FOLKK, a Belgrade-based social business that connects masters of traditional Balkan crafts with emerging designers to make the highest quality home ware, today launched a 30-day Kickstarter campaign. Folkk’s vision is to revive the traditional, centuries-long craftsmanship and skill-sets of Balkan artisans in different regions, and give worldwide visibility to the products through their online platform.
The company emerged as one of the first social enterprises in the region and is now launching a Kickstarter campaign with the aim to raise $20,000. The funds raised will be used to:
1. Enable artisans to maintain their craft & support themselves through increased and stable income.
2. Engage and empower even more new artisans.
3. Increase Folkk’s reach geographically to include artisans across the Balkan region.
Folkk produces high-quality home ware design products such as kilims, pillows, wooden plates, and serving boards. Its unique approach is to bring together the knowledge of knitting and woodcarving from rural Serbia with cutting-edge concepts from the emerging design talents of the region.
Together, designers and makers bridge generations and disciplines to create desirable, finely-crafted, one-of-a-kind products. Folkk is committed to sustainable production processes, the use of local materials, and fair compensation for everyone involved in the creation of these products. “We want to create unique products of the highest quality, things that people will truly want in their homes, but will also feel good about,” explained Marko Radenkovic, co-founder of Folkk.
Serbia and its neighboring Balkan countries have been struggling to retain people in rural communities due to ever-smaller economic opportunities. With this ongoing migration, centuries-old craftsmanship traditions that have been passed from one generation to the next are being lost, while the few artisans who remain dedicated to their crafts feel disheartened at the shrinking prospects.
Folkk’s wider mission is to transform entire rural communities, one artisan at a time, by providing them with a stable income and increased confidence in both their craft and way of life. Folkk is an initiative and trademark of Nova Iskra design hub from Belgrade.
Nova Iskra empowers emerging creative professionals and helps develop new or existing businesses through a human-centered, design-thinking approach that includes education programs, matchmaking, mentorship and setting up new initiatives, such as Folkk. In exchange for Kickstarter pledges, backers can receive a choice of limited edition, hand crafted, unique Folkk products: exquisite 100% wool kilims & hand-woven, wool-filled pillows; two-sided, finest-wood multifunctional plate; and a tri-form serving board made of steamed walnut.
The 30-day Kickstarter campaign will run until July 12th.
Dragana Kostica is the Belgrade-based editor in chief and founder of Still in Belgrade art, culture and club scene magazine. She holds a Master of Arts in Cultural Policy and Management in Arts (MA of Arts) and a Bachelor degree in Archaeology.