine design. I want to make design approachable for many. To grow Fabelab into even more directions, add more layers to our design and product lines to our collections, make our stories even more visible – let them come alive in books and games.
Keep inspiring kids’ imagination and creativity. Also we want to develop our Fabelab SPACE concept, our Copenhagen office and shop is more than a flagship store, it is a space, where we combine a cafe and a creative workshop for kids with our products and a place where I want to pass on my love for crafting and storytelling.
With a world often full of negativity and destruction, there’s nothing more enticing than a world, such as Fabelab’s, where one can dream, escape, imagine but above all PLAY. Welcome to the wonderful world of FABELAB.